Protection in the Storm

Isaiah 4:5-6
Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

When Hurricane Ike came through Houston, my family decided to stay in our house to see what would happen around us during the storm. It was the first time we didn’t leave town before a hurricane hit.

God protected us. Our children were old enough to help clear debris from the yard, but we didn’t have that much work to do in the aftermath. We lost one tree and buckets of leaves. We lost electricity for a few days, but other than a little spoiled food, we came out all right. Our roof didn’t have any leaks. We were safe.

We listened to reports on the radio and prayed for those who lost their homes. God used many with gifts from neighbor to neighbor, sharing generator power and much needed encouragement. We knew God was our shelter, and we leaned on him.

God has proven himself in so many ways. When I read in the Bible about God’s provision and protection, I can add my own stories to the discussion. If we keep remembering what God has already done for us, it’s easier for us to expect the fatherly love of God to show up again and again.

Protection for the Obedient

Isaiah 25:4
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

Verse two of Isaiah 25 reminds me of the battle of Jericho. The strong, fortified city of Jericho became a heap of rubble and a ruin, not because of the tanks and bazookas of the Hebrew people. They didn’t have any tanks and bazookas. They had their obedience to God. That was weapon enough to pull down the enormous, reinforced city walls.

Verse five reminds me of the Cloud by day and the Fire by night that guided the Hebrew slaves in the wilderness after they left Egypt. When the cloud of God hovers, there is relief from the oppressing heat of the desert. When God is with you, you can escape oppression no matter where it comes against you.

God protected the people as they left Egypt and he carried out their protection in the battle of Jericho. He is able to do that and more for you today.

He takes in the needy and protects those who follow him. That’s a great reason for us to look to God for our shelter. He covers us and hides us from the storm.

Like A Rock

1 Samuel 2:2
There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

When we enter a giant rock, we call it a cave. We find protective shelter in the cave. Can you imagine being inside the sheltering presence of God?

Part of the fun of reading the Bible is seeing how God describes himself in so many ways. In one place he’s the Living Word, in another place he’s our Rock. Those descriptions give me a variety of pictures in my mind that help me see God better.

In my imagination, I can see God sitting in a field like an impressive mountain. I can run into the mountain to hide from a storm. There, I’m protected. But if I’m out in the field during the storm, I’m dead meat.

God wants to be a permanent part of our lives just like a mountain. But he knows how we can be. Sometimes we love him, sometimes we ignore him, and sometimes we get angry and yell at him. Like a strong mountain, he stubbornly sits in a field and refuses to crumble into dust to be blown by the wind just because we get angry at him. He waits for us to run to him.

Because he knows how we can be.

He is our Rock. He is solid and unmoving, but he has a place for us. He stubbornly cares for us. 1 Samuel 2:5-7 show us other ways God protectively cares for his faithful friends.

He knows we need him, and he’s available right now. So won’t you seek God with me?

Planting A Shelter

Ezekiel 17:23
On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.

This verse is from a section that describes how God planned to bring down one who was strong and to lift up one who was weak. A tall cedar tree can be easily uprooted by God. A small plant can be nurtured and protected until it is strong protection for someone else.

When God plants something, it will grow. It will be strong enough to hold up under the weight of those who need a shelter. It will produce an abundance of food and shade for others. It will be beautiful.

God encouraged me with those words. If I see an insurmountable challenge and feel low and weak, he can lift me up. If God called me to do a specific thing, it is not solely my responsibility to carry it out. It’s my responsibility to work with God to achieve the goal.

When God speaks to you, you have a responsibility to respond to him. But know that you won’t be working alone. If God says he’ll do something, rest assured, He will do it.