For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you….Do not be afraid….A gale will blow your enemies away. But you will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:13-16)
This continues our earlier post on Psalm 62. Even as Americans declared independence from England in 1776, Jesus’ followers swear lifetime allegiance to Him as our King and we are dependent on Him forever.
I outline Psalm 62 like this:
- True Help Comes from King Jesus Alone (Verses 1-4)
- True Help Is Available from King Jesus at All Times (Verses 5-8)
- True Help Is Given by King Jesus Sovereignly (Verses 9-12)
Trusting God in Times of Change
Singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken wrote that moving her home was tiring and exciting, a roller coaster of emotion. She urges us to make peace with the fact that we are on a journey of perpetual change and to depend on our Lord (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who is dependable, constant, and our one steady hope.1 Sandra reminded me of the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” That hymn was not written in a time for crisis for the poet. He was simply reflecting on the Lord’s trustworthiness morning by morning, in the shifts of seasons, and in orbits of the sun, moon, and stars. Creation calls us to faith in Christ, rather than fear, in times of change. In times of crisis, Isaiah prayed, “Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”2
Christians have the opportunity to start over with God every sunrise, every day. In light of Jesus’ resurrection, we see that He makes all things beautiful in His time. We are to trust God and humbly let go of our former situations and old ways, trusting that our Father prunes us so that we will be even more fruitful in righteousness and peace.
True Help Is Given by King Jesus Sovereignly (Verses 9-12)
In verses 9-10, David reminds us that in the short run wicked people may be successful, but their prosperity won’t last. The book of Amos tells of God protecting the poor. The Lord condemns wealthy Israelites for their extortion and exploiting greed. They were ignoring love for God and their neighbor and the rule of law, and letting their selfishness run free. Some rich people used bribes, dishonest business practices, and stiff penalties for the poor to make unjust profits. They kept the underprivileged “have nots” down.3 The same was happening in David’s day and it’s happening in our day in our country.
God’s people in Bible times and since are often outwardly weak, compared to those who reject the Lord. But to wicked people, Jesus says: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh (sinful nature), from the flesh (sinful nature) will reap destruction. Whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”4 In the same way Psalm 1 closes like this: “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”
Christians Depend on Christ’s Power and His Love
David reminds us in verses 11-12: One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.” Christ our Lord and Savior is infinitely strong in helping His people. And He is also infinitely loving, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Christianity.com lists 34 miracles from the Four Gospels that Jesus performed. He healed people from leprosy, blindness, paralysis, bleeding, and demons. He demonstrated His power over nature to feed people and calm storms. Christ lovingly resuscitated three dead people. All these showed His power to bless people, and Jesus will use that same power to punish all His and all our enemies when He returns. See Revelation Chapter 6. Unbelievers should be warned by Psalm 62 and also encouraged to come to Christ while there is still time.
Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2)
Jesus also demonstrated love in most of those miracles as He rescued and cared for people, restoring their physical and spiritual health. Remember the woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He felt pity and compassion for her, called her forward, and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then He put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.5
How Should We Then Live?
In response to the whole Bible’s message, Pastor Ray Ortlund says: Here are the choices we all face moment by moment: Do we expect to be in complete control? Do we continue to be self-sufficient and proud? Do we strive to come out on top as winners to impress others? Or will we be happy for Christ’s power and love to rest upon us in our endless weakness? We cannot give the impression we are clever and that Jesus Christ is mighty to save at the same time.6
So let’s trust and depend on the Lord, not on ourselves or other things. Jesus says; “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain (abide, continue) in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”7
Notes (various Bible translations): 1 Sandra McCracken, “Making Peace with Change,” CT Magazine (October, 2018), p. 30. 2 Isaiah 33:2. 3 “Amos and the Poor” by Mitchell Lewis, Oct 11, 2009. 4 Gal 6:7-8. 5 Luke 13:11-13. 6 Adapted from Ray Ortlund, “The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ.” 7 John 15:5.