Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119,114) But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. (2.Thessalonians 3,3)
In the end it’s not about this or that, but whether that to which your heart clings and where it finds its joy and rest, will hold or give way, be dependable, faithful and trustworthy or just fleeting sand. A buck trusts in his speed or in his ability to camaflouge itself. A bird may rely on its wings and its high perch. Whereas the tortise will just draw its head in and hope that the shell will withstand the assaults of the predator. We Christians take our refuge with our triune God. He is our sanctuary, where we find shelter. He is the strong and mighty shield, which can repulse all poisonous arrows, fierce blows and crafty attacks of the wily foe. His holy Word is our sure foundation and very blessed keep and stay. It guards, protects and maintains us throughout. That is why we fear no ill. His rod and staff they comfort us + He is faithful. He will establish us and keep us from all evil. Yes, wonder above wonder he will actually keep us right in the midst of trouble and calamity. Like he kept Noah and his sons in that mother of all storms and deluge, which destroyed all and everything except those, who had on the account of God’s command built that ark and found refuge in the sure sanctuary, which God himself had envisioned for him. Or Jona in the very deep oceans right insight the gigantic fish and sea monster, which did not harm him, but rather on God’s appointment and calling kept and preserved him from drowning and loosing his way completely. It brought him back to land and set him up to go about his mission to Ninive, which was supposed to have been his duty and business from the start. Or Egypt, where the living God found a safe haven from the devouring dragon and evil persecutors – Herod and his ilk – for his baby boy Jesus and his holy mother, the blessed Virgin Mary. Or the desert, where the people of God found a safe hiding place from the tyrannical forces and murdering hordes chasing after them. Here they were established and kept from all evil for more than 40 years. Right there in the desolation and barren wasteland, the good and almighty God blessed and kept Israel. There he was around them with his gracious presence and peace. And see, that’s what our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ does too. From the very beginning he showed his disciples and more than doubting followers that he would establish them in all divine goodness and abundance, even whilst keeping them from evil and shielding them from all calamity and mishap. He fed the thousands in the desert. He healed the ill and failing. He restored the fallen and lost. He forgave the sinners and brought the godless back into the family and house of the living God. He is the saviour of the world. Through his mighty word and blessed gospel he grants forgiveness of sins, peace, eternal life and blessed salvation. Through his realistic and effective word in his most gracious sacraments, he creates anew, washes and renews, vitalizes and uplifts, upholds and preserves, shields and protects, sustains and establishes saving faith in all those, who believe when and where it pleases him. His holy Word remains in eternity. „No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.“ (Psalm 25:3) Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1)
- A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon; He helps us free from every need that hath us now overtaken. The old evil foe now means deadly woe; deep guile and great might Are his dread arms in fight; on Earth is not his equal.
- With might of ours can naught be done, soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the Valiant One, whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, who is this? Jesus Christ it is. Of Sabbath Lord, and there’s none other God; He holds the field forever.
- Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us. We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us. This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, he’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him.
- The Word they still shall let remain nor any thanks have for it; He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit. And take they our life, goods, fame, child and wife, Let these all be gone, they yet have nothing won; The Kingdom ours remaineth. (Martin Luther)