He allowed no one to oppress them.

 In God, Life

The title of this blog comes from 1 Chronicles 16:21. David is remembering God’s goodness to Israel as a way of praising and thanking Him for the long-awaited return of the ark of the Lord to it’s proper resting place. He recalls the protection of God, and how His people were cared for by His strong arm. The phrase in the title stuck out to me so much this morning, though. He allowed no one to oppress them. What does it mean to be oppressed? Dictionary.com offers this:


oppressed: to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power


Have you ever felt oppressed? I’ll be gut-level honest with you and admit that there are times in my life in which I’ve felt so tired of having seemingly one thing after another thrown my way, that I’ve just wanted to quit. Not quit life altogether, but simply quit trying. Quit striving to find God’s will and plan for my life. Quit trying to move forth in the purposes of God that I know He has called me to. Quit trying to be better and settle for simply existing. Then I read a verse like this: He allowed no one to oppress them. It reminds me that I am not the one fighting these battles that I am entrenched in. No, I have a God who is for me, who wants to see me thriving in the peace that He has given His life to make possible.

In our weekly Bible study meeting on Monday morning, the story was brought up of how it came to be that men walked on the right side of women when accompanying them out in public. It wasn’t so that the man could make the woman feel inferior, but rather, it was so that his right arm, his sword arm, was always at the ready should he need to protect her. I immediately remembered a verse of Scripture found in Psalm 98:


Oh sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.


That verse coupled with the idea of someone walking to our right side so that their sword arm ready to protect us? Pretty encouraging, isn’t it? He is literally walking with us, ready to defend us from the things that come our way. We are not oppressed with no hope. We have our God on our side, and He is able to save us with His strong arm.

Today, if you’re feeling oppressed, take this mental picture with you: God is walking beside you, sword ever-ready, and close enough to protect you from those things that are coming against you. You are not alone. You are not without hope. You have a protector with you even now. Lean against Him and watch as He fights for you. Wow, that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

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