Escape!

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 124:1–8 (ESV)
1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say—
2 if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us,
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
4 then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;
5 then over us would have gone the raging waters.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!
7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.


How is it that the family of Jacob escaped slavery in Egypt and became the nation of Israel? Was it because they attempted to observe the law of God? Not at all! It was purely due to the power and grace of the Lord.

If God hadn’t have been on Israel’s side, they would have been swept away in the waters of the Red Sea. And if God had given up on them, the Jordan River would have drowned them. But the Lord didn’t let the enemy prevail over His people.

Just as Israel escaped from Egypt, so we, the new covenant people of God, escape from slavery to sin and are destined for the promised new creation. Just like for them, it’s by the power and love of God that we’ll make it. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of all things.

“Lord, we’re so thankful for our salvation. We recognise that it’s all of You, and none of us. To You be all the glory, both now and forever, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

Expectancy

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 123:1–4 (ESV)

1To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

2Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.

3Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.

4Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.


The Psalmist has the right attitude to God. He looks up to Him, enthroned in the highest heaven. So many people like to think they can sit in judgement on God for their woes. But at the end of the final day, it’s God who will sit in judgement upon us.

The Psalmist has the opposite attitude to God to scornful, contemptuous and proud people. He looks to Him as a servant does to His master. An employee knows that it helps to get on with his boss if he wants to get paid. Similarly, if we want eternal life, we need God’s favour.

Just as an employee looks expectantly to their boss for their next pay packet, so we look to God to grant salvation to us. We need Him to be merciful to us. We need Him to not treat us as our sins deserve.

We need God’s mercy in the face of the scorn we have to endure from unbelievers. It can be unbearable when we face the scornful contempt of the proud. So we should cry out to God to help us to bear it.

“O Lord, enthroned in the heavens, may we look to You for salvation and vindication. Please help us to endure the mockery of the proud, in Christ’s name, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

Psalm 122: House

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 122:1–9 (ESV)
1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

David was glad to meet up with God’s people in His worship. Are we? Going to Jerusalem in David’s day was like going to a Christian conference or camp for us nowadays. It was the highlight of the year.

God decreed the tribes of Israel to go up and praise Him in Jerusalem at set times. Similarly, those of us who have been grafted into spiritual Israel ought to give thanks to God, not just at summer gatherings or weekly church. Paul tells us to give thanks in everything.

We don’t like the idea of judgement. But as Paul says, judgement starts with the house of God. We can’t remain part of God’s house if we’re willfully persisting in unrepentant sin.

We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem to this day. It seems an impossible prayer when we consider the seemingly intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But we know that when the new Jerusalem descends, all conflict will be done away forever.

Whilst there’s no room for antisemitism or apartheid among the people of God, I think the main spiritual lesson of this Psalm is about spiritual rather than ethnic Israel. If we belong to the Lord God of Israel, we ought to be at peace and harmony with one another.

“God our Lord, we pray for peace among Your true people, not just those who profess You in word only and not in deed. Please help us to genuinely thank and worship You from the heart, for Your honour and praise, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

Help

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 121:1–8 (ESV)
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

As we travel on pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem and consider the hurdles we face, it’s good to remember where our help comes from. It’s not by our might or power, but by the Spirit of God that we will prevail. The one who made all things by simply speaking them into being isn’t too proud to help us.

We won’t slip and fall beyond recovery with the help of God Almighty. He won’t let us stumble without picking us back up again. He doesn’t need to sleep so He’s always watching over us.

God doesn’t fall asleep on His job of watching over us. He keeps us safe and is like a shade from the burning sun. We don’t need to fear in the heat of the day or the chill of the night.

We pray in the Lord’s prayer for Him to deliver us from evil, and He does. He’ll keep our lives until it’s our time to go. Even death can’t snuff out our eternal life if we trust in Him.

It doesn’t matter if we’re coming or going. It doesn’t matter where we are, God looks after us. Our Maker is our sustainer, now and forevermore.

“O Lord our Maker, we’re so grateful for the fact You look after us. Please continue to do so both now and for eternity, for the glory of Your name, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

Distress

Today’s post is the beginning of a new series, Psalm Saturdays, by guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 120:1-7

1 In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
2 Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue?
4 A warrior’s sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree!
5 Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!

A friend was moaning to me about his nightmare flatmate. When he visited my home church, the pastor preached from this Psalm. This really struck my friend as providential, seeing how relevant it seemed.

If we’re distressed by nightmare neighbours, this is the Psalm to come to. It tells us where to go: to take our troubles to the Lord in prayer. If we’re upset, we should pray, and God will answer us.

This is a Psalm of ascent. This means that the Israelites would sing it on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. And we as Christians can appreciate it on pilgrimage to the heavenly new Jerusalem.

I’m reminded of one of my favourite TV shows, called “Race Across The World”, where contestants have to race across the world without flying for the price of the air fare. To raise funds, they can work along the way. One team worked one place in the expectation that they’d get a boat ride across the river, but were given more work than they’d bargained for.

When people exploit us, it’s understandable to long for their comeuppance. And when we cry to God for deliverance, that’s what God reminds us of, that our oppressors will eventually get their just deserts. In the light of Jesus’ words to love our enemies, perhaps we should be warning them of their fate if they don’t repent of persecuting us!

Jesus blessed the peacemakers. But sometimes we’re unable to make peace, because our enemies are dead set on conflict. Solomon said that when someone’s way is pleasing to God, they make even their enemies to be at peace with them. But that is only a general truth, not a universal one.

“Please help us Lord as we journey to heaven, to be peacemakers and to find solace in You in the midst of our distress. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.