Those who trust in the Lord (who rely on Him for everything) are like Mount Zion (the toughest mountain in the world) which cannot be shaken, but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people – tall, strong, protective. God surrounds now and forevermore.
The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. God won’t allow the wicked to have the upper hand for long – this is to keep us from temptation.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart, to those who try to follow and obey you.
But those who turn to crooked ways (not evil, just crooked) the Lord will banish with the evildoers.
“And Manoah said, ‘Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?’ So the angel of the lord said to Manoah, ‘Let the woman pay attention to all that I said. She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink any wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.’” Judges 13:12-14
The angel of the Lord has visited Manoah’s wife and told her she would conceive and give birth to a son. In verse 5, he told her “no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Manoah entreats the Lord and asks that the man of God come again to teach them what to do for the boy. God sends the angel and Manoah asks his questions.
Manoah wants more details and apparently a confirmation. After all, in that culture, women are not to be trusted as witnesses, and perhaps the thought crosses his mind that his wife who desperately wants a child has imagined the encounter. Note that when Manoah entreats the Lord, he wants to learn what they are to do for the boy, but when the angel returns, his questions isn’t what they are to do for the boy, but what his mode of life and vocation will be. Manoah’s wife had already told him the boy was to be a Nazarite (although like Eve, she leaves out the razor and adds “to the day of his death” (verse 7)). Perhaps Manoah isn’t very thrilled with the idea of his firstborn son being dedicated to God instead of to the family heritage and his father’s vocation.
Apparently, the angel sees right through Manoah and repeats his instructions for the mother to be. He diverts Manoah’s attention from the distant future and returns his focus to the present and the original instructions for the first step. He never answers Manoah’s questions.
We’re the same way. God tells us something we are to do and we’re asking questions about one, five, or ten years down the road. Questions God never answers – and that fact can frustrate us to no end. Just as with Manoah, God wants to focus on the present and the first step. After all, how the future unfolds depends upon how faithful we are to carry out the beginning. Let us be faithful to all God has told us to do so far and allow God to take care of the rest. Quit questioning and start obeying!
My, the list is long. If Yahweh had not been on my side, I would have been struck and killed by a car in kindergarten. (I wonder how many other close calls there have been in my life that I’m not even aware of.) If Yahweh had not been on my side, I would not have survived divorce and its aftermath. If Yahweh had not been on my side, I would not have experienced the emotional healing I have, I would not be where I am, have what I have, or be doing what I’m doing. Most important of all, if Yahweh had not been on my side, I would be spending eternity in hell instead of in heaven.