In God We Trust
Lord, You are the God who creates and re-creates, who judges and delivers, who makes new. I bless and praise Your name today.
Consider: We can trust in our God when there is "a whole lot of shakin' going on"!
We each have images of trust in God that give us comfort and hope, perhaps from the Bible, perhaps from our imagination or experience. I personally feel God's presence when I remember the warmth and security of walking along holding my dear father's hand. For Israel, the city of Jerusalem, surrounded by mountains and with Mount Zion at its heart, provided one of their most enduring authentications of God's presence. As we've learned from the stories of David, Jerusalem was a tough city to capture (1 Chron. 11:4-9), but once it was established as the religious and political capital of the nation, its security under the Lord became almost an article of faith. This was reinforced in 701 B.C. when it was threatened by Sennacherib but rescued by Hezekiah's prayer (2 Chron. 32:1-23).
This psalm presents two complementary images related to this historical theology. Just as the city was kept eternally secure by God, so no harm could come to those who trusted in the Lord. Then, just as the mountains around Jerusalem gave physical protection, so God surrounded his people with his everlasting presence (2). In this context, good would triumph over evil. The righteous would not be conquered or turned towards evil by wicked intruders, and God would do good to the upright in heart but banish those turning to crooked ways.
In 586 B.C., Jerusalem was conquered--because heartfelt trust in God had waned and God's people had turned to apostasy and injustice (2 Chron. 36:15-21). The prerequisite for peace in the City of Peace (i.e., Jerusalem) had not been met, but its opportunity would come again. The Chronicler and his post-exilic contemporaries would have been inspired to sing this song with new fervor and understanding, and with renewed commitment to faith and obedience, in the restored Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:22-23).
Apply: What image of God's faithfulness best helps you to be aware of his presence and protection? Ponder it for a while, and pray for trust in him that remains strong.
Lord, You are my rock. When everything around me seems to be crumbling, I firmly place my feet on the Rock of Ages.