May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
I’ve been looking at this psalm today and the last phrase made me curious. The translation above is New American Standard and the use of italics means that the word isn’t found in the original text, but is implied by it. Knowing this, I was curious what the actual word is and why the translators felt right adding the word “securely.”
The definition for the Hebrew word (Sagab) means “to be inaccessibly high,” “exalted,” and other minor variations of those two things. I love that! In the day of trouble, God will set His people so high that they are inaccessible to the enemy! That didn’t satiate my curiosity though, I wanted to see other places that the word was used. It’s used 20 times in the Old Testament. Several times the exact phrase is repeated in David’s psalms as he cries for God’s help against enemies or thanks God for having given this help against enemies. In each of the psalms, salvation is equated with being set inaccessibly high. That’s true of the salvation of our souls, too! God sets us on high. The world, our flesh, and Satan may do their best to steal eternity from us, but we are securely set in the hand of God Most High!
Solomon also uses this word when he says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.” (Proverbs 29:25) Fear of man is something many struggle with. If we didn’t, we would share our struggles with fellow believers, we wouldn’t be so tolerant of rampant sin evidently seen in the American church (gossip, lying, worship of idols of self, money, fashion, entertainment, etc.). And we’d be more willing to share the Gospel. When our trust is completely in the Lord, when we fear Him instead of men.
Yet we need not fear men! Paul clearly reminds us in Romans,
If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, ornakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God is for His people! Our God “has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, marked off the heavens by the span, calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales!” (Isaiah 40:12) He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere! He is God Most High who is completely capable and willing to set His people securely on high! We need not fear! We must walk in confidence, believing He is good. It’s not always easy in the face of job-loss, cancer, death, and more. But in our limited sight, we cannot see the good He has planned from the beginning of time for all eternity. So it’s my prayer today, that I would remember that He will set me securely on high, whether or not I can see the high place.