Monday, June 27, 2022

Protecting God's People (Psalm 76)

 Protecting the Church

"In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion" (Psalm 76:1–2).

Calvin maintains that Psalm 76 refers to the time when God delivered the Jewish nation from the Assyrians. The LORD declared to King Hezekiah through Isaiah that “I will defend this city, to save it, for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake” (2 Kings 19:34). That night the angel of the Lord killed 185 thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the king of Assyria discovered what had happened, he withdrew and returned to Nineveh.

God greatly manifested His power to all the earth in this miraculous victory over the Assyrians. Such is the power God reveals in all ages in preserving His people. Just as He delivered Jerusalem from the Assyrian king, so He protects His church from its enemies. God protected Jerusalem because He had chosen that city as His dwelling place in which His name was to be called upon by His people. “God having, by this example, testified that His power is invincible for preserving His church, it is a call and an encouragement to all the faithful to repose with confidence under His shadow,” Calvin wrote. “If His name is precious to Himself, it is no ordinary pledge and security which He gives to our faith when He assures us that it is His will that the greatness of His power should be known in the preservation of His church. Moreover, as the church is a distinguished theatre on which the divine glory is displayed, we must always take the greatest care not to shroud or bury in forgetfulness, by our ingratitude, the benefits which ought to be held in remembrance for all ages.

Calvin continued, “Farther, although God is not now worshiped in the visible tabernacle, yet as by Christ He still dwells in the midst of us, yea even within us, we will doubtless experience, whenever we are exposed to danger, that under His protection we are in perfect safety. If the earthly sanctuary of Jerusalem afforded to God’s ancient people succor while it stood, we may rest assured that He will have no less care of us who live in the present day, when we consider that He has vouchsafed to choose us as His temples in which He may dwell by His Holy Spirit.” Those who have faith in Christ are God’s chosen people, and they will persevere to the end under His protection.

What response do the people give to the Lord in Psalm 76 when they consider His divine protection? What should your response be to God in light of His preservation of you? Show God gratitude for His power in preserving your soul. Spend some time in prayer today thanking God for His protection.