God’s Ultimate Provision

America as a nation has not been in a more precarious position than now. The scope and number of the threats are numerous and most ominous. War clouds are gathering. Potential sources of danger are all around. Unnumbered hoards pour across our borders daily. Are our defenses secure? What are we to do? Psalm 118:8 answers: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

This gem of truth is mounted in expressions acknowledging God’s nature.

“He is good,” things aren’t always good, but He is. It is His nature. Goodness is His essence and nature.  He can’t be any other way. This does not mean things are always going to turn out good from our perspective, but even if they don’t His nature remains unstained. His nature is constantly good, therefore “trust in the Lord.” He is always worthy to be praised whether we are receiving what we want or not.

“His mercy endures forever.” Even in our personal darkest hour or our national dilemma double daily He offers His unbound mercy. In the Book of Psalms this truth is noted 34 times. The 118 Psalm begins and ends with it. His mercy endures forever. It had no beginning and be assured it will have no end. It is immediate and ultimate.

There is a medieval couplet that notes the immediacy of His mercy related to a person falling off a horse: “Between the saddle and the ground mercy sought and mercy found.”

There are six Egyptian Hallel Psalms sung in Jesus time as part of the Passover feast. This psalm is the last of the six Egyptian Hallel Psalms, sung in Jesus’ day as part of the Passover ritual. Matthew 26: 30 and Mark 14: 26 records Jesus along with His disciples singing a hymn in the upper room. It is a reference to the Hallel Psalms. He sang of God’s mercy fully aware of what would happen in the next 24 hours at Calvary.

The Psalmist faced threats in the time of penning this great Psalm. However, in light of these great truths he concluded “I will not fear.”

There is a wonderful principle in Scripture that is often overlooked. It is this. There is a natural fear of death. It is a healthy defense of life. The fear of death prompts a desire to live. Here is a beautiful counterpoint. When the moment of death comes for the believer there is no fear of death. It is taken away. “Yeah though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil.”

An example of this is a medieval Christian sentenced to be burned at the stake. He was heard to scream in his cell the night prior to his execution as he put his finger in the flame of a candle to see if he could stand such a death. Every time he withdrew his hand in horror. The next day as the flames surrounded him he sang hymns and praised God with his last breath.

The night before He did not need God’s grace. When the moment came that he needed it, he had it. The same will be true of all who trust in the Lord.