Monday, November 7, 2022

A Steadfast Promise (Psalm 125)

"Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever" (Ps. 125:1).

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever” (Ps. 125:2). This psalm resembles the former by focusing on the protection of God over His people. Yet, while Psalm 124 praised God for protecting His people in the past, this psalm praises Him for preserving and protecting His people in the future. God has promised that not one of His sheep will be lost, that no child of God will be snatched from His hand, and that nothing can separate us from His love in Christ. You can see God’s promise graphically displayed when you view Jerusalem, surrounded by the Judean hills, and David’s city, built on the steep side of the Kidron Valley. This shows how thoroughly God surrounds us.

This doctrine of the perseverance of the saints gives great comfort to true believers. While many trials and temptations may blow through their lives, they will never fall away from the faith or lose their inheritance in heaven. “Although the world is subject to so many and so sudden changes as almost to put on a new face every moment, and although the faithful are mingled with and placed in the same external condition as others, yet their safety continues steadfast under the invincible protection of God,” Calvin wrote. “Not that they are permitted to dwell undisturbed and at ease; but because their safety being under the guardianship of God is assaulted in vain; at least they can never altogether fall, although they may stumble.”

God has promised to bring all those whom He has chosen, all those who come to faith in Christ, into His eternal kingdom. God keeps His promises. The realization of that promise depends not on man’s strength and will, but on the almighty will and power of God.

This promise does not give those in the church license to live in sin. This psalm comes with a sober warning amid a great promise of perseverance, that “those who turn to crooked ways the Lord will banish with the evildoers” (v. 5). This does not mean that the perseverance of the saints is dependent upon our obedience, but it does mean that we will not persevere without obedience. Those who continue in their wicked ways prove themselves to be reprobates who never came to true faith. But those who have true faith will continue in obedience and persevere to the end.

Do you ever fear that you will lose your salvation or that you are not really saved? Where do you go to gain assurance? Do you meditate on the promises of God? Do you examine your life for growth in love and holiness? Take stock today as the week begins and thank God that He keeps His promise to preserve His people.