I've searched all over this morning for a picture that matches the one in my mind's eye. Over the last few days, the LORD has been painting a picture for me through His Word and oh, how I wish, I could show it to you! I pray that as I show you the scriptures that the LORD has shown me, His Spirit would delight and encourage your heart as He has done with mine...
Psalm 125:1-2 says, "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." This caught my attention. Though I've never been to Jerusalem, I could picture being surrounded by mountains but what did it look like to be surrounded by the LORD?
An old commentary on the Psalms by E.C.Olsen sent me to Job, chapter 1. I may often forget that the LORD has placed a hedge around about me, but satan never forgets! "Does Job fear God for no good reason? Have You not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?" I like that! From the rest of the story in the book of Job, I know that if something gets through that hedge of protection the LORD has placed around me, it's not because the enemy broke through - it's because God allowed it - and will ultimately use it for my good and His glory!
That's good to remember, yet the LORD knows me so well... He knows that I am a visual learner and when He gives me a picture of specific truth, I am way more apt to remember it. This morning, I was reading Psalm 139. It opens by affirming just how well He knows me. He knows when I sit and when I rise. He discerns my thoughts from afar. He's acquainted with all of my ways. He hems me in, behind and before me... Ding, ding, ding! The truths from Psalm 125 and Job 1 come rushing back to my mind.
Once again, I pull out the commentary by E.C. Olsen. This time, he contemplates John 10:28-29 side by side with these words from Psalm 139. John 10:28 tells me that those who have trusted Jesus for eternal life can be found in His hand. I literally pictured myself resting bodily in the palm of that nail-scarred hand. That seems like a pretty safe place to me but just in case I was doubting, Jesus goes on to say that His Father is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I was still mulling that over when I turned back to Psalm 139. Listen to these words from verse 5, "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me." (emphasis mine)
Picture this! If you have placed your life in Christ's hands, you are held, cradled in the palm of His hand. As if that weren't enough, the Father takes His own hand and lays it over you. You are completely surrounded by the Hands of the Almighty! Nothing can snatch you out! The hands that formed the universe, put the stars in place, lovingly hold you and you can rest there. What else could I possibly want? But our God is a God of abundance. There was one more brush stroke left for Him to paint me today. It comes from Psalm 32:7. While I am there, cradled in that hiding place for me, He preserves me from trouble; and if I am listening - truly listening - I'll hear His mighty voice as He surrounds me with shouts of deliverance. "Selah" - pause and calmly think on that!