"O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: He is their help and their shield. O house
of Aaron, trust in the Lord: He is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the Lord,
trust in the Lord: He is their help and their shield." -- Psalm 115:9-11.
Three appeals are made: to the people of God, the priests of God, and the penitents who
feared the Lord. All are called to trust in Him. Trust in the Lord is not a one-time
thing, but an abiding confidence in Him.
Trust is a MUST, for "without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that
cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently
seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to
trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes" (Ps. 118:8-9).
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord
taketh my part with them that help me..." (Ps. 118:6-7a).
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31). "Greater is He
that is in you, than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).
Two very great reasons are given for trusting in the Lord, the very same two reasons
that God gave Abram, and because of them we read: "Abraham believed God, and it
was counted unto him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:3).
"The Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and
thy exceeding great reward" (Gen. 15:1). Abram latched onto what God said last: "thy
exceeding great reward."
He asked the Lord for an exceeding great reward. Help, Lord, I want a son. God showed
him the starry heavens and said, "So shall thy seed be," and Abram
believed God. He took Him at His word, though humanly it looked unlikely, if not
impossible. Genesis 15:6 declares, "And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it
to him for righteousness." God told Abram that He would be his protection (his
shield) and his provider (his help).
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities and cries,
"It shall be done!"
Abraham "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong
in faith, giving glory to God...being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able
also to perform" (Rom. 4:20-21).
So, the Scripture exhorts us all, no matter what our circumstances are, to "trust
in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy
ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).
He is our Help and Shield. It is repeated here three times, for "a threefold
cord is not easily broken."
Even the devil admitted that He is the Help and Shield of His people when he said to
the Lord, in effect: "No wonder Job trusts you, because You have put a fence about
him and all that he has (his shield), and You have blessed the work of his hands (his
help)." See Job 1:9-12.
When the Lord allowed Satan to test Job, stripping him of his property and children,
this saint of God still trusted in the Lord and did not lean unto his own understanding,
but said: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the
Lord" (Job 1:21).
"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides His smiling face."
"Ye have heard of
the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and
of tender mercy" (James 5:11).
What He did in Job’s case, He does in the lives of all His children, as Heb.
12:5-11 so clearly teaches us, for "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Heb. 12:6). "No chastening for the
present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the
peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Heb. 12:11).
This 115th Psalm goes on to declare that the Lord "will bless the house of
Israel (His people); He will bless the house of Aaron (His priests). He will
bless them that fear the Lord (the penitent), both small and great" (Ps.
It is in view of the fact that He is committed to blessing His people that a
suitable response should be seen in His people. So, it is not at all surprising to read
the appeal in Ps. 135:19-20: "Bless the Lord, O house of Israel." Surely,
it is altogether fitting that those who recognize His claim upon His people should do so.
"Once I was foolish and sin ruled my heart,
Causing my footsteps from God to
Jesus has found me! Happy my case;
I now am a sinner saved by grace!"
I have, like Jacob, had my name changed, for Israel means "God
governs." There’s a new Captain of salvation for the believer, Who is leading
many sons to Glory.
He is the Help and Shield of the people of God and of the priests of God, for all who
now trust Him are a part of a "holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ," and a part of "a royal
priesthood...that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of
darkness into His marvellous light" (I Pet. 2:5, 9).
He is also the Help and Shield of the house of Levi (all who are involved in His
service) and of those who reverence the Lord. All rise up as one to bless the Lord, and
each individual with a grateful heart says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that
is within me, bless His Holy Name!"
We know that when we get to heaven, we shall praise Him as we ought; yet even now our
song shall be, "Jesus gave Himself for me!"
Psalm 118:2-4 calls upon us to declare to Him and to others our great appreciation for
His rich mercy that has brought us present and eternal blessing. "Let Israel NOW
say, that His mercy endureth forever. Let the house of Aaron NOW say that His mercy
endureth forever. Let them NOW that fear the Lord say, that His mercy endureth
"Great God of wonders! All Thy ways display Thine attributes Divine;
bright glories of Thy grace above Thine other wonders shine.
Who is a pardoning God like
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Yet, Saviour, Thou shalt have full praise.
soon shall meet Thee on the cloud.
We soon shall see Thee face to face,
praising as we would."
While we await that day, we would be found trusting, receiving Thy blessing, blessing
Thee for Thy blessing, and declaring now Thine infinite worth!
Today? Perhaps! Perhaps today!
The Lord may come and catch away
His ransomed Church, His blood-bought Bride,
To take her place at His blest side;
When dead and living saints shall share
One trumpet summons to the air.
Today? Perhaps! ‘Tis true! Today!
Ere nightfall we may be away;
Transported home! How blest, how grand!
Transported home to Gloryland!
One twinkling moment, then to be
With Him for all eternity.
We’ll meet again, perhaps today,
The dear ones who have passed away--
The loved ones who now softly sleep,
Whom Jesus now doth safely keep;
Oh, wondrous joy to meet them there
At that blest union in the air!
Perhaps today! He’ll come most sure!
This hope He means to keep us pure;
To have us watching, ready, free,
Untrammelled with iniquity:
That we may meet Him without shame,
Or conscious sense of guilt or blame.
Today perhaps! Perhaps today!
Yes, He may come! Then watch and pray!
This "Blessed Hope" keep much in view;
Nor deem it dead, though taught by few.
And be as urgent as you may
In winning souls while ‘tis "Today."
... J. Danson Smith