By Mrs. Robert Hammond
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2
Several years ago, as I read through the book of Psalms out of the New King James version, I noticed the abundance of the word “trust.” As I continued reading and meditating on the Psalms, I noticed the frequent deliverance and protection prayed for by faith, and given in faith. Of course, Psalm 91 is the very capstone of deliverance. I knew that. I had never realized how much it is sprinkled throughout this most wonderful of books.
It is like an unending buried treasure. The mother of all mother loads! For isn’t His word worth more than silver or gold? As the world shrinks in fear from the disasters and shootings and debates about gun control and how to protect against the onslaught of evil, I feel that I am hiding a gold mine of: delivering, saving, protecting treasure—untapped by human hands! The help of man is useless. Get that straight. Some trust in chariots, some in horses….some in guns, some in flu vaccines.
Those things might help and they might not. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew where to turn when they needed a miracle. I heard someone once preach about the fact that Hananiah, Mesheal, and Azariah were known by their slave names, and something about how sad that was, and we don’t want to be known by our slave names, etc. I am telling you, if you have ever heard Louis Armstrong or Johnny Cash sing about the three Hebrew children, you won’t go around feeling sorry for them. You’ll be shouting!! Hopefully, you will say, “Hey, how do I get that???” It excites me that their deliverance was so great that even the jazz world was singing about them thousands of years later.
Remember what Rahab said to the spies 40 years after Moses had led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage? Jericho was afraid of them because they KNEW about the deliverance of the prior generation! I wonder if they wrote a catchy tune (or maybe a dirge)? That’s what happens when God delivers. The world takes notice—have you ever heard of the Gary Cooper movie Sergeant York? They may not have gotten all the facts straight, but one thing they got right: Alvin C. York was miraculously delivered by God Himself during WWI. How about the movie The Ten Commandments? Hollywood got a whole lot wrong, but they did a mighty fine job with the parting of the Red Sea. Sinners take notice when God delivers His people!! Who cares what they call you if you know Who to call. And you know He will answer!!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.” For the naysayers, they added, “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” There will always be those people who say, “But what if He doesn’t?” Then let it be said, “WE WON”T BOW.” No matter what. Like Oral Roberts said in his famous sermon, “If you don’t bow, you won’t burn!” We need to believe this; we need to meditate on this.
After the deliverance of the 3 Hebrew children, what did the heathen king say? He commanded a curse (recorded in Daniel 3:39): that those who spoke against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abdnego would be cut in pieces and their houses made a dunghill. I can name one instance in the 20th century when that curse came to pass: Madeline Murray O’Hare. While the church sat by and let her win the fight to take the Bible and prayer out of the schools, that ancient curse (Daniel 3:29) from the mouth of a heathen ruler found her and it was done to her just as he said.
Let us go back to Psalm 18:2 and look at what God is to the Psalmist: Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, God, Strength, Refuge (Trust), Buckler, Horn, Salvation, High Tower. Our God is limitless. He is more than enough. In fact the word “Tower” comes from a word that means too strong!
The thing about these words is that they cover everything and more (but yet not everything GOD IS) that we need. If we are preparing for battle, if we are in the middle of a battle, if we have lost the battle, He is there to protect us, deliver us, and strengthen us. I think of that song by Philip P. Bliss —“Hold the Fort.” Reinforcements are coming. Sometimes we get ourselves way out there before we look to God. We don’t have to, but it happens because we humans can err. Then He is our deliverer. He carries us away safely and causes us to escape.
The word trust in this verse means to flee for protection or take refuge. In fact other translations say take refuge instead of trust. As we read through the book of Psalms we see that trusting Him brings defense, salvation, deliverance, a hiding place; and not being ashamed or condemned.
When I think of trust I think of a bank account. A trust fund set up for future financial protection. That is what God is. He is our Trust Fund. For the future, and for the here and now. It isn’t just financial though. It is everything. EVERYTHING. Do you need Protection? Deliverance? A Refuge? A Castle? Strength? Saving? Someone that is too strong? Our God…He is just too strong. No wonder the demons shrieked when they saw Jesus!
We need to see this with New Testament eyes. The Greater One, or the One Who is TOO STRONG, lives inside of the born again believer ( I John 4:4). We are seated with Him in the Heavens (Ephesians 2:60).
In John 15, Jesus commands that we abide in Him. In verse seven He promises that if we do abide in Him, we will get what we ask for in prayer. Let us then learn in the coming evil days to pray with the psalmist in full confidence of faith as we abide in Him:
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. Psalm 18:3
I heard someone say that this next part of the Psalm was about what God the Father did for Christ. Guess what? If He lives in you then it is about you. You know that old song, “Were you there? (when He rose up from the dead)” Yes, you were. In fact you and I were raised up with Him. It is about you as you live in Him and He lives in you. So read with me what happens in faith, and take it as yours, for we need this delivering, saving strength now more than ever.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
When our enemies are too strong for us, He becomes our TOO STRONG deliverer. We need to grasp this by faith. We need to live in Him so that we have the boldness and confidence to believe this because, my brothers and sisters, we are living in the days when the just SHALL live by faith.
Let us then with confidence go forth as we endeavor to serve Him without compromise, fully believing that full protection and deliverance from our enemies is ours by faith and trust in His Holy Word. Amen.