Deliver Israel

Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles! Psalm 25:22

This is a timeless verse. It was written thousands of years ago but it could have been written yesterday. The nation of Israel and Jews in general face challenges that very few countries ever have to face: surrounded by Arab and Persian Muslim neighbors who hate them and would love to see Israel annihilated. If the nation ceased to exist, it would not be enough for the Muslims.

The fact that Israel continues to exist in spite of their hostile surroundings tells me that God favors Israel and has a special place in the world for them.

Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles.

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Frost Revisited

May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord, is in you. Psalm 25:21

The principle here that permeates Scripture is doing the right thing even when it could cost you. Sometimes that cost is money, a job, friends, relationships, or worse. We should never fear or cower in doing what is right. Galatians 6:9 reminds us: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The tendency we have is to give up easily, when the going is rough. We like the easy way out.

While I was in Escape and Evasion school in the Air Force, they taught us to take the unpaved roads, the forest, the swamp, the mountains or through the brush instead of taking a paved road to where we thought would bring us to safety. Why? Because “the enemy” would be on the roads and we’d be easily captured.

The truth from this school is clear to us as we live the Christian life: we love the easy life. We choose comfort over pain, a quick task over a tedious task, and the easy life over a life filled with pain and misery every day of the week.

Integrity is difficult because it means taking the difficult path over an easy one. It means we may have to suffer for that choice.

That’s okay. We have countless “witnesses” before us who have taken that weedy and rocky road. They’re looking back at us and waving at us to keep on that road.

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Guarding My Life

Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you. Psalm 25:20

If you’ve ever seen world leaders move about after they get out of a plane or car, you’ll notice a lot of highly trained security personnel surrounding the leader. Often they wear sun glasses to conceal where they’re actually looking. What you won’t notice are the powerful weapons under their suits. The weapons are large and lethal. It is said that the President of the U.S. is surrounded by no fewer than 200 trained personnel at any one time during the day.

Fortunately, crying out to God to shield and protect us is far more stable than depending on human security guards to take a risk on behalf of their clients. The Lord delights in us crying out to Him. We get a chance to re-establish that relationship with Him, and He gets to bless us with His presence.

Taking refuge in God requires us to humble ourselves and submit to doing His will. Fortunately His tasks are not burdensome at all.

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Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me! Psalm 25:16-19

King David certainly cried out to God a lot, didn’t he? I suspect he was a very troubled individual. Going from being on top of the world as a king to being hunted like a fox must have been humiliating.

But he persevered and knew to rely on God as the source of his strength. No one reading this will ever know the stark contrasts he had known, which does not minimize what we go through. It’s just to say that problems exist no matter who you are.

Just like David had done, we can also cry out to God at any moment on any day any where.

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He Confides

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:12-15

Have you ever told somebody a non-Believer a truth about what you learned in Scripture only for it to fall flat. The person walked away shaking his head that you could actually believe such a thing. We were all like that before Christ. Our spiritual eyes had not been opened yet. A whole new world is open to you when you believe as verses 12 and 14 seems to indicate. He has confided in you and will continue to do so.

Similarly, there are times when your eyes will be opened anew and you begin to tell a Believer what you just learned, but you can’t understand why this person isn’t as excited about what you just told him than he is. Perhaps, though, the Lord has confided in you something that was meant for you and you alone. Not that this information is some mysterious hidden Bible code but something that was meant for you, a truth that you need right now. Two years from now it might be meaningless, but for now it’s significant.

That’s a good place to be.

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