Topic: Security Of God’s People
TEXT: Psalms 120 to 125
The texts belong to the group of fifteen Psalms (chapters 120 to 134), which falls under the title, “Songs of Ascents or Songs of Degrees”. These psalms were so titled because the Israelites were used to singing them as they travelled to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). This heading depicts the upward nature of the journey to the city of Jerusalem situated on the mount of Zion. As they moved, they encountered a lot of security challenges on the way such as attack from ferocious wild beasts, harsh weather conditions and from notorious robbers. These teach us that on the way to heaven, there will be trials, temptations, oppositions and persecutions.
Believers face varied forms of spiritual and physical situations that need the securing hand and presence of the Almighty. Thus, we must trust Him for deliverance from the enemies and preservation “unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). We must always see God as the only Strength and Source of victory in adverse circumstances.
PRAYER FOR DIVINE HELP AND PRESERVATION (Psalms 120:1-7; 121:1-8; 12:3; 31:18; 91:11-13; 109:2; 118:5,6; Isaiah 6:5-7; 31:1; James 3:5-8; Jeremiah 3:23; Matthew 6:13)
“In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me” (Psalm 120:1). This was the cry of a believer who had been distressed with the falsehood of deceivers and persecutors. In these last days, believers are to constantly pray for God’s deliverance from liars, deceivers and other evils. “What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?” (Psalm 120:3). God will not spare any liar or deceiver because He abhors “a lying tongue… A false witness that speaketh lies…” (Proverbs 6:16,17,19).
Regenerated believers’ tongues are brought under the control of the Spirit. Therefore, they can lift up their eyes to God with the full assurance of His preservation. Believer’s full assurance of divine help is anchored on their faith that the Lord is the Creator of heaven and earth, and thus, controls every element in heaven and on earth for His favour. God’s preservation of believers covers every area. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber” (Psalm 121:3). The Lord shields us from the plots of the wicked. He wards off all kinds of evil and preserves our souls from earthly discouragement and eternal damnation. He also preserves us in all our endeavours. The Lord is eternally committed to our preservation if we constantly abide in Him.
PASSIONATE DELIGHT AND AFFECTION TO BE IN GOD’S PRESENCE (Psalms 122:19; 123:1-4; 42:1-4; 63:1,2; 43:3,4; 84:2; Jeremiah 29:7; Job 23:3; Acts 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Hebrews 10:25)
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). A true believer is passionate about going to God’s house to worship in His presence. It is part of the devil’s end-time invasion and activities against His people to weaken and make worshipping in God’s presence a boring experience. Believers should be glad to attend Bible studies, revival meetings, special programmes, retreats, conventions, and home caring fellowships organised by the church. Attending only Sunday Worship Service and demeaning other weekly activities is a sign of being entrapped in Satan’s web of lukewarm-ness and backsliding. The redeemed of the Lord must regard all the appointed days of weekly meetings with God as important because they are designed to bring transformation of lives and make people ready for the coming of the Lord. As believers, we must always be excited to be in God’s presence.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6). Prayer and intercession for our country is obligatory for true believers. We must not stay aloof and watch evil prevail in our nation under the guise that we are not part of the world. We should not deny the nation our godly responsibility of praying for her peace, prosperity and progress. “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2). The Scripture reveals reasons we should pray for our country and leaders. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1,2). Believers should be faithful intercessors so that there will be peace that will enhance the propagation of the gospel of Christ. We must not get ourselves involved in the blame game or making inciting comments that generate war or heighten existing conflicts.
As believers, we are expected to pray ceaselessly for the peace and prosperity of our nation. First, it is an express command from God (Psalm 122:6); second, because God’s people live and carry out their businesses in it (Psalm 122:8); third, for the sake of the house of God, the Church and other assets belonging to the church; and fourth, it is in the peace of our Jerusalem that we will have our own peace. This does not refer to the eternal peace we get from salvation and sanctification through Christ but it is the external peace in our immediate environment. The peace of God in our souls cannot be tampered with by any external factor. Christ assured His disciples with these words, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
If in spite of our intercessory prayers, “Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease and with the contempt of the proud” (Psalm 123:4), we must not resort to any other means but steadfastly wait on God until He shows us His mercy and delivers us. The ease of scorners and the contempt of the proud should be the concern of the righteous. In their state of ease, they do not remember or give a thought on God’s imminent judgment. They are frivolous about their spiritual state and deliberately presume God’s mercy as approval of their deplorable spiritual condition. This is a terrible state that should compel believers to intercede for their precious souls.
PRESERVATION AND AFFIRMATION OF BELIEVERS’ CONDITIONAL SECURITY
(Psalms 124:1-8; 125:1-5; 77:11; Isaiah 31:5; Zechariah 2:5; John 10:27-29; 16:33; Ezekiel 3:20; 33:13; 1 Chronicles 28:9; John 15:5-7; Revelation 2:10)
“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us… Then the proud waters had gone over our soul” (Psalm 124:2-5). True believers should always remember God’s preservation over their lives in the past. This should precede our request in prayer. “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped” (Psalm 124:7). When we remember and recount God’s past gracious dealings with us, it encourages and renews our faith and fortitude in Him.
“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever” (Psalm 125:1). Believers’ security is conditional and embedded in their present trust in the Lord. We must remain in the fold of God’s people to be reckoned as one of His peculiar children. “For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity” (Psalm 125:3). It is obvious then that there is a clear distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous. The wicked will receive a just recompense for their evil deeds while the righteous will receive the reward and portion of the just.
God watches over His righteous people jealously. These are people whose sins have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and they live as God’s people ought to. Two, they are righteous and separate from sinners. They have the imparted righteousness and nature of Christ in them. Three, they are good and upright in heart. They watch over their hearts diligently and do not allow any unclean thought or imagination to spring up and rule over them. Four, they do not return to their crooked ways after being cleansed from the pollutions of sin. “As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel” (Psalm 125:5).
This is another proof that the doctrine of eternal security is a fallacy and falsehood from deceitful tongues. This doctrine is the assertion that once a person is saved, he is forever saved even if he turns again to his sinful past. The promise of God’s security for believers is certain and can only be appropriated by those who have been saved from their crookedness and sinfulness and remain steadfast in that experience. Any teaching that is against this is not scriptural and should be abhorred by true believers.
Sinners can only access and enjoy God’s security by one, acknowledging their wickedness and sinfulness against God; two, accepting the vicarious death of Christ on the cross at Calvary for them; three, believing Jesus as the Son of God who died to become their Saviour; four, confessing and forsaking all known sins that they have committed and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness; five, believing in their hearts that God has forgiven them and that they have received His pardon; six, rejoicing and thanking God for their cleansing and salvation; and seven, telling others of God’s goodness and mercy to save them from perdition.