God’s Protective Presence

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads 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 mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

20160726-Anchorage, Alaska-02106

This fierce blossom was one of many beautiful flowers in Anchorage, Alaska.

I was asked to provide some of the specifics from today’s message about God’s protection, based on Psalm 23. So here are those thoughts…

Erin Brownback was a guest on James Dobson’s radio program carried on the AFR network last Thursday (8/25/2016). Her commentary was so powerful that I decided to follow up and find the specifics of what she said. I discovered the article, Decline of a Nation by Kerby Anderson.

A summary of Anderson’s article includes these thoughts:
Each of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of stages from their birth to their decline to their death. Historians have listed these in ten stages.

  1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
  2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
  3. From great courage to liberty;
  4. From liberty to abundance;
  5. From abundance to selfishness;
  6. From selfishness to complacency;
  7. From complacency to apathy;
  8. From apathy to moral decay;
  9. From moral decay to dependence;
  10. From dependence to bondage.

The other step might be somewhere between selfishness and bondage. It is political correctness and hyper-tolerance, which leads to a sort of forced anarchy which requires people to accept anyone who says anything, does anything without censure because of a misapplied sense of freedom. No one can judge anyone ese. Nothing is wrong. It is the stench of moral decay, which will inevitably give way to dependence (think “Big Brother), and bondage.

God calls us to repent and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ. God has also revealed to us his presence and help in Psalm 23 where his protective presence becomes a cause for talking to God (“you are with me…”), and recognizing how God’s abundance is cause for worship and joy in anticipation of his eternal presence and favor (“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”).

http://www.drjamesdobson.org/Broadcasts/Broadcast?i=72ad3f86-03ef-4471-a0fa-89751b249c0b

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/decline.html

 

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