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Poetic Examples Of Safety In The Scriptures

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Psalm 16 is instructive in that it opens with a plea for safety:

Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge. (v.1)1

This is a general plea for regular safekeeping in the hands of the Lord. As Alexander adds: “The Psalmist calls upon himself to remember his own solemn acknowledgement of Jehovah as the Lord or Supreme God.”2 As such, he is the supreme source of goodness and happiness. Although encased in a Davidic psalm, the psalmist’s plea for God’s safe keeping is a general one. It stands as a remembrance that, in the ultimate sense, only the Lord is the sure and confident hope for safety in all phases of the believer’s life. Thus, in another psalm, David records God’s own words that He is available for the believer’s protection

Because of the oppression of the weak
and the groaning of the needy,
“I will now arise,” says the LORD,
“I will protect them from those who malign them.” (Ps. 12:5)

Therefore, the psalmist’s can confidently proclaim:

O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us … forever. (v. 7)

Such can be seen in Asaph’s psalm:

O my people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth (Ps. 78:1)

So it was that David could say:

In the day of trouble
He will keep me safe in his dwelling. (Ps. 27:5)

He would later declare:

How great is your goodness
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men,
on those who take refuge in you. (Ps. 31:19-21)

Earlier, though he was in the midst of a time of trouble, David could confidently testify:

Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when the grain and new wine abound
I will lie down and sleep in peace
for you alone, O LORD,
make we dwell in safety. (Ps. 4:6-8)

David’s closing remark here can be realized in many of a believer’s experiences, for God is ever with him.3

The figures of safe and safety occur many times in the biblical book of Proverbs. There we even read of such matters as: “Whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe.” (Pr. 11:15) The term “safety” occurs often; for example, that love and faithfulness lead to safety (Pr. 20:28). In Proverbs 28:18, 26 we are reminded that a person’s “walk” (or conduct in life) can give a display of his wisdom or lack thereof:

He whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
but he whose ways are perverse will certainly fall.

…….

He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

In another Proverb readers are reminded of the value of representing the Lord properly, which every believer needs to do:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe. (Pr. 18:10)

Indeed, basic to the obtaining of true safety is the need to trust solely in the Lord: “Whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Pr. 29:25), and be saturated in the sound teaching of the Scriptures (cc. Pr. 1:33; 3:23).

What does all of this strive to impress on our mind and manner of life? Simply put, by learning God’s teaching in the Scriptures, “the man whose confidence is Yahweh is guaranteed a sure footing .”4 As the hymn writer declares:

May the mind of Christ, My Savior, Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling, All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph, Only thru’ His pow’r.5


1 All Scripture references are from the NIV.

2 Joseph A. Alexander, Commentary on Psalms, (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1991), 73.

3 See further, Franz Delitzsch’s Biblical Commentary on the Psalms, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), I:118..

4 William McKane, Proverbs, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1970), 298,

5 K.H. Wilkinson, May the Mind of Christ, My Savior, vv. 1-2̣

Related Topics: Devotionals

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