Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Day Eight - The Lord's Eight Provisions

Psalm 121:1-8, [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (2) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.(3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (4) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (5) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (6) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (7) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (8 )

Although I have done a devotional on this Psalm in the past, the Lord laid it on my heart again this morning. As I read through it, I saw it in a different light. I noticed there were eight promises given to us. God is so Good, isn't He? Let's look at the eight promises of Psalm 121.

(1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. God promises that our help comes from Him. The Creator of heaven and earth is able to help us - He's wanting to help us! I would imagine that my problems are a cinch for the Creator of the universe, wouldn't you? David knew where to go for his help. He encouraged himself and exhorts us to do the same. Are you running to others to solve your problems? Are you running to your spouse to comfort you? Are you running to your friends so they can help you carry your burdens? The Word says that our help comes from God, who made heaven and earth. I believe David knew who his God was and did not need to state that He was the maker of heaven and earth. I think David was telling us that the Creator of all is the One who will help us. This is not just anyone, my friend. This is the only One who is able to help us perfectly and thoroughly!

(2) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: God is promising us that despite the dangers and trials in our lives, He will not allow us to be moved. The Word has several verses which state that God "will not suffer":

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Exo 12:23) Surely it's not a coincidence that this is the first occurrence of "will not suffer" - the fact that Christ's blood over us preserves us for all eternity.

The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. (Pro 10:3) The born-again believer will never famish spiritually because God has promised to feed us. We have His living Word to eat from. Brother Jerry's devotional, Fourfold Picture of Water from the Rock yesterday was filled with how God provided for us through the water from the Rock. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) God is so compassionate that He will never give us more than we can handle.

Our Heavenly Father is the parent who protects His child. He is the Shepherd who watches over His flock and makes sure that we don't slip or go down the wrong path! Our Father will not allow us to be moved spiritually, my friend. The Word does not say maybe - or might - or probably. The Word says that He shall keep us from falling! When we do fall, it is by choice - not because the Father could not stop us.

(3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Don't you feel comforted by these words? We have a God who never sleeps. He is ever vigilant and always watching out for us! Nothing gets pass the Lord. God has promised that He will never sleep, therefore you are protected while on His watch! My son is joining the Marine Corps. He has collected so many "Marine" sayings. One of his favorites is: "Sleep well tonight, the Marines are on watch!" While I am comforted and truly appreciate that the United States Marine Corps is protecting my dear country, I am all the more comforted because my God never sleeps and nothing will happen to me on His watch which He has not permitted!

(4) The LORD is thy keeper: Jehovah also promises to be our Keeper, my friend! Like the Shepherd, God keeps us securely and faithfully. The Hebrew word for keeper is:

H8104
שׁמר
shâmar
shaw-mar'
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.

The Lord has placed a hedge of protection around us. He protects us and attends to our needs! Job experienced this hedge of protection from God. See Job 1:10. How can we be afraid of anything that comes our way when we are promised that Jehovah God keeps us?

(5) The LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The temperatures in Northern Virginia have been quite high as of late. I can truly appreciate the need for shade! I absolutely love the way David wrote this verse! His God, Jehovah, provided him with shade during the heat of the day! Spiritually speaking, I believe the Lord is showing us that even at the height of our heated trials and tribulations, He provides us with His protection - His shade. We've all been outside on a hot and humid day. How refreshing it was to stand under a tree's shade, where it was a good 10 degrees cooler! We, too, can find rest, comfort and shade from our trials under the Lord's right hand. I also noticed that although we are sitting in the shade, the heat of the day is still out there. So it is true for our pilgrim's walk. The heat of the trial is still there but the Lord provides us shade (comfort and rest) so we can endure the trial.

(6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Do you notice that this is a complete day? God promises to be in everything in the course of our day. There is not any part of the day for which He is not there to protect us. He's not just there in the afternoons or in the dark of night. Jehovah is there all the time. Matt. 28:20b and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The word "preserve" is used twice here. He preserves us from evil and He preserves our soul. I love the definition that Noah Webster used for the word preserve:

1. To keep or save from injury or destruction; to defend from evil.

God did send me before you to preserve life. Gen 45.

O Lord, preserve me from the violent man. Psa 140.

2. To uphold; to sustain.

O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. Psa 36.

5. To keep or defend from corruption; as, to preserve youth from vice.

The Lord promises to keep us from the evil one but He also promises to keep our souls. Our soul is eternal - God has promises to preserve our soul through eternity! From the moment we are born again, we are promised to be kept by God Himself. Our salvation not only was provided by Him but it rests in His care!

( 8 ) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Here is a blessing within a blessing as far as numbers from the Bible are concerned. My Lord preserves me for all eternity from the moment I am saved. Notice how David pointed out three different times in this verse that Jehovah shall preserve us. The Lord God Almighty shall preserve us as we go out - from the beginning of our Christian walk. He shall preserve us until we come in from our Christian walk - when we die. He also shall preserve us throughout eternity! Three times Jehovah preserves us in this one verse. The number for the Trinity, the total Godhead, will preserve those covered under the number eight - those of the new beginning - the born again believer, for all eternity! I surely do not think it is a coincidence that the God (all three of the Godhead took part in my creation - see Gen. 1:26) who created me is involved in preserving me. He played a part in my earthly creation, my new born-again life and my eternal life. Praise the Lord!

Oh Christian, do you not want to jump for joy when you read these promises - these eight provisions? Our perfect Triune God makes promises He will never break.

Doxology
(Thomas Ken)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Dear God...
I praise You, Three in One
For all You've done for me
You are the One I seek
From now through eternity!


Devotional by Kate Plourde

60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

For more studies that use passages in the Psalms as the springboard:

Psalms Series

3 comments:

Melissa said...

hi, I just wanted to respond to something you left on Julie's site, and I didn't think it was appropriate to keep taking up her comment space to ask you a question. Can you please tell me where in the Bible it says earrings are okay for women, but other piercings are not? This is a genuine question.....I don't remember reading this, and I would like to find it. Also, is only one set of earrings okay, or can you pierce your ears as many times as you like? I am curious to hear your reply.

By the way, in case you think I'm some sort of heathen, I am a member of a solid fundamental KJV Bible-believing church. Although I don't think the pastor would care if I had one set of earrings or five.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Bro. Jerry Bouey said...

Melissa...the Bible does show that earrings on men were always associated with idolatry or compromise, and consider that they just came out of idolatrous Egypt:

Exodus 32:2-3 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

When the men repented, they removed the earrings:

Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

This next example is a time of dedication - though we still see them removing the earrings for an offering to the Lord:

Exodus 35:22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.

We also see the Ishmaelite men wearing earrings, and the Bible quite clearly indicates there was something different about these men (it was not the men of Israel wearing these earrings, but their enemies):

Judges 8:24-26 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.

Yes, there are times when the women also removed their earrings, but in those cases, the earrings were also associated with idolatry. The Bible does not always portray earrings on women in a negative light (though we do see that in Isaiah 3:20 and Hosea 2:13)- in fact, there are several positive references.

In Genesis 24, we see Abraham's servant seeking out Rebekah - this is a very clear picture of the Holy Spirit wooing a bride for Christ.

Genesis 24:22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; See also verses 30 and 47.

In Ezekiel 16, we see God giving Judah earrings. He would never use something evil as a symbol of something good.

Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

Here God uses it as a comparison to an obedient believer:

Proverbs 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

So we can see that God does not want men to wear earrings - and that earrings associated with idolatry, compromise, and worldliness are wrong - but God is not against earrings on women.

As far as piercings go, I believe the same verses that forbid tattooing also apply here:

Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 21:5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

I hope this helps a bit.

Maranatha said...

Melissa,

Brother Jerry's response was so complete :-) I believe that we should simply keep in mind that if Christian women wear their earrings as the heathen women do, then what distinction do we have? The Lord tells us that we are to be a peculiar treasure and people.

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exo 19:5)

For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (Deu 14:2)

And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; (Deu 26:18)

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:14) (emphasis mine)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1Pe 2:9) (emphasis mine)

The word "peculiar" according to Noah Webster means: Exclusive property; that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.

We belong to the Lord and we should be different from the world... we should not seek after what the world offers (like more than one set of earrings going up the ear) but we should seek after God. How can the world by our testimony and appearance find salvation if they cannot tell the difference between us and them?

It is wonderful that you have a soft heart which is searching out how to please God. I commend you :-)

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