This feeble mind needs all the help that it can get! So when I read my Bible, I like to do a little research on what I am reading. I love to use study Bibles, and I consult a variety of Bible commentaries. To do so has enriched and expanded my understanding of these treasured texts.
When reading Psalm 48, verses 11-14 caught my attention. And, then to my delight I saw that my Bible study lesson also focused on the same section of verses – don’t you just love how how God highlights certain sections of Scripture to you?
11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice.
12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers.
13 Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
14 For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die. (NLT)
It was interesting how the Psalmist instructed the people to inspect the city, and I wondered why they did so. Thus out came the commentaries and my trusty Bible study notes to consult. Here’s what the Life Application Study Bible said: “After an enemy army had unsuccessfully besieged Jerusalem, the people had to make a tour of the city, inspecting its defenses and praising God for the protection he had given. In times of great joy or after God has brought us through some great trial, we ought to inspect our defenses to make sure that the foundations—faith in God, knowledge of his Word, and the fellowship and prayers of the body of believers—remain strong (Ephesians 2:20-22). Then we should praise God for his protection!” (Psalm 47:12-13 LASB NLT- Notes)
Inspect the city, inspect the walls, see what kind of conditions exist after an attack, whether short or prolonged. Hmm, I think that this was a good practice for the Israelites, and also is a good practice for us. Take inventory. Reflect. When you are in the midst of the battle, you may only have time to react. So take the time and reflect afterwards – it’s the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Just how did you come through it all? Did your foundation crumble? Do you need to fix any cracks in the bricks? Did you turn to God, during your trial? Was the Word, and the Holy Spirit’s influence strongly felt while walking through the fire?
Now think back on those things that happened, and stop to notice God in the midst of the trial. He’s there in the smile from a stranger. He’s there giving you strength to take another step. He’s the person whispering comfort to you. He’s there in the friend who is praying for you. He’s lining up circumstances to bring you through your trial. He’s carrying you when you cannot walk further. He’s strengthening your character, and enhancing your dependence upon Him. God’s in the details, even when you may not have realized it.
Praise Him for how He’s brought your through (or is bringing you through). And, share that story. It’s often those details, those personal stories, of how you display your trust and faith in God throughout your trials, that draw others to a life of faith in Christ.
And, don’t forget to shore up your walls in the Word and the Spirit for as long as we are here, we have a story to tell, there’s more chapters coming for each of us believers.