October 16, 2022
Lord God, we affirm with gladness that our help comes from you, Maker of heaven and earth! We worship you as Maker, Maker of everything. Such power, such wisdom, such comprehensive oversight! How adequate is your protection! Is any threat to us too much for you? In daily life and in our journey all the way to the new heavens and new earth, you are the one who watches over us and protects us and preserves us constantly and comprehensively. How profound this security! How trustworthy you are as our God!
Father, reflecting on the unqualified protection described in this psalm, we puzzle over, or struggle with, or agonize over how we are to understand these emphatic promises in light of the reality of so much harm that we and other believers around the world experience, both mild and severe. We often feel very unprotected.
Surely, Lord Jesus, the resolution is found with you. This psalm points to you. How often did you look at the hills and remember this psalm? All through your earthly journey you trusted in God, Maker of heaven and earth. But you walked a path to the cross. You willingly yielded protection. Your foot slipped. A false trial convicted you by night. The cross held you by day. You gave yourself up to harm, to injury, to death—for our sake, taking the penalty for our sins so they could be forgiven.
But you were raised! Embracing unprotection, you provided everlasting protection. You turned injury into redemption. You reversed death and won ultimate security. Your resurrection sealed in an ultimate way the amazing promise of this psalm: “He will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life.” And we are joined to you by faith. Our life is bound up in your death and burial and resurrection. In our rock-solid union with you we are as good as raised. Ultimate protection from all harm—no ultimate loss—is our present and everlasting security, guaranteed by the Maker of heaven and earth.
And so we can trust you as we follow the same path: cross before crown. As you yourself said, we may be killed, but not a hair on our head will perish. Renew our faith today. Realign our confidence in your comprehensive and ultimate protection even amid the hardships and sufferings that we should expect between now and heaven.
And so, Lord, in keeping with the psalm, we ask your robust protection this morning relative to an array of vulnerabilities and snares and griefs.
- Protect us from wrong thinking about your protection and your trustworthiness.
- Deliver us from the evil one—the devil and his demons.
- Guard us from being conformed to the pattern of thought and life of this present age.
- Protect our faith (may we not walk away from you), our hope (may we not grow sour), and our love (may it not grow cold).
- Preserve our unity—guard our pathway of learning to live in true and robust peace because of the gospel.
- Protect us from injury from technology.
- Protect our members who are ill or shut in or experiencing deeply the weakness and frailty of being human and awaiting resurrection.
- Deliver us from being part of the problem instead of part of the solution in a society racked by political anger, racial conflict, sexual confusion and upheaval.
- Protect especially the younger generations of our church family. They journey into a very different and threatening world. Keep their feet from slipping.
- Protect and refresh Pastor David and Abbie at the pastors-and-wives retreat.
- Protect our global partners and the congregation in the Czech Republic that we’ve been privileged to become acquainted with.
- Protect us all, Lord, from losing the saltiness that you design us to have as citizens of your kingdom. Save us from being trampled underfoot as tasteless and useless Jesus-followers.
And so, Lord, joined to Jesus, raised in him, we entrust ourselves afresh to your help and your protection this week and beyond. Truly our help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
And all God’s people said, “Amen.”