Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jehovah-Chatsahi

Lord my Strength

Psalm 27:1
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (KJV)


The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (NIV)


Here's the Strong's Hebrew entry for the word:
From H5810; a fortified place; figuratively a defence: - force, fort (-ress), rock, strength (-en), (X most) strong (hold).

This word surely could be translated strength as the KJV has it, but also stronghold as the NIV chose is also a good fit.

The strength of my life, the stronghold of my life, that describes what I desire, that is what I need God to be. . .

What is a stronghold? It is a fortress, a strong place that you can put your confidence in to be safe and secure. Here are two Biblical instances of people using a stronghold:

Judges 9:45-52

And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. 46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into a hold of the house of the god Berith. 47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech got him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. 49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women. 50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and got them up to the top of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

First, the men of Shechem ran into a place where they thought they would be safe, then the men of Thebez also retreated into their tower, their fortress. Both those places turned into a trap, the places of their death. They put their faith into a tower of stones and mortar. A thousand men died when they ran to a place where they felt a false sense of security. . . a strong hold that had such a strong hold on them that they could not escape.

There is always a danger in putting your hope for rescue and/or salvation in anything other than God.

What are the strong holds in your life? What are those things in your life that you think that you can fall back upon if times are tough? What do you put your hope in? Do you claim not to have any? Do you start getting anxious when your checking account balance goes below a certain number? Is your source of security your job? Your health? Your marriage? Your family? Are you resting comfortably knowing you have a nice 401k for your retirement? Faith in anything other than God can turn into a terrible trap, a stumbling block, a pit of disappointment and even a place of fiery death. . .

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)

Until this little study, I had always read the above verse envisioning the strongholds referred to as being external strongholds of evil, but I think I can now understand that these false fortresses can also surely be within me. God wants no strongholds in our lives, but Him. It is necessary for us to understand that He is our only security. We have safety and protection only in Him.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)

As the verse in 1 Peter says, our hope, our confidence, our peace, our faith is to be totally focused, not partially focused, not focused when nothing else is on our minds, not focused only when everything is going well, but regardless what happens in our life, our entire attention is to be on that glorious coming day when Jesus says, "Well done, good and faithful servant". . . Nothing else is important. . .

We know that we have let Him down in so many ways, but on that day, if we maintain to the end, we will receive His grace, undeserved forgiveness and acceptance into His kingdom. He is our strength. He is the wall around us. He is our safety net. . . nothing else matters. . . nothing else is worthy of our confidence and hope. . .

I love you my God, my strength, my stronghold. . .

Dave

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