From the earliest days of our youth, we are trained to think that deliverance from peril comes about by strength and planning. When we are kids, we like to think that our dads are strong enough to protect us. And as we get older and become stronger and smarter we like to believe that we can make our safety more sure.
Some of us take martial arts to feel more confident about our ability to protect ourselves and others who depend upon us. Maybe we even buy a gun or two and keep it loaded…just in case.
We lock our doors at night and set burglar alarms. We position cameras at good vantage points.
We buy cars with excellent crash test reports. Our bank accounts are FDIC ensured. Our safety deposit boxes reside in a concrete vault. Our cell phones have emergency alerts.
And yet, we worry about being safe and secure.
The writer of Psalm 33 understood danger. He had seen the dangers of war and famine, and most likely had experienced numerous wars and famines in his own lifetime. This is what he wrote:
“The king is not saved by a mighty army, a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory, nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine.” Psalms 33:16-19
In the days of hand to hand combat, of national security being only as sure as the present condition of the standing army. And this was long before foods were shipped overseas or supermarkets had been invented. War and famine were two ever-present dangers.
Big armies and fast horses and strong warriors made for safe civilizations – but only from man’s perspective. Plentiful rains and few pests made for well-fed people – but only from man’s perspective.
From God’s perspective, and for the man or woman who trusted in Him, these conditions had no bearing on their safety.
The one who trusted in God back then and the one who trusts in God today is secure one way only: by God’s sovereign protection over him or her. Deliverance from evil, from harm, from catastrophe, comes from God Almighty.
Both man and God have a part in this equation. Man fears (reverences) God and God watches over man.
Many people of this world fear nothing of God, and have no regard for Him. God doesn’t promise protection for those.
He promises protection for the man who reveres and obeys Him. For this man or woman, nothing in the world, not strength nor numbers nor intelligence nor anything, can help keep him secure. For his security is entirely bound up in the protection of God, and he has no need of anything else.
We as God’s people tend to waste a lot of time manufacturing our sense of security. We often act just like the reprobate who knows and respects nothing of God. For him, the only hope he has is in the world; that’s all he’s got.
But not so for the godly man. He has everything to protect him – from war, from famine, from harm of any kind. His deliverance comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2 2 Samuel 22:2
Even when harm befalls the person who trusts in God, it comes only with the assurance that the trial has already passed through the hands of God. In other words, nothing happens to God’s child that God has not sovereignly allowed. Thus we can experience genuine peace even when in the grip of a serious trial.
Whence comes my deliverance? It comes from the Lord God!