“The LORD will go before you; the God of Israel will be your rear guard. See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness – so will he sprinkle many nations,,” [Isaiah 52:12-15]
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter -- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I,” [Isaiah 58:6-9]
“for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you… The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” [Deuteronomy 31:6,8]
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" [Hebrews 13:5-6]
“I’ve got your back.” What a nice feeling it is when we know that someone is sticking up for us. It’s nice to know that people love us so much that they would defend us, stick up for us and, possibly even die for us because love and commitment are so strong. It’s nice to hear, “I’ve got your back.”
We know mentally that God is with us. That’s a fact that we can believe and trust, but we don’t always live our lives fully embracing what God wants us to understand: When we are seeking to please the Lord and follow His commands, He wants us to know that He is our Strength, our Shield, our Refuge and our Encourager. When we live our lives for Him, then all areas of our lives become His; He is with us all the time, fully committed to us –THE LORD IS MY HELPER. Isn’t that an interesting thought? How can Almighty God be my helper?
Our God is an Amazing God. He is not a taskmaster who demands and commands simply because He is in charge and owns us. He commands because He loves us and loves other. He demands for our benefit. He explains His plans to us so that we would marvel at the love that He has for us –His creation, the sheep of His pasture, the flock under His care. A human notion would be to say that I am God’s helper and that He cannot be mine since He is so much greater than me; the Lord cannot possibly serve me –I must serve Him… right?
We call Him “Father” for a reason. He is not only our Master, but He cares more for us than we can possibly understand. He is our Protector. He is our Friend. He has endeared Himself to us in ways that no one else possibly could, because He really is God. When I look at the so-called gods of the world’s religions, past and present, it’s not hard to see the difference between our Real God and false Gods. False gods are evil and selfish. They share the attributes of fallen, sinful mankind. But people will ask about our God: “If God is so loving, then why was He so vengeful in the Old Testament?” The truth be told, God isn’t any different in the New Testament than He was in the Old Testament. Remember, His plans have always remained and will remain consistently the same from beginning to the very end. It’s hard for us to understand why God would destroy the entire world in a flood if He’s a loving God. But then, we usually don’t want to acknowledge just how wicked people can truly become. We don’t know what Noah’s world looked like right before the flood –but we know that people had become extremely creative with their sinfulness and, more than that, they lived longer life spans and had more time to become creative with sin. The behavior of mankind had become so putrid that The Lord, who is always merciful and abounding in love, was grieved. Grieved that He had even created us. Grieved that people completely ignored His intentions and purposes for creating.
Likewise, people will criticize God for asking Israel to wipe out the Canaanites. But again, archaeology and recorded history reveals that the Canaanites were living the lifestyle of the pre-flood world. Sodom and the other four Cities of the Plain were beyond wicked. And if holiness didn’t prevail, then wickedness would prevail. Even a city in the land of the tribe of Benjamin had fallen into the same wickedness during the time of the Judges. Sin is lethal. God is loving and merciful. But when a society reaches a point when so much innocent blood cries out to God, He does intervene. To ignore wickedness is to hate your children. God disciplines those whom He loves. To accept sin is to empower sin. To love God and His ways and to teach them to others by Word and example is the greatest love that we can show to one another. And He has promised to always be with us. Yes, with fallen, broken, imperfect people in practice, who are being transformed and made holy by the precious blood of the Lamb of God and by the power of His Spirit. God loves sinners, but He makes saints. We, too, must love sinners, because He has made us, and IS making us saints. Our Blessed Hope is that Jesus is coming to radically change our lives and bring us into a paradise existence –but the best part is, He’s there. Jesus has our backs. He loves us so much that He died to defend us. It’s good to know that God has our backs.
On the Solid Rock we stand!