“1 I have a message from God in my heart. It is about the evil ways of anyone who sins. They don’t have any respect for God. 2 They praise themselves so much that they can’t see their sin or hate it. 3 Their mouths speak words that are evil and false. They do not act wisely or do what is good. 4 Even as they lie in bed they make evil plans. They commit themselves to a sinful way of life. They never say no to what is wrong. 5 Lord, your love is as high as the heavens. Your faithful love reaches up to the skies. 6 Your holiness is as great as the height of the highest mountains. You are as honest as the oceans are deep. Lord, you keep people and animals safe. 7How priceless your faithful love is! People find safety in the shadow of your wings. 8 They eat well because there is more than enough in your house. You let them drink from your river that flows with good things. 9 You have the fountain of life. We are filled with light because you give us light. 10 Keep on loving those who know you. Keep on doing right to those whose hearts are honest. 11 Don’t let the feet of those who are proud step on me. Don’t let the hands of those who are evil drive me away. 12 See how those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down and can’t get up.”
During a small group discussion this morning, we were called to read Psalm 136 and apply it specifically to the challenges in our lives. We were asked to insert our specific life markers with “His faithful love endures forever” after each one, which brings confirmation that God was not only with us but also very well aware of each situation we were going through. Thank you Leslie M. for that powerful message this morning. God is speaking through you! What a message and such truth.
In what I now realize as a providential mistake, I did not look up Psalm 136 this morning; instead, I “accidentally” (providentially) looked up Psalm 36 and not 136. I must admit, God had His way with me in this passage this morning! [For the record, I did go back and read Psalm 136 and complete the challenge as instructed – blessing – and I encourage you to do the same!].
As I read Psalm 36, images of the spiritual battle that tormented my mind all week flashed across my brain as though sitting directly in front of a big screen. I now fully understand why God drew me to this passage. I was meant to read this today, and it is worth sharing.
It is very clear that when you make a stand for Christ, the forces of evil get nervous and often make strategic plans of attack. I am fully aware that my God is more powerful than any force that attempts to come against me. However, the pain is real. In the passage above, David is reflecting on the evil in the world. David’s words resonate as we battle those who attack us today. We must all understand that our battle is not against flesh and blood – the Word says so! Ephesians 6:12 clearly states that our battle is “against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.”
This is why it is imperative that we (A) pray for each other to bind evil forces from influencing those close to us and to also (B) put on the full armor of God daily to protect ourselves from possible attacks. David acknowledged God’s perfect character by describing His love, faithfulness, and holiness. This beautiful passage reminds us that we are to remain in the light of Christ and under the protection of God’s perfect wing. In doing so, God’s character will be shown through us and we will be ultimately protected.
My prayer for us all:
My Protector and Deliverer, you see all things. Nothing on earth, in heaven, and below the earth surprises You. You’ve ordained each second by your mighty right hand. The darkness prowls around attempting to avoid your light but they cannot evade your presence; You permeate all spaces and they cannot hide. They corral in the ungodly for refuge as your light is a witness to their wickedness. They cannot even find refuge in your creation because even the rocks cry out to You! Yet, they search scorched lands seeking the faintest of hearts with hidden secrets, unforgiveness, bitterness, rage, revenge, and retaliation. They rest in these dark areas only to evade your presence but you are everywhere! So they bleed decay within the human soul out of rebellion. Out of madness, they influence the seekers, unbelievers, and unguarded alike to hurl fiery arrows of confusion, sadness, anxiety, depression, and hurt all in an attempt to tear down the temple of God. Your wrath is great and timely. There is only prayer and petition that flow from the lips of the persecuted. Your powerful wing envelops the weak, tormented, and battered. In your presence there is healing and strength. You restore the broken-hearted and renew a right spirit within me! Amen