Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Everlasting Arms

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides on the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemy before you,
saying, ‘Destroy him!’
So Israel will live in safety alone;
Jacob’s spring is secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places.” Deuteronomy 33:26-29

These verses come at the end of Deuteronomy, as part of Moses' farewell to the people. In the next chapter, Moses climbs Mount Nebo and dies. The book of Joshua then opens with the people of Israel preparing to enter and conquer the Promised Land.

What a formidable task that appeared to be. The inhabitants of the land had been proclaimed to be giants a generation before! The people had cowered in fear and as a result, wandered the desert for forty years. Joshua himself is seen begging the Lord for his help.

And God promised to go before them in a mighty way. So he did. He was the everlasting arms underneath the people. He was their strength and their mighty conqueror, delivering them from their enemies.

If he delivered his people from their earthly enemies in such a mighty way, how much mightier the way that he has delivered us from our ultimate enemy - Satan - and the sin and death he brings. At first glance, this deliverance didn't have the awesome punch that many of the battles in the book of Joshua did. Just a poor man on a cross.

Ah, but the victory over sin and death was greater and far more powerful. In the end, he will bring us to that place of new grain and wine where we will live in safety forever.

What troubles or enemies are assailing you today? Does God seem small and weak beside them? Remember, he is the everlasting arms supporting you.

Children like to play the game of "Catch Me". They fall backwards and trust that someone bigger and stronger than they are will keep them from falling flat on their backs on the ground. Do we have that kind of trust in our God. No matter what insurmountable problems lie before you today, God is there, bearing you up, caring for you, going before you to defeat it all.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,   leaning on the everlasting arms;   what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,   leaning on the everlasting arms.  Refrain:  Leaning, leaning,   safe and secure from all alarms;   leaning, leaning,   leaning on the everlasting arms.  2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,   leaning on the everlasting arms;   O how bright the path grows from day to day,   leaning on the everlasting arms.  (Refrain)  3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,   leaning on the everlasting arms?    I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,   leaning on the everlasting arms.  (Refrain) 

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