Today, August 3rd, is my mother’s birthday (see blog post titled, “Incomparable,” written on July 25, 2012). She would have been 88 today; however, she died when she was 54 in 1983 from complications caused by diabetes. I thought it would be appropriate to commemorate her birthday by citing one of her favorite verses which is found in 2 Samuel 22:31 (and repeated again in Psalm 18:30):
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven (flawless);
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
The entire chapters of Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 are virtually identical, and they are the words that David (as the future King of Israel) spoke on the day the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all of this enemies, and from the hand of Saul (who was the current King), who sought vigorously for years to destroy David. 2 Samuel 22 contains 51 verses and Psalm 18 contains 50 verses; however, for the purposes of this post I am posting the first 37 verses from 2 Samuel 22:
Praise for God’s Deliverance
Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said:
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.
The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
He sent out arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me
According to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness in His eyes.
With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
You will save the humble people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty,
That You may bring them down.
For You are my lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.
My mother had a very strong yet quiet faith in Jesus Christ. Going back to my years even as a very small child, I can remember she always talked to me about Jesus from the time I was still in the cradle. And as I stated in that blog post mentioned above titled, “Incomparable”:
The foundation that was laid by my mother when I was very young has been a part of my life all of these years–in the best of times and the worst of times. . . .
Success in our culture, many times, is defined by our outward trappings–materialism, prosperity, successful careers, and the list goes on. But success is not defined by what we have. True success is having a humble heart and serving God through Jesus Christ in whatever circumstances He brings into our lives. Hebrews 11 is the great “hall of faith” chapter in the Bible and it is written to give us encouragement to press on in faith by giving us so many examples of those who have gone before us and paved the way. The last two verses of Hebrews 11 states: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (vv. 39-40). “Something better for us” came through the life, death, and resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Him, you can learn about Him by reading the Gospel of John.
In the 33 1/2 years since her death our society has changed in some very monumental ways. Ronald Reagan was just two years into his first term as President of the United States at the time of her death in March 1983. The advent of the internet age had not yet begun in the public arena; the Berlin Wall didn’t come down until 1989; the Moral Majority started by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell (1933-2007) in 1979 was in it’s heyday until it was dissolved in the late 1980’s; Disco music was all the rage; and it was still 18 years before 9/11 would bring terror to the shores of America; and the two greatest Wall Street crashes in 2001 (caused by 9/11) and 2008 (caused by the housing bust) had not yet occurred. And, her youngest grandson wasn’t even born yet (he is now 32 and married).
Yes, the world has changed a lot since then, but the faith of my mother is still the same faith found in the Bible that has sustained believers down through the ages right up through today. And it is the same faith that sustains me as well as all believers in Jesus Christ all around this planet of ours. After all, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
My mother had two other verses that were also favorites of hers, and I’ll end this post by quoting those verses found in 1 John 5:14-15:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him,
That if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
We know that we have the petitions
That we have asked of Him.
YouTube Video: “Til The Day I Die” by TobyMac:
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