Security and safety
What if the LORD had not been on our side? – Psalms 124:1
1 Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
2 Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever.
3 The wicked will not rule the land of the godly, for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
4 O LORD, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you.
5 But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O LORD. Take them away with those who do evil. May Israel have peace!
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Benjamin Franklin).
What is the difference between security and safety?
Safety is the feeling of being protected from harm. Safety has both emotional and physical factors. Those who protect are ensuring both emotional well-being (the feeling of safety) and actual physical protection which protects from harm.
Security efforts are put in place to protect people from external threats that are likely to cause harm or trouble.
Security is like an umbrella that protects from rain. Safety is making use of the umbrella to stay dry and warm. Security ensures safety.
Psalm 125 encompasses both safety and security
Psalms 125:1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion; it cannot be moved and will endure forever.
At the time of David and the centuries that followed, there were no great man-made structures in Israel as there are today. The most lasting and endurable structures were mountains. Mount Zion was idealized as strong and unshakable, it could not be moved. It would remain forever it could never disappear. What is more secure and permanent than that? Those who trust in the Father are just as secure as Mount Zion. No one can shake them or move them because the Father protects them. They have the strength and stability of Mount Zion. They are secure.
Psalms 125:2 Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever.
The Psalm intends to instill confidence in children of the King. The city of David, Mount Zion is surrounded by sheltering mountains and is extremely secure. Children of the King who are loyal and devoted to the Father are secure in Him. The point is “remaining loyal to him really is worth it” (ESV Notes).
REFLECT & PRAY
Safety is not the absence of danger but the presence of God. How delightful and reassuring it is to experience the presence and security of the Father.
Father You are solid and dependable, You will never wear out or wear down. Increase my trust and confidence in You.
The world in which we live is challenging, difficult, and often seemingly overwhelming. The Bible deals with life as it really is. It does not sugarcoat it. Rather, the Scriptures provide guidelines for living a wise and successful life. The Psalms lays out principles to pattern our lives. Following these principles allows us to establish ourselves upon the foundation of truth.
“The Psalms are often gritty reflections of the life of the writer, songs where people express themselves to God and to each other in all the circumstances of life – good, bad, happy, sad, frustrating, grieving, and every other emotion we experience. They are honest reflections on the difficulty of life in this world” (Hudberg).
How do we find security and safety in this world?
The presence of the Father provides security. When we are secure in Him, we are safe. We can feel safe because we are safe. The Father is the ally of all children of the King. He is reliable and utterly dependable. We can have unshakable confidence in Him because He Himself is unshakable. He has the ability and desire to take care of every child of the King.
The Psalm reminds us to glance back and recall the security and safety He provided in the past. We are encouraged to remember and praise Him for His protection. “God instructs us in His Word to encourage each other by verbally reminding one another of how He has acted on our behalf in the past” (Stanley).
What He is done in the past, He can certainly do in the present and the future. That is the confidence and hope available to every child of the King. The certainty of the Father’s protection is sure. We are encouraged to pray that the Father and will actualize it in our lives. We are to fervently pray for His help. “What a beautiful combination: confidence and urgency in prayer! The people ask the Lord to remember them by doing good” (VanGemeren).
Psalms 125:4 O LORD, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you.
“God ‘surrounds’ His people like a thick wall surrounded ancient cities. He covers us on every side so that nothing can reach us without first passing through His loving hands—the best security system ever devised” (Stanley).
What does it take for us to follow the advice of Psalm 125 and actualize it in our lives?
Eric Liddell, in Chariots of Fire, provides some insight. “I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. Where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, ‘Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.’ If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.”