Last time, I described a certain gift given to me by one of my boys. But, there was another given, which bears significant spiritual truth for us to consider as well.
Jeshua called one evening, and asked what my favorite verse of Scripture is. There was no hesitation in my response. I have long regarded the first part of Deuteronomy 33:27 as my favorite. He did not explain why he asked.
When I eventually got to open his gift, I was a bit unclear what it was all about. But, it became a sure blessing when I came to understand.
What he had done was to purchase from Historic Bibles, Inc., an authenticated original leaf from a 1619 King James Bible. My leaf is that of Deuteronomy 33:14 through 34:12 on the front side. The reverse is 32:35 through 33:13. The leaf is described as being placed in a “Museum quality portfolio: fiber linen cover, silk moire lining, archival leaf protector.”
The written language is interesting. Under the Chapter 33 heading “Mofes bleffeth the twelue Tribes,” 33:27 is written thus: “The eternall God is thy refuge, and vnderneath are the euerlafting armes.”
This verse of Scripture has ministered to my life many times over. First, it refers to “the eternal God.” The eternalness of God is an awesome concept. This longevity of His assures us that God is credible and trustworthy. It suggests the vast store of wisdom God possesses, by which He effectively guides our lives. There is a measure of comfort in knowing that God has always been, that He is, and that He always will be.
Next, “the eternal God is thy refuge.” When you take into consideration the hatred the devil has for us—-God’s people—-and the evil intent he has for our living, you have to truly appreciate the cover and protection provided by God. It is a distinct blessing that, when life circumstances confront us, we can hide from it all by going to God in prayer, or by finding comfort in His Word, or by gaining strength from His Holy Spirit. What a blessing it is to go to Him for refuge from the chaos of the world where He gives us sweet peace to help change our perspective.
“The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath…” The term “underneath” is so significant to me. It means that God is below me. Be careful to understand here—-I am not saying that God has a lower status of importance than I. Rather, I refer to His position. He is “underneath” me because I so often fail and fall. He is always there “underneath” to catch me. He is always there to love me and forgive me. He is always there to restore me to fellowship with Him. You cannot beat it with a stick!
Lastly, “the eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Our God is strong-armed. Several times in Scripture it is said that the Lord delivered by His strong right arm. I have long imaged God as having big arms.
Recently, while exercising at the Body Barn in Mason, I saw a certain young man wearing a shirt with the words, “How do you like these guns?” The words were in reference to his arms, for his were large and muscular. Perhaps the most sought after physical feature by those who lift weights is to have those big guns and to be strong-armed.
Our God is strong-armed for a definite purpose. It does not matter how heavy our burden is, His strong arms are capable of handling our load. How goes the long-time illustration? When we saw but one set of footprints in the sand, “it is then, my child, that I picked you up and carried you.”
We can depend upon those strong, everlasting arms to bear our heavy burdens. We can depend upon those strong, everlasting arms to carry us through when our spiritual legs give out of strength from beneath us. The arms of God—-what a consideration.
This is why Deuteronomy 33:27(a) means so much to me, and why it was such a thoughtful gift from this boy of mine.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.