Steadfast - Week of September 20th

By Judy Nichols

September 20, 2015

When I think of what it means to be steadfast, I think of my house. It was built in 1853. The foundation is made of huge blocks of sandstone and the outer walls are three bricks thick. It has stood firm for a century and a half, and then some. I have always felt very secure here.

So when David penned the words, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing praises!" (Psalm 57:7), one would presume that he is coming from a position of strength. But this is not the case. In the preceding verses of the Psalm he has declared that destruction is passing by (v.1), he is being trampled on (v. 3), his soul is among lions, men whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue is a sharp sword (v. 4). These adversaries have set a trap for him and his soul is bowed down (v. 6). This is a picture of a man who is quaking in his boots. It is certainly not his own inner strength that enables him to proclaim his steadfastness.

Rather, it is his trust in God that is his steadfastness. In the midst of complaining of his troubles, he also declares what he knows to be true of God. "My soul takes refuge in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge. . . I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me" (v. 1-3). And "Your loving kindness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds" (v.10). God’s unchanging truth is the source of his comfort and strength.

In another Psalm it is said of those who trust in the Lord, "He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear" (Psalm 112:7). Here we see that we can be steadfast, not because we are strong in ourselves, but because we are upheld by God.

In Psalm 34, David wrote, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them" (v.7). And Proverbs 18:10 says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe."

When Moses was blessing the children of Israel near the end of his life, he said, "The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:28). Everlasting arms never get tired of holding us. And Jesus said of those who follow Him, "No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand" (John 10:29).

Big blocks of sandstone and thick brick walls keep me safe inside my house. But out in the big, bad world, where troubles routinely assail us, it’s good to know that we are surrounded on all sides. From the wings that overshadow us, to the everlasting arms and strong hands of the Father underneath us, to the name of the Lord and His angel encamped around us, we are upheld. May we always be steadfast out of that strength rather than our own.

© Judy Nichols 2015


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