Sunday, April 4, 2010

Buzzing Bees, Crackling Thorns, & a Savior Who is My Strength & Song - Psalm 118 (part 2)

"All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the LORD
I will surely cut them off.
They surrounded me like bees;
they were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
In the name of the LORD
I will surely cut them off.
You pushed me violently
so that I was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my song,
and He has become my salvation."
(Psalm 118:10-14)

"Give up! You're surrounded! There is no hope! You are undone! Surrender!!" Buzz! Buzz! Crackle! Crackle! Blaze! Blaze! Smoke! Smoke!

Have you ever been pounded by the surrounding whispers of an enemy? Have you ever been "pushed violently so that [you] were falling"? David has. Honestly I have too. Even in the past year I have found myself encompassed more times than I know how to count and record.

These 5 verses give huge hope for the surrounded. Here comes the cavalry of Christ. Look and listen if you are on the verge of raising the white flag of surrender. You may be surrounded, but your enemies are not what they seem.

First of all, let me remind you of the 9 verses that proceed these 5.
  1. They speak of the character of your Captain. "He is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting." (vs 1-4)
  2. They speak of His hearing ear in your distressing situation. "From my distress I called upon the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me in a large place." (vs 5)
  3. They speak of His caring and conquering hand. "The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" (vs 6-7)
  4. They speak of our need to rest in His refuge. "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes." (vs 8-9)

Those 4 truths set the backdrop for these next 5 verses. They lay the foundation for the hope and truth and peace and assurance that we so desperately need in the midst of surrounding schemers. They fence us in with what is real and guard us from the lies of our enemies. Things are not always as they seem and our enemy is a master of smoke and mirrors. God's truth puffs the smoke away.

Here it is declared that even though the nations surrounded David that ultimately the name of the Lord would cut them off (vs 10). David, in his distress, was resting in the strong tower of refuge and safety that can only be found in the King of kings. That City of safety gave him confidence where his enemies were concerned. They were against him. God was for Him. Enough said!

In verse 12 the true character of these boastful, loud and proud persecuters is uncovered. I LOVE what is uncovered about them. David writes: "They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished as a fire of thorns."

Oh how our enemies love to buzz about and threaten and at times sting. But their stinging will bring about their own demize - just like a wasp who will die after he attacks with his pointy and penetrating rear end. In the grand scheme of things and on the eternal spectrum of existance our enemies are nothing more than noisy bees and the Exterminator will surely cut them off at just the proper moment.

Oh how our enemies love to blaze and threaten us with all consuming fire. But their flames are like a fire of thorns. They will burn and rage for a moment. Honestly, they will flourish furiously for a short while. However, a fire of thorns is the type of fire that shoots up quickly and loudly and frighteningly for a moment and then suddenly vanishes because it doesn't have the goods to keep going. Thorny fires fail. So do all of the threats that rise up against the people of God.

Your enemies may "push violently". They may "surround like bees." They may rise up as "a fire of thorns." But the good and lovingkind God is our help. He is for us. He will cut them off.

And what is our response to so great a Redeemer? Once again the response is praise! "The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." Henry writes: "If God be our strength, if He works all our works in us, then He must have all the praise and glory from us."

Beloved, do you recognize the conquering arm of the Captain of the cavalry? He rides FOR you and you are saved from that which surrounds you. He is our strength. On this Lord's Day and on every day may we praise Him as our song!



1 comment:

  1. This is a good article, Lori. Thank you for taking the time to post it.