The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23:1-7
When times are tough, personally or globally, where can we turn? Especially when things seem out of our control, and we don’t know whether we’ll be safe—or even maybe if we’ll see tomorrow—it’s good to know there is only One who has control over everything.
Luckily, that One, God, did not leave us alone. We can find His words to us in the Bible. One of the best places to turn when we seek protection is to the Psalms.
WHAT ARE THE PSALMS IN THE BIBLE?
The psalms are a collection of poems, or songs. The book was originally titled “Tehillim,” which means “praise songs” in Hebrew. Our modern word “Psalms” comes from the Greek “Psalmoi,” also meaning “songs of praise.” Each of the psalms is an individual song or poem, much like a hymn. They were written by multiple authors, including Moses, Solomon, and David. These were used to worship God in the tabernacle and temple, with different kinds of psalms for all different situations. There are 150 psalms in the Bible.
GOOD REASON TO TURN TO THE PSALMS FOR PROTECTION
The psalms are prayers to God. Often, it can be difficult to express what we’re feeling or thinking to God. However, the psalms are there to guide us. This doesn’t mean we have to follow the psalms exactly, but it can be comforting to know that others have felt the same way for thousands of years, and they can help us pray and put our thoughts and concerns into words.
10 PSALMS TO REMIND US OF GOD’S PROTECTION
1. Psalm 18:2-3
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
3. Psalm 23:1-4
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
4. Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.
5. Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
7. Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘Lord, save me!’ The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me…Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
3 PSALMS THAT ASK FOR GOD’S PROTECTION
When we have trouble putting our petitions into words, the psalms can help us.
1. Psalm 16:1
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.
3. Psalm 31:1-5
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
In these psalms, and many more like them, the psalmist asks for God’s protection not because of his own goodness or merit, but “for the sake of your name” (Psalm 31:3) and “in [His] righteousness” (Psalm 31:1). The Lord protects us not because we deserve it, but because of who He is—a good, powerful, and loving God.
When we pray for protection, we must put our trust in God, not in our situation. No matter how dark things may seem, we must remember that God is indeed in control and has a plan greater than we could fathom.
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