God Delivers and Protects
Key Verse: “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”
BELIEVERS WHO RELY upon God find that he is a shelter from the storms of life and a fortress that provides safety from all enemies that may beset them. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”—Ps. 91:1,2
“Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”—vss. 3-6
Satan is represented as the ‘fowler,’ or hunter, in the foregoing verses, desirous of destroying the faith of Christians with his deceptive ways, including the promulgation of false doctrine. Devoted followers of Christ who obey the truths found in God’s Word are promised protection from the many evil influences that abound in the world today.
Lest it is assumed that the thousand or ten thousand who fall were those of the world it should be noted that only those who have a relationship with Christ could fall from divine favor. Thus to fall implies some deficiency in knowledge, character development, or a failure to put on the whole armor of God.—vs. 7
The Heavenly Father also provides divine protection for his children through the use of angels. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Ps. 34:7) Thus, spiritual forces are employed on behalf of the church when necessary to keep them from danger. The angels that protect believers also may be of a symbolic nature in that they may refer to human instrumentalities, or faithful leaders in the church, whose teachings and example serve to guard the Lord’s flock from danger and keep them from falling.—Ps. 91:11
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness to apply the promise of God’s protection in a literal way by placing himself into danger to see whether God would deliver him in a miraculous manner. Our Lord, however, rebuked the Adversary by stating it would be improper to endeavor to tempt God. (Matt. 4:6,7) Thus, as followers of the Master, we must not recklessly expose ourselves to perilous situations but employ the spirit of a sound mind in all our endeavors and be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves, trusting God for his overruling providence in our lives.
Our Key Verse expresses God’s great love for the church and reaffirms that our obedience and loyalty to him will result in a grand exaltation to joint-heirship with Christ Jesus in his Messianic Kingdom that will bless mankind.
The special promise to the church of Smyrna is one that should encourage and inspire believers throughout the Gospel Age. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10