Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 July 2022 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.       The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Another marvellous day on God’s great earth my people! The breath of life is strong and vibrant within us, and the Lord God Jehovah is on His heavenly throne running things for our eventual benefit, thus the glorious celebrations all around the world this Sunday morning! And all God’s people, said a loud, proud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, Sunday is the Lord’s Day, and He has earmarked it for plenty praise and worship from His people. That’s why every time Sunday comes around our hearts are filled with joy as we eagerly gather to fellowship with other believers and give Him the praise, honour and glory He so richly deserves. 

And today we’re going to open the proceedings with one of the greatest hymns ever written for obtaining God’s grace and merry, His fatherly comfort in times of solace. It’s aptly titled, ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’ And there’s definitely no better place in this whole universe to lean for comfort and encouragement than on the everlasting arms of Christ Jesus! 

The website Godtube tells us that the song was written in the late 19th century by Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. It stemmed from letters Showalter had received from two of his former pupils informing him that their wives had died and they were seeking consolation. In replying to their letters, he was struck by the words of Moses from Deuteronomy 33:27, as he blessed the tribes of Israel. He said:  ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ 

Apparently that led to his further thinking that they would be good words on which to base a hymn of solace and comfort, so he engaged the services of Hoffman to help him. And thus was born this tremendous, popular and heartlet hymn, which we’ll now proceed to sing in a soulful, mid-tempo version. 

And while are singing it, the website Hymnary.org challenges us to ‘contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Excellent advice for our Sunday morning worship my faithful brethren! So let’s open our hearts and mouths and offer up sincere sacrifices of praise to our heavenly Father, who is indeed our eternal refuge in times of trial. 

And we sing: ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. [Refrain]

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain) Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms…leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour….’ 

Oh my fellow saints, I’m sure we’ll all agree that it is indeed good to lean on the everlasting arms of Christ our Saviour! No if’s ands and buts about that! If we must lean somewhere for solace and comfort, then that’s the ideal place to lean! And the simple words of the short verses are so beautiful and true: ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine…what a blessedness, what a peace is mine…O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way; O how bright the path grows from day to day…What have I to dread, what have I to fear…I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.’ 

Wow! Every sentiment there conveys the gospel truth! And it’s not like Moses alone described the Lord as our refuge, although he did it again in the opening verse of the only psalm he ever wrote, Psalm 90, where he declares: ‘Lord thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations.’ (Ps.. 90:1) 

Then in Psalm 142, subtitled ‘Thou art my refuge,’ when Bruh David could find no human solace he writes: ‘I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend (give heed) unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about (surround me); for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.’ (Ps. 142:5-7) And that’s exactly how the Lord deals with us when we sincerely call upon Him for help! It must be a sincere plea, not just some wishy-washy cry. 

And the author of Psalm 91, aptly subtitled ‘God is a refuge and fortress,’ puts it this way. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God: in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisesome (perilous, deadly) pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield). 

Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth (lays waste) at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh (near) thee. Only with thine eye shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.’ (Ps. 91:1-8) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of trust and belief we ought to have in our great God. And as we go about our business today and every day, please let’s make it a habit to take a moment and ‘contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Loneliness and anxiety that so many of us are experiencing in these very troubling times. That is wisdom to the nth degree. Much LOVE!

… Christ’s powerful and everlasting arms…were made explicitly for us to lean on…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

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