God's Strong Arm
"For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them." (Psalm 44:3)
Do you like to have strong friends? Strong friends can really come in handy. A strong friend can help you lift something heavy. A strong friend can hit the ball really far for your team. A strong friend can stand-up for you if a bully is mean to you.
In Psalm 44, the Hebrew songwriter remembers when the Lord God brought the Hebrews into the Promised Land. The songwriter says in Psalm 44:3 that the Hebrews were not able to win the battles by themselves, but God's strong right arm won the battles for them.
Does God literally have an arm? No, not really. We know that God is a spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit does not have arms or legs that we can actually see. The songwriter is using a word picture to say that the Lord God of Israel is very strong. Think about it. When you see someone who is very strong, what do notice first? Their arms. Sometimes kids want to show off their muscles. Do you flex your leg to show off your muscles? No! You would probably flex your arms to show how strong you are. When the songwriter says that God's "arm" saved the Hebrews, he is using a word picture to express that God was stronger than all of Israel's enemies.
And God is stronger than your enemies, too. The devil is one of our enemies, because he wants us to disobey God. But God is stronger than the devil! Sometimes other people want you to disobey God, and God wants to help you be strong so that you will obey Him. Every person who is trusting in Jesus for salvation is sometimes still tempted to disobey God. God is stronger than any temptation a child of God might face. Just as God defeated the Hebrews' enemies a long time ago, He wants to defeat our spiritual enemies today. And He can, because God is very strong!
God is stronger than anyone or anything.
» Have I been relying on my own strength to help me face a problem?
» What are some "battles" I'm fighting right now that I should give over to God to fight for me?
» How can I show others my faith that my God is stronger than anyone or anything?
Truth In Real Life
J Gresham Machen
"The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him.”
John Gresham Machen was born into a wealthy, well-known family on July 28, 1881. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a writer, which meant John had every ability to “do something important” with his life. Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the United States, was a personal friend of the Machen family.
But God had even higher, better plans for J. Gresham Machen than just making him a “wealthy man.” God chose Machen to serve Him – making this service the “something important” Machen chose to do with his life. He studied the Bible, and by age 12, he had already gained more knowledge of Scripture than many men have learned when they finish seminary studies. Machen continued to grow up, and he attended the best schools in the world to learn as much as he could about God and the Bible.
In 1914, Machen was ordained to preach. Soon he found himself engaged in one of the most important battles in Christian history. He was not involved in a physical war – although World War I had begun. Rather, he was involved in the battle over the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Machen opposed the worldly religions and opinions of that day and age, ungodly systems of teaching that taught that people did not need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be Christians. Machen also opposed so-called Christians who were living in known sin and acting just like unsaved people.
Machen started Westminster Seminary (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Even though he was offered many important jobs that could have made him very popular, he refused them because those positions would not have helped him to honor Jesus Christ. He chose instead to defend the faith and to do what he believed was right – no matter what!
How old do you need to be before you really start studying the Bible? Machen believed children were not too young. He was only 12, after all, when God began to use him and his knowledge of Bible teachings in a wonderful way! It is never too early for you to begin learning God’s truth – and you are going to need a good foundation of His truth if you want to be strong enough to fight spiritual battles and stay faithful when false teaching comes up against God!
Luke 12: 34 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”