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November 15, 2013

Help 2
 – Part 2 (lengthy post) – Frequent meditation on the great Names of our great God refreshes our memory and recalls to our mind JEHOVAH’S past HELPS and deliverances as David affirms, declaring “When I REMEMBER You on my bed, I MEDITATE on You in the night watches, for You have been my HELP, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.” (Ps 63:6-7). As Spurgeon says “It were well if we oftener read our own diaries, especially noting the hand of JEHOVAH in HELPING us in suffering, want, labour, or dilemma. This is the grand use of memory, to furnish us with proofs of the Lord’s faithfulness, and lead us onward to a growing confidence in Him (cf Ps 71:5). In their time of trouble the children of God return to their Father (cf Isa 44:22). It is according to their new-born nature to seek Him from Whom they came (Ps 24:6). The believing heart is like the needle of a compass: you may turn it round with your finger east and west, but when you withdraw the pressure, it will, beyond all doubt, tremble backward towards its pole. With God the regenerate heart is in its proper position. A mystical force draws the new life towards the Source from whence it came. We may, alas! by the force of temptation or by the demands of business or by an overpowering lethargy, become indifferent to our highest love; but this cannot long continue: we can never rest except in God (Ps 116:7). The winds of trouble blow the dove of our soul back to the Ark (cf Mt 11:28-2-note). Our heart repents of its wanderings when they bring it into a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Then we long after divine refreshments, and cannot be quiet till we have them. Then we cry, “O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Ps 63:1KJV)!” May this be the cry of our heart!

And so in the psalms we see “the winds of trouble repeatedly blow the dove of the writer’s soul back to the Ark”, causing the psalmist to cry out to JEHOVAH EZER for His HELP. May the sense of urgency and importunity seen in the Psalter pattern serve to guide our prayers in our hour of great need. In the following prayers, take time to meditate on our ever present, ever willing Helper, Jehovah Ezer.—”Make haste to HELP me, O Lord, my salvation!…Rise up, be our HELP, and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness….O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to MY HELP!….But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are MY HELP (Note David’s repeated personal possession [“my Help”] of Jehovah Ezer, an example we all do well to imitate) and my Deliverer; O LORD, do not delay….O give us HELP against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain….HELP, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men….May He send you HELP from the sanctuary, and support you from Zion!…Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to HELP. But Thou, O LORD, be not far off; O Thou my HELP, hasten to my assistance….Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be Thou my HELPER….O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my HELP!….O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my HELP!….Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me. Make haste, O LORD, to HELP me….O give us HELP against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain (worthless). Through God (Jehovah Ezer) we shall do valiantly, and it is He who will tread down our adversaries….HELP me Jehovah my God. Save me according to Your steadfast love….HELP us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your Name’s sake (for the sake of Your reputation)….Let Your hand be ready to HELP me, for I have chosen Your precepts….Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my HELP and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.” Amen! (Ps 38:2244:2670:1,5108:1212:120:222:111930:1040:1360:11-12109:2679:9119:17340:17)

And so we see David crying out “JEHOVAH is my Strength and my Shield. My heart trusts in Him, and I am HELPED (Lxx = boethos).” (Ps 28:7). Recall the picture conveyed by the Greek word boethos (boe = cry + theo = run) which translates the Hebrew word for “HELP”. The picture is of Jehovah Who “makes the clouds His chariot” (Ps 104:3), “Who rides the heavens to our HELP (boethos)” (Dt 33:26), coming to our aid, to assist us upon HEARING THE CRY of our heart. As Spurgeon says Jehovah Ezer “comes riding on the heavens. They who travel on the earth may be stopped by enemies, but He that rides to our HELP upon the heavens cannot be stayed nor even delayed. When Jehovah’s excellency comes flying upon the sky on the wings of the wind, how gloriously are displayed the swiftness, the certainty, and the all-sufficiency of delivering grace. God has ways to HELP us that we dream not of. He has a way in the tempest, and the clouds are the dust of his feet (Nah 1:3). Jehovah has made for Himself a highway, a chariot road along the heavens (Ps 104:3), that His purposes of love may never be hindered. If we will but trust in God, invisible spirits shall fight for us (cf Da 10:13-note), the great wheels of providence shall revolve for our good (cf Ge 50:20), and God the Eternal Himself (Dt 33:27), dressed in robes of war like a valiant Champion (Isa 19:20Jer 20:11), shall come forth to espouse our quarrel. Fall back upon yourselves, lean upon your fellow creatures, trust upon earth-born confidences, and you fall upon a rotten foundation that shall give way beneath you (Jer 17:5Ps 60:11), but rest upon your God (Jehovah Ezer) and upon your God alone, and the stars in heaven shall fight for you, yea, the stars in their courses, and things present and things to come, and heights, and depths, and all the creatures subservient to the will of the omnipotent Creator, shall work together for good to you, seeing that you love God and are depending upon His power (Ro 8:28-note).”

Spurgeon goes on to comment on David’s trust in Ps 28:7 noting that “Heart work is sure work. Heart trust is never disappointed. Faith must come before our cry for HELP, but HELP will never be long behind. Every day the believer may say, “I AM HELPED,” for the divine assistance is granted to us as a favor of His grace every moment. In circumstances when more manifest HELP is needed, we have but to put faith into exercise (and cry out), and HELP will be given us.” Too often I fear (because of pride, failure to call to mind God’s previous “Ebenezer’s-sermon” [Stones of Help –1Sa 7:12], etc) we fail to cry out to Jehovah Ezer, our Helper in our time of need. May God’s Spirit cause each of us to see the greatness of our continual need for His grace, so that we like spiritual paupers might without hesitation “draw near with confidence (cf Ro 5:1-2-note) to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to HELP (boetheia) in time of need (in the nick of time, just when we need it most)!” (Heb 4:16-note)

Again the psalmist cries out “I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains. From whence shall my HELP (boetheia) come? My HELP comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 121:1-2-note) Beloved, from where does your HELP come? Remember that when we are in trouble, what we do to solve our problems and turn our trouble into triumph is evidence of what or in whom we are trusting. When the day of trouble arrives, some reach for their checkbooks, thinking money will solve their problems, while others reach for the telephone, looking to friends to solve their problems. By looking to God, we look away from ourselves and from all others for strength. We need to remember that our HELP comes from the LORD, Jehovah Ezer, and so in times of distress, we make the choice to turn our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2-note) looking “full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”  (Helen Lemmel) Like the psalmist, we need to elevate our vision above the hills, affirming that our HELP from is not from the hills, but from the heavens, from Jehovah our HELPER. Beloved, whatever our need is today, our best HELP will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. A God mighty enough to create everything with His Word (Heb 11:3-noteJn 1:3Col 1:16-note) and uphold it by His Word (Heb 1:3-noteCol 1:17-note) is mighty enough to send His assuring Word and heal us and rescue us from the “slough of despond” in which we find ourselves trapped (Ps 107:20NET). Mighty is our God Who “raises the poor from the dust, Who lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles and inherit a seat of honor.” (1Sa 2:8)

What storm are you in now? Are your eyes on Jehovah Ezer, the One in control of the storm, the One Who is also your Helper in the midst of the storm? Remember that God does not always spare us from the storm, but is always ready to succor (help) us in and through the storm! May we cry out with the “prayer of the afflicted when he is faint, and pours out his plea: Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my CRY FOR HELP come to Thee.” (Ps 102:1). Jehovah Ezer “does not forsake His godly ones” (Ps 37:28) for “I have been young, and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (Ps 37:25) James Smith wisely asks “Fellow-Christian, are you fearful? “Look up” and hear Jesus saying to you, “Do not be afraid—I MYSELF WILL HELP you! (Isa 41:13b)” Are you discouraged? “Look up”—and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s (Ps 103:5Isa 40:31-note), and fresh light, comfort, and courage shall be given to you! Are you despondent? “Look up” for Jesus (our Jehovah Ezer) never breaks the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax.” (Isa 42:3Mt 12:20) LOOK UP…for all that you need; from all that you fear; through all that would obstruct your way. Look up every day, saying with David, “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You—and will look up!” (Ps 5:3KJV) Look up in every trial, saying “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence shall my HELP come? My HELP comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and earth!” (Ps 121:1-2-note) Look only, look always, look intently—to Jesus, your Jehovah Ezer! Run looking, work looking, fight looking, suffer looking, live looking, and die looking — to Jesus, Jehovah Ezer. When your out-look is bleak, remember the up-look!

Again the psalmist acknowledges Jehovah Ezer, writing “You (Jehovah) have been the HELPER of the fatherless.” (Ps 10:14) Jehovah Ezer is the ultimate recourse for the helpless, aptly described here as “the fatherless.” Perhaps you feel like your earthly father has forsaken you (mine forsook me when I was less than a year old) leaving you fatherless and, in a sense, an “orphan.” You can know for certain that Jehovah Ezer has never taken His eye off of you, for He is a “A father of the fatherless,” Who “makes a home for the lonely” (Ps 68:5-6) and Who “HELPS (lifts up) the fatherless and the widow.” (Ps 146:9). In Jehovah Ezer, “the orphan finds compassion.” (Hos 14:3) “Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When our helpers fail and comforts flee, HELP OF THE HELPLESS, O abide with me.” Three weeks after Henry Lyte penned these words, he died of tuberculosis and was freed from his frail body and at home with his Lord (2Cor 5:8-note). His last words as he entered his eternal rest (Rev 14:13) were “Joy! Peace!” D Martyn Lloyd-Jones said it well that “If a philosophy of life cannot help me to die, then in a sense it cannot help me to live!” The British Press reported the following incident related to Lyte’s hymn. A British submarine lay disabled on the ocean floor. After two days, hope of surfacing was abandoned. On orders from the commanding officer the crew began singing the words of the first verse of Abide with Me (the verse above). The officer explained to the men that they did not have long to live. There was no hope of outside help, because the searchers did not know the vessel’s position. Sedatives were distributed to the men to quiet their nerves. One sailor was affected more quickly than the others, and as he swooned, he fell against a piece of equipment and set in motion the submarine’s jammed surfacing mechanism. The submarine went to the surface and made port safely, even as Henry Lyte made it “safely to port!”

In Ps 38:21-22 David cries out “O LORD, do not abandon me. Be not far from me (be near me), O my God. Come quickly to HELP me, O Lord my Savior.” “Is any afflicted? let him thus pray, let him thus plead, let him thus hope, in singing this psalm.” (M. Henry) “Blessed is that wind which drives the ship into the harbor, blessed is that wave which washes the mariner upon the rock of safety, and blessed is that distress which forces a man to rest only in his God (Jehovah Ezer).” (CHS) David closed Psalm 38 with three cries: (1) “Do not abandon me,” which is answered by Dt 31:68 – “The LORD is the One Who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.” (2) “Be near me” which finds its answer in Ps 34:18 – “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (3) “Come quickly to HELP me” which is answered with God’s precious promise (2Pe 1:4) in Isa 41:10 – “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, SURELY I WILL HELP YOU, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” David’s three requests cover just about every contingency we might ever encounter! May God grant us grace to pray this prayer (Ps 38:21-22) to Jehovah Ezer, so that our soul might experience His righteous rest and His perfect peace. We can be confident that He always answers our cries for help, for David attests “He does not forget the cry (for help) of the afflicted (needy).” (Ps 9:12) “Our God, our HELP in ages past, Our Hope for years to come, Our Shelter from the stormy blast, And our Eternal Home.” (Isaac Watts)

Prayer to Jehovah Ezer – When faced with great afflictions, tumultuous troubles, overwhelming opposition, we must remember to cry out in humble dependence and childlike faith as did King Asa when faced with a great enemy host arrayed against him. Maclaren rightly notes that Asa’s great “prayer contains the very essence of what ought to be the Christian attitude in reference to all the conditions and threatening dangers and conflicts of life.” In those moments when victory seems humanly impossible, may God’s Spirit grant us the desire and power (Php 2:13NLT-note) to cry out to JEHOVAH EZER, our HELPER, praying like Asa, “Lord, there is no one besides You to HELP the powerless against the mighty. HELP us, O Lord our God, for we rest (rely, trust) in You, and in Your Name (Jehovah Ezer) come against the multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” (2Chr 14:11) Indeed, as D L Moody said “True faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.” John Owen adds that “we have no power from God unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own.” And so in answer to Asa’s plea from a position (and admission) of weakness, God smote the Ethiopians, and may He do the same to those who come against us to destroy us, so that His great Name might be exalted among the nations.

God, grant us grace to cry out for HELP to JESUS our JEHOVAH EZER. Amen

Play “My Help Cometh From the Lord

Click for in depth study of Jehovah Ezer

Need Help? Lift Your Eyes – Commentary on Psalm 121

From → The Names of God

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