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Psalm 121: 1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Here we are again as a nation. Wondering. Hoping. Predicting. Dreading. Yes. I’m talking about a general election year. And it gets worse. This is an election year in 2020, the year of ….2020. By this of course I mean that we have already seen so much chaos, turmoil, strife, sickness and death to last us a decade. So this presidential election year brings with it added alarm that is unprecedented in recent history. Yes, I will be glad when it’s over, but that’s just it. It won’t be over even when the last vote is counted.
So rather than give you more poll results and predictions I will give you an encouraging word. Believe me when I tell you that there have been worse times. For example the world has been at war twice in recent history. And although the main land in the USA was spared much of the devastation, there were some cities like London, Berlin, Nagasaki, Warsaw, and others who saw their whole cities leveled. Think of the chaos that brought to the common family.
In 1346-53 the bubonic plague rushed through Europe, Africa and Asia leaving something like 200 million people dead. And of course there are other health crisis like aids/hiv, cancer, and others that continue to reek havoc on society.
All of this may not sound very encouraging to you, but I give you this history lesson only to remind you that the world has seen though times before and yet here we still are and hope for brighter days remains in our collective hearts.
Before we get to Psalm 121, let me tell you about a real bad time recorded in the bible. I don’t like to preach about it because it was REALLY bad. There was a ‘siege’ that surrounded Samaria in 2 Kings 6: 24-30. There was no food to eat and the people began to consider the unthinkable.
A woman went to the king who was the best hope of any salvation for help that she could think of. The king told her that he also was under the power of the siege and suggested that the woman look elsewhere. He told her to look to the only remaining source of help. He gave some good advice that I am giving you today. He told her to look up for help.
This is so relevant for us today as we face an uncertain future. If our leaders would be completely honest they would direct up to a higher power. And if they were truly believers they would confess the same thing that this king did, that is, that his power was useless against a demonic siege, and that what humanity really needed was help from heaven!
We need to listen carefully to our politicians. They love to say ‘God Bless America’. But you cannot ask God for his blessing on our nation, and then tell people that you, (meaning themselves) alone can fix our problems. Rhetoric like that leads me to believe that things have obviously not gotten bad enough, (at least for them and those around them). The fact that things might have to become worse for some people to acknowledge God scares me more than anything.
When an animal is caged in and sees no way out of danger it will instinctively go into attack mode, or defense mode. There are lizards that will shoot blood from their eyes. Some frogs will break their own bones and use them as weapons. Possums will play dead. And heaven help you if you corner a dog, a tiger or a lion, because they will come out fighting like there is no tomorrow, because in their minds there isn’t.
Human beings are supposed to be different, but strange things can happen when we feel our lives are threatened, (or even our WAY of life). So unless you have strong faith in God you should pray that He lead us NOT into temptation, but delivers us from all types of evil. Now that I have grossed you out let be preach my message.
Have you ever felt like you were under siege? A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortified place to compel it to surrender. It means to to pursue something or someone diligently and persistently. This accurately describes what is happening around us in the real of the spirit.
Have you ever felt like you were caged in? Have things ever been so bad that you were tempted to do something sinfully rash? Have you ever been so pummeled by life that you didn’t know where to turn? It is times like these when God asks the questions; ‘When will they turn to me for help? When will they look up?
In Mark 2:1-12 there were men who were trying to get into a house to get Jesus to heal their paralytic cohort. They looked all around the house for ways to get in but all the windows and door were blocked by others trying to get in. Then one of the men had a thought from heaven, ‘look up’. It was then that they decided to tear the roof off, get in, and get the attention of Jesus who admired their faith and gave them aid!
I pray that in your prayers, and devotional scripture readings that the Spirit of God will remind you of more examples of God’s people looking up to Him for help and finding peace, solace, and deliverance. Remember that history will testify against us if we resort to worldly tactics and sinful solutions will we feel caged in.
1 Corinthians 10:11-13 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
So Psalm 121 should have a whole new meaning for us as we face the uncertainty of the future. The Psalmist declares that he will lift up his eyes. In other words, ‘I will look up when I need help’. I will not look around me. I will not succumb to the temptation of sin. I won’t put my trust in humanity, not even that of kings. Instead I will look up to God, because that is where my real help is.
Yes I did use my constitutional right to vote and you should too. But I don’t expect a party, or a candidate to get us out of the mess we are in. In fact so many times they make things so much worse. No! I will look up to God for my help!
Psalm 121:5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
It’s not the speech or a candidate, or a clever and slick ad that give me hope. My hope is in the Word of God!
Psalm 121:6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
So vote, then LOOK UP! And pray that the winning candidates whomever they might be will lead the nation(s) in turning to God for our help!
Remember, when you get down to nothing, God is up to something!
In my conclusion let me give you a quote from Albert Einstein: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
So, when you feel caged in, and under siege, don’t just look around. Look up!
Bishop Horace Ransom Jr.
Senior Pastor, Board of Directors
Bishop Horace Ransom Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of New Covenant Church International in Detroit, Michigan. He is a Jurisdictional Bishop and serves on the Board of Presbytery for the Jabula International Network, North America. Bishop Ransom is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God with a passion for challenging believers to become the best that they can be. Faith, Purpose and the Kingdom of God are frequently the subject matter of his dissertation.