“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” Luke 1:50-55
I see two different attributes of God that stand out to me in Mary’s continuing song of praise. I’ll highlight one today and one tomorrow. Today I’d like to talk about God’s as our Protector/Preserver. Mary knew that God had protected and preserved the children of Israel since the time of Abraham when He made a covenant with him. Genesis 12: 2-3 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Mary would have been familiar with the stories of the Exodus from Egypt, the miraculous plagues, the saving of the first born, the parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, the feats and battles of Gideon, Deborah, King David and many more. She would have known of the preservation of Esther and the way God used foreign kings to bring them back from exile in Babylon. Mary would have been familiar with Daniel and his stay in the lion’s den. She had seen how God preserved her people generation after generation against all odds. It is no wonder then that Mary praises and sings of God’s great upholding power with mighty deeds and personal support.
Who is this great preserver that Mary loves? God preserves His own. We can trust Him to preserve the good work He has started in us through Christ. God preserves our lives for His purpose and He preserves our salvation. Jesus promises that no one can take you out of God’s hand. No temptation, no failure, no person, not even Satan can make us lose our salvation . God preserves us, just as He did the children of Israel, so that we can accomplish His purpose. He is our preserver. Mary knew this in her heart and sang praises to the her preserver.
Is Jesus your preserver? Do you trust Him to help, defend and protect your faith and salvation against all enemies? I love the verses in John 10:28-29 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” Trust God and walk today with assurance that God has got you and will never let you go. Mary knew this and sang out in praise. Join her in proclaiming praise to our Mighty God who promises to preserve us.
Held in the hand of Almighty God,
Thank goodness this is true!
Psalm 28 is a thankful response from David for God’s deliverance. I want to focus on the verses 6-9. What was David thankful for in these verses that we know to be absolutely true of God?
Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy. God is accessible, He hears our prayers.
7 The Lord is my strength and shield. God is our protector.
I trust him with all my heart. God is trustworthy.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. God gives us joy.
8 The Lord gives his people strength. God gives us strength to meet the day.
He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.
9 Save your people! God saves those who believe in Him.
Bless Israel, your special possession. God blesses.
Lead them like a shepherd, God is our good shepherd.
and carry them in your arms forever. God is eternal and saves us for eternity with Him.
For which of these attributes are you most thankful today? I had a friend tell me yesterday that when times are hard she focuses on her joy in the Lord. What about you? As you go through today, meditate on God’s goodness and blessings towards you, then take time to thank Him.
Multiple times in scripture God refers to himself as LORD. When the name Lord is written all in capital letters, it refers to the name ‘Yahweh’, YHWH which was so revered that it did not even say it aloud or write it completely as they left out the vowels. Another translation of this is Jehovah. In Exodus 3:14-15, Moses is called by God to return to Egypt, confront Pharaoh and lead the people. Moses voices several concerns to God and asks, What do I say when the people ask who sent me? “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” God refers to himself as I AM and also The LORD. God repeated His name in Exodus 6:2-3 “God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.” The people did not have the full revelation of God yet and did not fully know Him. The full revelation of God came with Jesus Christ.
David often refers to God as LORD in the Psalms. Psalm 91 has several verses that point out the complete trustworthiness of the LORD and how He loves and cares for those who love Him. Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” God is my refuge.
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge; God is my protector.
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, God’s presence dispels fear.
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you God cares for me.
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; God desires our love.
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; God is omnipresent.
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” God has salvation plans for me.
Today meditate on the completeness of your LORD and how HE reaches down and touches you.
David uses the image of God as his fortress as he describes who he feels and sees God is in his life. By definition a fortress is a fortified place for protection. David praised God for his deliverance from his enemies and from the murderous pursuit by Saul his king. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,” 2 Samuel 2:22 Repeatedly in Psalms David refers to God as his fortress. Psalm 31:3 “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;” Psalm 59:9 “O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.” This psalm was written when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him. Later in verse 16-17 David writes, “But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.
The beautiful and uplifting words of Psalm 91:1-4 resonate with David’s love, trust and complete confidence in the God, who is his fortress.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
David knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was his fortress, safe haven and refuge from all the evil men and deeds that came at him. He lived with confidence in God’s merciful protection that would cover him as he walked through each circumstance. Do you have that kind of trust in God? Have you walked with Him through hard times and seen His hand upon your life? The more we know God day to day and walk with Him, study His Word, pray, praise and worship will we grow in trust and confidence in God’s eternal protection of our souls. He is indeed our fortress, our safe place in this swirling world but also our safe haven for eternity. Praise God for His great name and character today as you seek to walk with Him. Claim Him as your fortress. He is solid and can be relied upon at all times in all places.
David saw God as His shepherd and wrote about him in Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. The shepherd provides.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. The shepherd guides.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. The shepherd restores.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; The shepherd protects and comforts.
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me The shepherd knows the future and
in the presence of my enemies; prepares for me.
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me The shepherd is with me eternally.
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Do you regard the Lord God as your shepherd? The shepherd was the one who tended, cared, protected, defended and loved his sheep. God is described as the shepherd of the nation of Israel in Isaiah 40: 10-11 “See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,….He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Jesus described himself as the good shepherd in John 10:11 “ “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Then in John 10:14-16 “ “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. (Here Jesus was referring to those who were not Jews, the Gentiles.) I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus is the perfect image of the good shepherd. The sheep listen to Him, know Him and He sacrifices Himself for this beloved sheep. What a beautiful pictures of our loving God.
Today as you reflect upon God, consider the 23rd Psalm and Jesus’ words in John. Know that you are loved and cared for by your loving heavenly Father and that your good shepherd, Jesus, will guide, protect, defend, hear, and love you.
Today’s blessings passage is from Psalm 34. David wrote this psalm after experiencing God’s rescue from his situation with the Philistine king seen in 1 Samuel 21. David praises God for his deliverance and protection. David praised God for his blessing -protection and divine favor in preventing his great misfortune. Psalm 34:4-10
I sought the Lord, and he answered me David knew God answers prayer
and delivered me from all my fears. and that God delivers.
5 Those who look to him are radiant, David knew seeking God leaves
and their faces shall never be ashamed. one glowing with hope.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him David knew God hears him.
and saved him out of all his troubles. David knew God could save him
7 The angel of the Lord encamps David knew God protects.
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! David knew God blesses.
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, David knew God supplies without fear.
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; David knew by placing his trust in
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. God he would never be lacking.
Do you know, like David, that God answers prayer, delivers, gives hope, hears, can save, will bless, has resources beyond measure, can be trusted and will never leave you lacking for anything? That is an amazing list that gives me hope and assurance that God in His Sovereignty will take care of me. I am blessed if I can learn to take refuge in Him!
As you journey through this day, praise and thank God that He alone is your refuge and receive His blessings as you trust in Him.
Most people who have opened a Bible or been exposed as a young child have heard of the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. Many more have seen the movie ‘Exodus’ about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt with Pharaoh hot on their trail. Today’s blog is about our miraculous God who again parted waters for the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering. Joshua 3 tells of the nation of Israel, led by Joshua, poised to enter Canaan but needing to cross the Jordan River. It was flood season so the river was raging. The Lord of All the earth told Joshua to have the priests carry the arc of the covenant in front. “Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan.” Joshua 3:11 (The arc was very sacred and contained the 10 Commandment tablets, a jar of manna and Aaron’s budding rod. It was covered with gold and had 2 cherubim on top with wings spread creating the mercy seat. It was carried on poles through rings by the priests and no one touched it.) When the priests got to the edge of the raging Jordan and touched the water, the waters parted. “ And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:13 Just as the Lord had said, when the priests got to the water and started in, the waters piled up on the flowing side so they could cross over. “and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.”Joshua 3:15-17
I love the image here of the priests carrying the arc going first then stopping in the middle to let the people pass. When all the Israelites had passed by then the arc was brought to the other side. It reminds us that the Lord of All the earth goes before us preparing the way, is with us during our day and then comes behind to protect us. God promises us, just like He did Joshua, that he will be with us always and we need to be strong and courageous day by day. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The Lord of All the earth has all the elements of this world under His command. He is sovereign and all-powerful. Where do you need the Lord of All the earth to go with you today? Remember He went before you to ready the day, will be with you all day and He will have your back. There are 3 promises from Isaiah I want to leave you with today as you think about the power and majesty of the Lord of All the earth. Isaiah 49: 16 “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:23b “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:25b “for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.” The Lord of All the earth knows me, has me engraved on the palm of His hands, will not disappoint and will fight for me. Be encouraged to day.