“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." – Isaiah 55:10-11
Though War Arise, a Shelter
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life;of whom shall I be afraid?
Though an army encamp against me,my heart shall not fear;though war arise against me,yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,that will I seek after:that I may dwell in the house of the Lordall the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the Lordand to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelterin the day of trouble;he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted upabove my enemies all around me,and I will offer in his tentsacrifices with shouts of joy;I will sing and make melody to the Lord…
You have said, ‘Seek my face.’My heart says to you,‘Your face, Lord, do I seek…’
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living!” Psalm 27:1,3-6,8,13
It seems David the psalmist is living in two worlds: in the raucous turmoil of war and trouble, and in the melodious beauty of the heavenlies. To him, these were not incompatible, for no matter that war arose, his confidence, his shelter, his hope, were fixed firmly in his God. These two disparate experiences were united under the cover of his salvation.
This can be our reality today. As Christians, we carry the presence of Almighty God within us. He is indeed Immanuel, our light and salvation, our Defender, Advocate, Redeemer. His face shines on us. And these are true now. In the scuffle of life that is despair, illness, setbacks, vociferous antagonism, doubt, dissension, He lifts our head and is our shelter. (Numbers 6:24-26; Matthew 1:23; John 14:16)
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can beagainst us?..Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus… is interceding for us.Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?.. I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31,33-35,38-39
Will we get overwhelmed in the battle, or begin our days in His house, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord? With heads lifted above the fray, we can keep singing, though wars rage, making joyful melody and offering hope to others.
“Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.Under the shadow of your throne your saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is your arm alone, and our defense is sure.” ~Isaac Watts (1719)
Father, in every circumstance, when emotions go awry and impulses stray from Your righteous control, compel me to keep my face beholding Yours, and my shelter in Your lovely temple.