Wisdom and Security

Reading the Word

Ecclesiastes 7:11–14 (ESV)
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
13 Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

Understanding and Applying the Word

An inheritance is a source of security. In the times of the Old Testament, when these verses were written, this was especially true. However, wisdom needs to go along with such an inheritance or it will not go very far and will not give the security it otherwise could. In fact, wisdom is a source of security itself.

The wise understands that God holds the future in his hands. What God has set in place cannot be changed. This is true in times of prosperity and in days of adversity. When we realize this through wisdom, we can rest knowing that we are in the hands of God and that is the truest source of our security.


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Mountains

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 125:1-5 ESV

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong. Do good, O Lord , to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts! But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!


The Psalmist isn’t on about the earthly Jerusalem, which could well be rocked by an earthquake. He’s on about heavenly Zion which God has set in the heavens to eventually descend at last. If we trust in the Lord, we’re as safe as God’s heavenly city.

Mountains can be a great source of security. Enemy chariots couldn’t rumble up and down mountains so easily to Jerusalem, a bit like the Romans struggled to conquer Scotland. God surrounds His people like the mountains surround Jerusalem: He is our security.

I’ve heard it said that countries get the rulers they deserve, and I think there’s an element of truth in that which is reflected in this Psalm. In a democracy at least, a righteous nation will not long endure a wicked ruler, but vote him out at the earliest opportunity. “The scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous”.

We want God to do us good, even as we seem to do good. And we want Him to judge the crooked and evildoers as they deserve. May God’s peace be upon His people!

“Lord, may Your peace be upon us both now and eternally. Please surround us with Your mighty love, and keep us safe forever, 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.

Security

Reading the Word

A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.(Proverbs 18:11, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

What makes you feel secure? In the days the Old Testament was written, kings would set up a heavily fortified city as their capital. This would protect against invaders or those who sought to harm the king. The more heavily fortified the city, the more the king and his people would feel secure.

In a similar way, Proverbs tells us that the rich often find their security in their wealth. They feel that whatever it is that they need, they can obtain it, whether it might be health, protection against physical harm, or any other danger that may arise. However, Proverbs tells us that this security is only in the imagination. It is not true security. In the end, no matter how much money or possessions we have, it cannot protect us. There is only one true place where we can find the security we desire. That place is mentioned in the previous verse:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.(Proverbs 18:10, ESV)


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The Lord Sustains Us

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Reading the Word

Psalm 3:1–8 (ESV)

1 O LORD, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the LORD,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O LORD!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
your blessing be on your people! Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

In Psalm 3, we read the words of David. At the time, he was being pursued by enemies who wanted to take his life. If we use our imaginations, we can picture David on the run and hiding out to preserve his life. We can also imagine what his thoughts and feelings might have been. It seems he would have been a nervous wreck!

In verse 5, David tells us that he “lay down and slept” and “woke again”. In the midst of all that was going on and the constant dangers he faced, David was able to lay down and rest his head peacefully. Why? He was able to do this because he knew that he was in the Lord’s hands. It was God that sustained him through the night and brought him to the next morning.

We can learn a great deal from these verses about resting in the Lord. We may not have personal enemies who want to take our lives, but we may have things going on in our lives that cause fear and anxiety. We may have things that cause us to lose sleep at night. Let us remember that we are in the hands of the all-powerful and all-knowing Lord of all. We can sleep easy.

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Like a Child

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Reading the Word

Psalm 131:1–3 (ESV)

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The psalmist voices his trust in the Lord. Some things are too great to be grasped. We are limited in our understanding. When we try to figure these things out or make sense of them, we can become discouraged or frustrated. The psalmist, instead, trusts in God as a young child trusts in his mother for protection, care, and provision.

We can trust God. He is a God of faithfulness and always keeps his promises. His word tells us that he works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). We may not always understand how God is working or what his plans are, but we can trust him. We can take comfort in knowing that he is in control and we do not have to figure all of these things out. We can simply quiet our soul in trust and security as we rest in the arms of the Lord.

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The Lord Surrounds His People

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Reading the Word

Psalm 125:1–5 (ESV)

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the Lord surrounds his people,

from this time forth and forevermore.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest

on the land allotted to the righteous,

lest the righteous stretch out

their hands to do wrong.

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,

and to those who are upright in their hearts!

But those who turn aside to their crooked ways

the Lord will lead away with evildoers!

Peace be upon Israel!

Understanding and Applying the Word

Before the days of airplanes and missiles, the best way to fortify against any enemy attack was to build a fortress in the mountains. The mountains would make defense much easier. This psalm tells us that, just as the mountains are a protection, the Lord surrounds his people to give them security.

The Lord offers a sure defense to the righteous because one day all will stand before him in judgment. At that time, the wicked and the righteous will be separated and the wicked will be led away. Scripture tells us that those who belong to the Lord will dwell in his presence for eternity and that there will be no more sin or wickedness (cf. Revelation 21:1-8). We can trust in the Lord and his ways because in him we know our future is secure.

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In the Shelter of the Most High

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Reading the Word

Psalm 91:1–4 (ESV)

1 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.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, we find imagery and titles for God that tell us why we can go to him in times of trouble. We find four different metaphors for security: shelter, shadow, refuge, and fortress. The first two use the imagery of a mother bird protecting her young. The last two speak of a stronghold that protects its inhabitants from outside attackers. We then notice the titles. God is the Most High. He is the Almighty. He is the LORD (YHWH). And he is God. Taken together, we learn that the Lord is powerful and that he protects his people.

People seek safety and protection in many places. It may be money. It may be retirement plans or insurance plans. Some seek it in drugs and alcohol. Still others seek these things in other people. None of these places can offer what we truly desire. All of these will fail us sooner or later. But God will never fail us. When we trust in him, we know that he is able to protect us and deliver us from evil. In fact, he assured that all who trust in him will be fully delivered from pain and suffering. He did this through the cross. Jesus died at Calvary so that our sin could be paid for and that we might have eternal life in a new world where sin and its consequences are no more. And when we trust in God, he promises that we will be there with him forever.

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You Are My Rock and My Fortress

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Reading the Word

Psalm 71:1–6 (ESV)

1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm expresses the hope and trust of one who depends on the Lord for deliverance. God is called his rock and his fortress. Both of these images speak of stability and safety.

Trust is often something that develops over time through experience. This is something that has taken place in the psalmist’s life as well. He states, “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth.” The psalmist has a long experience with God’s faithfulness and care in his life and it leads him to trust in God in his present situation.

As you look back on your life, notice how God has lovingly and faithfully brought you to where you are right now. He has been with you all the way and He will continue to be with you in the future. You can trust in Him as you face today and tomorrow and every day in His strength.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!