Psalms 20:1-3 ESV
“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah”
“The day of trouble” may be one thing for one person, while it may be something else for another person. For we each have our own troubles. But we have some which we share in common, too, if we are followers of Jesus Christ. For if we are truly walking in obedience to our Lord, in holiness and in righteousness, and not in sin, and if we are daily dying to sin and denying self, and especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, we are going to have enemies. We are going to have opposition.
Now, the Scriptures do speak of the Lord watching over us and of him protecting us from evil, but this does not mean that we will not be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The Scriptures teach that we will. And this doesn’t mean that we won’t have troubles and trials and tribulations to test our faith. We will. The Bible says so. So, our Lord does not always deliver us physically out of our difficulties, but he does deliver us through them, and he does protect us, if we let him, from yielding to evil desires.
Now, our Lord does indeed send us help if we ask for it sincerely, and if we are following him with our lives. Many people pray for his help, but they ask with wrong motives and selfish motives. And they do not walk in obedience to him, and they do not bow the knee to him, but they see him more like a doting grandfather or a genie in the sky there to grant their every request. And some of them will then get angry with God when he doesn’t give them what they want, as though God somehow owes it to them, but he doesn’t.
But he will remember our offerings to him, but not the burnt sacrifices of the Old Covenant, but our lives given to him as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable (pleasing) to God (Romans 12:1-2). And he will remember our obedience, and our service to him, and our denying self and dying to sin daily – all of which can only happen because of God’s grace to us, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, because of God’s love and him persuading us to believe in Jesus, and only as empowered by God, and not of our own doing (Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14; Luke 9:23-26; Titus 2:11-14).
And so he will send us help, and he will give us support so that we can do the works which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). For he doesn’t give us a bunch of commands to follow and then not supply us with what we need in order to follow them. And he doesn’t give us assignments and then just expect us to figure it out for ourselves. If he assigns us something to do, he is going to equip us with what we need to do it, and so we should rely on him to give us what we need.
Psalms 20:6-8 ESV
“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.”
Now the word “saves” can be in the context of our salvation from sin, or it can be in the context of saving us from some trouble or hardship or some consequence of something. For to “save” is to deliver, and it is to rescue. And sometimes we are saved from situations, and sometimes we are delivered through situations so that they do not negatively affect us and so that we do not get disheartened and discouraged. And our Lord does this by providing us with what we need to endure and to persevere.
Now, we are not to look to other humans to be our “saviors.” We are not to look to governments and pastors and people of prominence or of influence to rescue us from the ills of our society. And we are not to look to our soldiers to be our heroes, either. We, as followers of Christ, are to look to him alone to save us from what ails us, and to save us, as a people, from the evils of our world and of our nations, and from the evil people who are plotting against us both on the homefront, and from afar.
For the plans of man (flesh) will fail eventually. They will collapse and fall. And even if it appears as though they have been successful, and even if it appears that we have failed, in the eyes of the world, we can rest assured that those who stand against the Lord will not succeed in the end, and those who are standing with the Lord, in walks of obedience to him, and in walks of righteousness and holiness, will gain the victory. And we will be rewarded in the end with eternal life with God in his heavenly kingdom.
Stand by Me
By Ben E. King
The former work, a spiritual, “Stand by Me, Father,” off of which this song is partially based, was partially based off Psalms 46:2-3
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me
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