Lord Our Defense
For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
Again this name, 'the Lord our defense' has to do with our relationship with God, our relationship of His Lordship and our being a subject of His. It is a formal relationship, one with obligations on both sides.
Most everyone knows that Moses came down from Mount Sinai with two tablets in his hands. I just assumed and I've seen it illustrated that tablet 1 had Commandments 1-5 on it and on tablet 2, Commandments 6-10 were written by God's hand. I've recently read an intriguing alternative to that possibility. This theory has it that both tablets had all the commandments written on them, representing two copies of the contract that these commandments represented between God and the Hebrew people. If you go to a lawyer and enter into a contract (a covenant) with someone, you and they both will come away with a copy of the agreement. Each party to the agreement will have a copy. The agreement is not owned by either side. Each side of the covenant must have a copy to refer to, in order to uphold their end of the agreement.
The Lord is our defense, is first found in:
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
The Hebrew word translated defense in Psalm 89:18 is translated shield in Genesis 15:1. Always look at verses surrounding the one you are studying. God's declaration of His being Abraham's shield immediately follows and is connected to Genesis 14 by the words 'After these thing the word of the Lord came unto Abraham.' In the immediately preceding passage, Abraham paid his tithes to Melchizedek:
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. (19) And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (20) And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Abraham pays his tithes and immediately following God declares that He is a shield for Abraham. Being the shield, the defense is a proper role for a Lord or King. The Lord is responsible for the defense of His people, but His people are responsible for supporting the Kingdom with their tithes or in more modern terms taxes. The support of the kingdom comes first. You cannot wait until the enemy is on your doorstep to start paying taxes to the kingdom. The army must already be in place, the money already spent when the need arises.
Is Jesus your Lord? Is He your Lord in name only? Are you seeking the kingdom of God? Are you seeking it to be a citizen of it, and thereby supporting it? or are you seeking it only as a mere casual visitor or tourist?
I am leaving Sunday on a business trip to Canada. When I cross the border into Ontario, I will no longer have the rights of a citizen. I will only be a visitor there. The Canadian government may extend certain privledges to me, but I cannot go and demand my rights while in Canada. I am not a citizen there. The only actual right I have there is to leave the country if I don't like it. I have no influence there at all. I pay no taxes there. I have no relationship, no influence with the king (political system or authorities).
I want Jesus to be my Saviour. I want to be a citizen in His Kingdom. I do not want to be a mere tourist or visitor. We are therefore two parties to a contract. I must first acknowledge Him as my Lord. This gives me rights. This also obligates me to certain responsibilities. . .
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It doesn't say that there is no yoke. It doesn't say there is no burden. It says that 'the yoke is easy.' In comparison to the rewards, in comparison to the huge benefits, the burden is well worth it. No one particularly likes taxes, but everyone likes driving on roads that are well paved. Everyone likes not having foreign armies invading. Everyone likes having a police department and fire department to call upon in times of need. In the same manner we want God to be our shield, our defense. We want to be able to call upon Him, to count upon Him in our time of need. There is no difference at all in supporting the kingdom of God with your finances. . . .
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Lord Our Defense