A Place For Worship

By Stephen Campbell

The people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days … Now the king [Solomon] went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place … At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon. 1 Kings 3:2,4-5 NKJV

First Kings 3 describes a pivotal moment in Israel’s worship of the LORD. More than four centuries earlier, before the people of Israel entered Canaan, Moses told them to anticipate a central location for worship. The portable tabernacle of the LORD had been the designated site for worship as the nation traveled across the desert, but in the Promised Land there would be a “place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide,” a place for sacrifices and rejoicing (Dt. 12:11-12). As Joshua and the people of Israel took possession of Canaan, the tabernacle was set up in Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), and there it remained during the long years of the judges.
However, Israel’s moral condition brought no honor to the LORD. Their identity as God’s people continually weakened until, during the time of the blind priest Eli and his immoral sons, the ark of God – which normally rested in the holiest part of the tabernacle – came to be viewed as nothing more than a good luck charm. When enemies captured the ark, it was as if the glory of the LORD departed with it (1 Sam. 4). The traditions of worshiping at Shiloh dissolved.

As a result, the people began worshiping the LORD on mountaintops and high places, as our introductory verses describe. The great bronze altar and other parts of the tabernacle were moved to the mountains of Gibeon (1 Chr. 16:39, 21:29), and the people also built altars to the LORD elsewhere. For example, it is likely that the altar on Mt. Carmel which the prophet Elijah later repaired was one of these (1 Ki. 18:30). Although the high places were often associated with idol worship and other ungodly practices, that was not the case here. The people knew the LORD deserved their worship, so they sought Him where they could. Still, what had happened to Moses’ statement about a central gathering place for the LORD’s name? It seemed as if his words had fallen to the ground and would remain unfulfilled.

But God was at work. The ark of the LORD was returned to Israel, and King David ordered the construction of a new tent where it could be kept (1 Chr. 16:1). David later discerned that a spot in Jerusalem was to be the location for the house of the Lord (22:1), and he gathered a vast supply of materials for its construction. As yet, however, the building process for such a house had not begun. Hence, when Solomon began his reign, he visited the great high place at Gibeon. There, on the altar of burnt offering constructed nearly 500 years earlier, he offered a thousand sacrifices to the LORD.

This event was a turning point, for it was the last time Solomon ever offered there. The LORD appeared that night to give the new king a blessing. Solomon asked for wisdom, and his humble desire was granted. The very next day Solomon returned to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices before the ark of God; and soon afterwards, temple construction began. God’s wisdom, coupled with the discernment of Solomon’s father David, led Solomon to abandon the high places and embrace the long-awaited revelation of a place where the LORD’s name would reside.

It is still a valuable desire to bring our worship to the Lord. He is certainly worthy of every sacrifice of praise! Now, however, as the Lord Jesus Himself taught in John 4, our worship is not restricted to a specific location. Yet it is still important to seek the place where His name is honored, for in such a place He meets His people as they are gathered unto Him.

Worshipers Found In Matthew

• “Wise men from the East came … to worship Him” (2:1-2).
• “Behold, a leper came and worshiped Him” (8:2).
• “A ruler came and worshiped Him” (9:18).
• “Those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him” (14:33).
• “A woman of Canaan … came and worshiped Him” (15:21,25).
• “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary … came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him” (28:1,9).
• “The eleven disciples … when they saw Him, they worshiped Him” (28:16-17).

The Lord Jesus Suffered For You

By Paul Alberts

Everywhere we look, we see people suffering in some way. Suffering involves undergoing or enduring anything unpleasant; it does not have to be something major. As I type this article I feel a tinge of pain with every “i,” “k” and “,” for I have a paper cut at the tip of that particular finger. Walking through the neighborhood this morning I saw people who were suffering in far more significant ways. How are you suffering today?

The Lord Jesus suffered in many ways as He walked here. Ultimately, we look at what He experienced as He went to the cross and surrendered His life there for you and me. We are reminded of His prayers in the garden as He sweat, as it were, drops of blood. One friend betrayed Him while the others forsook Him and fled. Soldiers beat Him without mercy, then nailed His hands and feet to the cross. At the end of the three dark hours, we hear the Lord’s cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mt. 27:46 KJV). He cried out again and breathed His last.

Hymn writer G. A. Lucas wrote:

Thy suffering love, Lord Jesus,
Our hearts delight to trace;
The love that sought and claimed us,
In strong yet tender grace.

We think of Thy devotion,
Thy blest obedience rare;
Thy holy, deep emotion,
Thy grief that none could share.

Thus to our hearts Thou speakest;
Blest Lord, we hear Thy voice;
We know its charm, its sweetness,
And in Thy love rejoice.

We wait the consummation
Of love’s own work divine,
And now in adoration
We joy that we are Thine.

Can you honestly say that you belong to Him? God’s offer of salvation through the person who suffered for you, the Lord Jesus Christ, remains open today; accept it while you may!

Magazine September 2018


Emphasis: The Lord Jesus Suffered For You -Paul Alberts
Worship: A Place For Worship -Stephen Campbell
Feature: Suffering And The Christian -Bill Kulkens
Feature: Suffering -Richard Barnett
Feature: Suffering As A Christian -Martin Girard
Issues: God’s Fire -Alan H. Crosby
Discover: Discover Questions -Alan Groth
Uplook: Refuge And Strength -Klaas Rot
Overview: 1 Thessalonians -Leslie M. Grant
YouAsked: Do ‘believing’ and ‘being born again’ go together? -Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.
Series: Why Did Jesus Come? -Shereen Ghobrial
Response: Responses
GoodNews: Pardon Refused And Lost!
Full Magazine PDF: Magazine PDF

Pardon Refused … And Lost!

A young man lost his temper one day while playing cards. Picking up a revolver, he shot and killed his opponent. He was arrested, tried and sentenced to death.

But because of his previous good life, petitions for him were soon signed by friends, relatives and many others who heard about his case. Consequently, a Christian gentleman visited the prison to see the young man. As he approached the death cell, the prisoner noticed the clergyman’s outfit. “Get out of here!” he shouted, “I don’t want to see you. I have had seven of your kind already. I had enough religion at home.”

“Wait a minute, young man,” replied the visitor, “I have good news for you – the very best! Let me tell you about it.”

Although the visitor implored him, the prisoner violently refused to listen to him, threatening even to have him put out. With a heavy heart the visitor turned away and left.

A few minutes later the warden appeared. “Well, young man,” he said, “I see you had a visit from the governor.”

“What?” exclaimed the prisoner. “Was that man dressed as a clergyman really the governor?”

“He was,” answered the warden, “and he had a pardon in his pocket for you, but you wouldn’t even listen to him.”

“Get me a pen and some paper,” requested the prisoner feverishly; and sitting down he wrote the governor an apology.

The governor read his letter, turned it over and wrote on the back, “No longer interested in this case.”

When the day arrived for the young man’s execution he was asked if he had anything to say before he died. “Yes,” he replied. “Tell young men everywhere that I am not dying for my crime; I am not dying because I am a murderer; I could have lived. Tell them I am dying because I refused to accept the governor’s pardon.”

My friend, if you are someday eternally lost it will not be simply because of your sins – no matter how great and terrible they are. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, suffered, bled and died on the cross for your sins. Since He took your punishment, God can forgive you! If you end up in hell, it will be because you refused God’s pardon based on the death of His Son Jesus Christ.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God … who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 3:18, 2:24 NKJV).

“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin … If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 Jn. 1:7,9).

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18).

The choice is yours! You can accept God’s pardon, escape eternal punishment for your sins and spend eternity with God in heaven. Or you can ignore and refuse God’s pardon and be eternally damned in hell.

Which will it be? Read more


I enjoyed the relevance of the topics in the September 2017 Grace & Truth Magazine [“Dangers Of The Electronic Age”]. I cut out the verses on “Integrity” and pasted them in my journal. – USA

I write to sincerely appreciate your gift of love: the Grace & Truth Magazine. Your articles are written in plain and simple language; always precise, informative and spiritually edifying. – Nigeria

I am personally edified by the wonderful topics you are presenting. The June and July/August 2017 issues need to get in the hands of every child of God. The probing question “Are You An Idol Worshiper?” is really an eye-opener. – Nigeria

Thank you for sending me your magazines regularly. They have been a blessing to my life and ministry. – Uganda

I was truly blessed by the articles of the July/August 2017 magazine. Be assured, I am praying for every one of you and this literature ministry. – Nigeria

Why Did Jesus Come?

By Shereen Ghobrial

Part Two: He Came To Fulfill The Law

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” —Matthew 5:17-18 ESV

Why Did We Have The Law?
Many people ask, “Why did God choose the nation of Israel, and why did they have such a special relationship with Jehovah in the Old Testament in spite of their being stiff-necked (Ex. 32:9)?* Why were they given the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic law?

The story of the nation of Israel started in Genesis 11-12 when God appeared to Abram in Ur, which is modern day Iraq. Abram, later named Abraham, was living in idolatry (Josh. 24:2). God “called” him to leave Ur and follow Him. The Bible teaches us that God’s calling is according to His grace (1 Cor. 1:26-29), and it is not because anyone deserves it.

What was the purpose of the calling of Abraham and the special relationship Jehovah had with the nation of Israel? We can find this answer in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary” (3:19). The apostle continued, “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith” (v.24). God gave the law to prove to men and women their failure and show to them their need for a Savior.

An analogy we may understand is the way quality control is done in food processing or medicine factories. It is through “sampling”: taking a small sample from each production batch and testing it. The sample is a representation of the whole batch. In a similar way God took a sample – Israel – from the human race and provided all the factors for the success of the divine test:

  • Ancestors who were great heroes of faith: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob;
  • God revealed Himself to Israel and spoke to them through Moses;
  • The God-given perfect law to guide in high moral living and the building a godly society; and
  • God directed them to build a tabernacle for Himself to dwell among the nation.

The apostle Paul listed more blessings and privileges for the nation of Israel in Romans 11.

What was the result of testing this sample of human kind? It was total failure that ended by crucifying the Son of God. The conclusion of this test was: Men and women are sinners, and they need the Savior.

Was The Problem In The Law?
One may argue it is impossible to live at the level of moral standard demanded by the law, or that the law has a flaw or is inadequate. But David said, “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7). Paul confirmed that thought, saying, “The law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). If we continue with the analogy of sample testing we can see that Jesus came as another sample and passed the test completely: He fulfilled the law. This proves the law is holy and perfect because there was a man, Jesus Christ, who was able to fulfill all the law.

Jesus And The Temple
Through the ages, a common thought of man has been that God is far away and does not want to have any relationship with humankind. The wise men of Babylon said, “The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh”(Dan. 2:11). However, the Bible teaches that God desires to live among His people and to establish a direct connection with them. This was first manifested in the garden of Eden, and then repeated in many other incidents, including the tabernacle in the wilderness and the temple in Jerusalem.

The main thought of the temple is God’s presence through the ark of the covenant. The tabernacle was holy because it was sanctified by Jehovah’s presence. The temple was holy, too, because of Jehovah’s presence. The walls, furniture and gold – even the sacrifices – were valued because of God’s presence. This is the lesson the Lord Jesus was seeking to teach the Jews when He said: “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?” (Mt. 23:16-17).

When Solomon built a temple for Jehovah, the ark of the covenant was carried there and placed inside. The temple then, in a sense, became the new dwelling of Jehovah. The colorful gate and linen walls of the tabernacle lost their value because their true value had been found in the presence of God. Likewise, when Immanuel (“God with us,” Mt. 1:23), the Lord Jesus, was present, He overshadowed the temple that was built by human hands. Jesus Christ is the true temple because “in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9).

The Jews did not understand because they focused on the material things – the stones, marble and gold (1 Chr. 29:2) – and missed the main purpose of the temple as God’s dwelling. Therefore when God came in the flesh they did not care about Him, for He took the form of a lowly person. Without understanding, they accused Him of talking offensively about the temple when He said “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn. 2:19; see Mt. 26:61, 27:40; Mk. 14:58, 15:29).

Jesus And The Sabbath
One of the rules in the law is to rest on the Sabbath. This was strongly followed by Jews. The Old Testament was very clear about not carrying any belongings on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:9-11; Jer. 17:21-22,27). However, Jesus did miracles on the Sabbath a number of times. For example, when Jesus healed the paralyzed man by the pool in Bethesda, He said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (Jn. 5:8). The Jews accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath because they considered His miracle to be work. Jesus answered, “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (v.17).

The Lord Jesus was not breaking the law; rather, He was fulfilling the essence of it, which is love. He clearly summarized the law when He was asked about the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:37-39).

By following the law without love we could make a religion as the Pharisees had done. If we would follow love without any law we would create anarchy. When by faith we follow the law in showing our love to God and fellow humans, then we live like Jesus.

Jesus Was A Revolutionist
At the time when Jesus walked on earth, there was a strong religious system in Israel. They had:

  • A magnificent temple which was built by Herod,
  • Many religious sects including the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes,
  • Plenty of priests organized into scheduled divisions such as Zacharias in Luke 1:5.

On the other hand, Israel had experienced 400 years of silence, during which God did not give any new revelations or miracles. Other than a few individuals, the nation did not repent and they did not accept the Son of God when He came spreading the good news of the kingdom.

How can there be such a contradiction: a strong religious system without any power or influence on the hearts? People forgot their main focus should be their relationship with Jehovah as their God. Instead, they focused on practices and rituals. The Bible, however, leads us to a relationship. In it we see several: Adam and God, Israel and Jehovah, and believers and Christ.

The Lord Jesus respected and fulfilled the law, but He attacked false religion. He was a revolutionary because He challenged and condemned the religious leaders of His time. He encouraged His disciples to listen to the teaching of those leaders because they taught the Law, but He discouraged following in their footsteps because they did not live what they taught (Mt 23:1-3).

Christian Or Religious?
Are you a Christian or simply a religious person? You cannot be both! If you superficially follow rules, even the divine rules of Scripture, you can consider yourself a religious person. This would make you follow a group of people, a set of teachings or theological principles, and might even lead to practices and rituals that are not biblical.

On the other hand, the true Christian follows a person: Christ. The Christian reads the Bible because he wants to know more about Christ. The believer meets with other Christians because they are the body of Christ on earth. He or she serves and spreads the good news of the gospel because of a deep desire for others to enjoy this great person, the Lord Jesus Christ, too.

Let us be careful, for our fallen human nature tends to admire any rituals that satisfy our conscience. If allowed to work in our lives, this could divert us away from the person of Christ. “Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).

* The Lord used the expression stiff-necked about the children of Israel to describe their stubbornness and disobedience (Ex. 32:9, 33:3,5, 34:9; Dt. 9:6,13, 10:16; 2 Chr. 30:8; Acts 7:51).

Do ‘believing’ and ‘being born again’ go together?

By Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

QUESTION: Some people say they believed in the name of Jesus Christ one year, then several years later they were “newborn.” I thought believing and being born again went together. Please clarify this matter for me.

ANSWER: People have struggled with this question down through the years. Many Christians – and even evangelists – use the terms “saved” and “born again” loosely, as though they are synonymous. While they overlap widely, the Bible does not use these two terms interchangeably.

The Lord Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 told him that unless one is born again he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. He further indicated that Nicodemus, as a teacher in Israel, should have known this fact. Doubtless, He was alluding to Ezekiel 36:24-26.

In the Old Testament we first find God dealing with individuals and families, and beginning in Exodus also dealing with Israel as a nation. Gospel preaching and salvation of the individual as we know it today was not emphasized as much. Abraham believed God and God counted this to him as righteousness. God commended Job to Satan in Job 1 and 2, and to his three friends in chapter 42. As the Lord pointed out in John 3, and as passages such as John 1:10-13, Romans 4, James 2 and many others make clear, salvation is always an individual matter. In the light of the New Testament we can say that many individuals mentioned in the Old Testament were born again. Obviously, the Holy Spirit had done a work in their hearts. It is plain from the accounts in Scripture that others, even though Israelites, definitely were not born again.

We see in the New Testament this emphasis on an individual’s need for salvation far more clearly. Today, since the Lord Jesus has died, risen and ascended, and the Holy Spirit has been given, salvation has become a blessing even greater and more glorious than simply being born again. When the Holy Spirit came He baptized the entire group of individual born again believers, who were all in one place in Jerusalem as the Lord had commanded them, into one body: the Church, or better said, the Assembly. This was something totally new and was accompanied by outward signs.

Individuals today enter into this blessing the moment they accept Christ as their Savior. Contrary to a false teaching that is extremely prevalent throughout the world today, no later “second blessing” or outward experience of any kind is needed. Sadly, many are not content to take God at His word, but insist that there must be some spectacular outward evidence (most commonly “speaking in tongues”) to prove that this blessing has been given. Their efforts to bring this about often have the practical result of salvation to them becoming a works-based religion, something for which they must strive.

Having trusted Christ, the believer today is also sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise according to Ephesians 1:13. This seal is the evidence that the believer belongs to the Lord and is the guarantee of the inheritance that he will soon receive. The believer is a child of God; he can call God “Abba Father” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6 NKJV). He is dignified by being recognized as one of God’s sons – a mature individual no longer needing to be under the law as the rule for his life. The Spirit guides his walk and, indeed, his life. He is the anointing who teaches believers all things and takes the things of Christ and reveals them to us. The Christian cannot be lost, for nothing can separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus his Lord. The Holy Spirit dwells in him and abides with him forever. Such assurances go far beyond anything that the believer in the Old Testament enjoyed or could claim for himself. All this is included in the great salvation we believers are given to enjoy today!

Coming back to the question we began with, certainly believing and being born again go together and have always gone together. To believe, actually, is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart as well. The latter part of Romans 3 shows that in Old Testament times, before God’s Son came into the world and died on the cross for us, God exercised forbearance and justified all who believed His word. He did this in view of the work that Jesus Christ would accomplish on Calvary. Whether they knew little or much, it was faith in what God said that justified them. What Christ has done on Calvary is the only means by which anyone can be justified before God. After all, what would heaven be like if we could boast of any work of our own, even of our own believing – how soon, how steadfastly, how strongly, how anything else? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Now that the Lord Jesus has glorified God by accomplishing the work given Him to do at Calvary, we must trust Him and the work He has done to be saved. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And what a glorious thing salvation is today! How much more it includes than the earthly blessings given to godly people, who were doubtless born again but who lived before the great event told us in Acts 2.

Cornelius, a Roman centurion, in Acts 10:2 is described as “a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” This is the description of one who has been born again by God’s grace. I have no doubt that if he had died at the beginning of Acts 10 we still would have been able to meet him in heaven one day. But Christ had died, and God wanted to bestow the same blessing on Cornelius and his household and friends as He does on everyone who turns to Him today, in faith believing what His Son has done in giving Himself in death on the cross at Calvary. So Cornelius was told to send for Peter, “who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved” (11:14). As Peter spoke of who Jesus was, what He had done and what He had commanded His followers to preach, “that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins … the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word” (10:43-44). Now they were truly saved. Salvation in our present day involves receiving the Holy Spirit, and this, as we were reminded in Ephesians 1:13, happens when we believe. While it will likely take time and growth in the things of the Lord to learn, understand and enjoy the blessings involved in salvation in this day of grace, there is no time sequence involved in their reception.

The Holy Spirit does not normally speak of Himself or, we might say, call attention to Himself. His great purpose on earth is to glorify the Lord Jesus. Many who are not well taught in God’s Word do not realize this important truth. Often in their well-meaning ignorance they try to give great prominence to the Spirit. Sometimes they are not sure they are saved, or they may feel that somehow they must do something to stay saved if they profess to have been saved. Not being sure of their salvation, they do not grow spiritually. They may grieve or even quench the Spirit. If saved but living for the flesh or the world rather than growing spiritually and being led by the Spirit, they may well lose the assurance of being saved. Or, not knowing sound doctrine they may fall prey to unsound teachers and teachings, and then sometime later find the Spirit prodding them so that they decide to heed the voice of the Spirit and profess to be saved all over again. This can cause much confusion and unrest. In a word, they need help.

What God does is well done. His work is perfect. What He begins He will complete to His glory and praise. Salvation needs no repetition or improvement, but we don’t stand still in life. A Christian needs to grow spiritually. Where one has gotten far from the Lord in his manner of living, repentance and confession are in order – not a second salvation. The Lord desires to restore the wanderer. If you have deceived yourself and made a false profession, the Lord is willing to forgive this sin too and save you, but true salvation cannot be lost. Believing that salvation can be lost is really an insult to God brought about by not believing what He has said in His Word. Don’t insult God by unbelief and reasoning, but thankfully accept what He says in His Word!

1 Thessalonians

By Leslie M. Grant

“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” — 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV

First Thessalonians – the city name being Thessalonica, meaning “victory over that which is false” – is by date the first of Paul’s epistles. It is full of freshness, energy and warmth. Pastoral in its character, it is addressed “to the church of the Thessalonians,” thus exemplifying true shepherd care. This care was not only of individuals, but it was also toward the assembly of God. The local assembly, formed during a brief visit to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-4) amid circumstances of bitter persecution, had become a model to the others because of their godly energy of faith in sounding out the Word of God (1 Th. 1:7-8). Faith, love and hope are beautifully seen throughout this book and the second epistle as well.

The coming of the Lord is a prominent subject. It is:

  • Seen as deliverance from the coming wrath of tribulation (1:10),
  • Connected with the joy of Paul seeing his own converts in the glory above (2:19),
  • Has in view the confirming of saints blameless in holiness (3:13),
  • A precious prospect to give present comfort to those in sorrow (4:15-18), and
  • Seen as an ultimate total sanctification, or setting apart, of spirit, soul and body (5:23).

The above verse, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, shows the reason for the devoted energy of the Thessalonians. The Word of God was real to them. It was God who had spoken: they accepted that Word as such. It is by this that true results are produced. The book thus is most encouraging and stimulating!

Refuge And Strength

By Klaas Rot

“God is our refuge and strength, a help in distresses, very readily found.” —Psalm 46:1 JND

Prophetically, this lovely psalm points to the time when the faithful remnant of Israel will be trapped in Jerusalem with the armies of the nations raging around Jerusalem in order to destroy them completely (see Zech. 12:2,12-14). When there is no way out the faithful Jew will look up and cry “God is our refuge and strength.”

This is our lesson today! Circumstances can be so pressing we do not see any hope for help from anyone. To the contrary, it often seems that everything is purposely designed to harm us. Yet there is One who is always there. Faith looks up and cries out, “God is our refuge!” There is always a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13) because our refuge is God. His ways with us cannot be explained, but faith accepts His providence in all circumstances. He is a God of love, and He always has His eyes upon the righteous.

God is not only our refuge; our verse tells us that He is also our strength. At times believers give up because of lack of strength to continue in their walk of faith. Relief is sought in earthly and worldly pleasures. What sorrow there is in the world today because there is no strength, even to be true to one another. But for the believer, the same God who is our refuge is also our strength. Faith knows that His ways with us are perfect; our heavenly Father never makes mistakes. Should we not lay our weak hands in His all mighty hand and say with Him who was that perfect Man here on earth, “Yea, Father, for thus has it been well-pleasing in Thy sight” (Mt. 11:26). Accepting His will in our lives each day will have the result that we will also say, “God is my strength.”