You know, I’m never quite sure where God’s going to lead me when I do a “Bible Pick ‘Ems!”
Today was no exception.
And God consistently shows me something from His Word.
Today was no exception!!
I found myself in Psalm 118.
Most of the Psalms were written by David, God’s chosen king, His mighty warrior. However, the author of Psalm 118 is listed as anonymous. And yet, this nameless author affirmed the confidence we can have in God’s eternal purposes.
“Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD. Yes, they surrounded me and attacked me…They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD. My enemies did their best to kill me, but the LORD rescued me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory…The arm of the LORD has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph…I will not die; instead, I will live…”
Tremendously inspiring, encouraging, comforting words, indeed.
But, I thought to myself, it’s the day after Christmas. Couldn’t the verses have had something to do with Jesus?
Then God said to me, “Read them with Jesus in mind.”
And oh, how another story unfolded!
Picture Mary and Joseph, with their brand-new baby son, Jesus. Shepherds had come to adore Him. And exotic wise men, too. It was a glorious moment…
Except, lurking in the background was King Herod.
Evil King Herod.
King Herod – who felt threatened by the thought of a newborn “King of the Jews.” Unbeknownst to Mary and Joseph, he had instructed the wise men to tell him, as soon as possible, where the new baby was located – because he wanted to “worship” Him.
My friends, Satan was behind this plot.
And Herod was a willing accomplice. He was ruthless.
And he wasn’t alone.
The Scriptures tell us that everyone in Jerusalem was disturbed. When Jesus was born into the world, people began to react immediately. There was a disturbance in the status quo. Emotions were all over the map – excitement, fear, comfort, insecurity, anger – Jesus, a mere baby, had begun His revolution…
Herod planned to kill Him.
We are told that God appeared to the wise men in a dream, and told them to avoid Herod at all costs - to go home by another route. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and warned him to flee to Egypt, and stay there until it was safe to return.
I’ve got to hand it to Joseph – he was a very good husband, a very good father. He listened to the Voice of God, and he immediately obeyed. He took his very young family and fled.
Thereby saving the Savior of the world.
It wasn’t the last time that Satan and his cohort of angry little demons tried to kill the Son of God. His mission? To thwart the mission of Jesus – to sabotage the purpose of God. He tried everything, I’m sure.
But God protected His Son – and He protected Him until the day arrived to complete that awful, wonderful mission – to die on the cross in our place.
I’ll bet Satan thought he’d won. Killing God – what a coup!
Not so fast…
There’s an empty tomb coming!
Read today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” again – read the words as if JESUS is saying them. Hear His ringing Voice of authority. Hear His trumpet call of Victory. Glory in the wonder of God’ protection and providence.
And then, read the words again…
This time, YOU say them. They are your words, too.
Claim YOUR victory through them today!
Though surrounded by hostile forces – through Jesus, you will destroy them all.
Though they attack you, swarm like bees and blaze like fire – through Jesus, you have been given authority against them.
Though they try to kill you – through Jesus, you have been rescued.
Jesus is your strength and song.
Jesus is your victory.
Raise your arm in TRIUMPH!
Because of a baby, because of a life, because of a death, because of a resurrection – we can stand with all the authority of Jesus and say…
“I WILL NOT DIE – INSTEAD, I WILL LIVE!”
Praise God Almighty…AMEN!
“When in doubt, search God out!”