In A Beseiged City

Visualizing the Bible® Chris Harrison

Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous
His lovingkindness to me
in a besieged city.
Psalm 31:21

In Grant Horner‘s Bible reading plan, yesterday I read Isaiah 1 and came to this verse.

The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.
Isaiah 1:8

That verse immediately brought Psalm 31:21 to mind. For Christmas I was given a copy of Death in the City by Francis Schaeffer, and I made another immediate connection; this time between Psalm 31:21 and the death in the city of our own day. Schaeffer draws parallels between Jeremiah’s day and ours, and the title is descriptive of the spiritual death Jeremiah saw in the city of Jerusalem that resulted in it being besieged and burned by the Babylonians.

Wikipedia defines a siege as, “as a military blockade of a city of fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault.” I have felt as if I am in a city besieged in a war of assault and attrition of hard circumstances and spiritual enemies. Psalm 31:21 reminded me to look to God and to remember that even in a time when there is death in the city—even then He will make marvelous to me His lovingkindness.

Isaiah 1:8 is God’s Word. Isaiah 1:8 is truth to drive home to my mind and heart the fact of God’s judgment and the consequences of rebellion of sin. The desolation of those who despised God in Isaiah 1 is a stark contrast to David’s praise. Psalm 31:21 is God’s Word. It’s not a fluffy phrase to help me feel better for a moment, it’s truth to drive home to my mind and heart God’s faithfulness and to call me to trust God as David did, and to say with him, “My times are in Your hand.”

There is death in the city in our day. I have spent so much time emphasizing reading and studying the Bible because the Holy Spirit uses His Word to comfort us, strengthen us and change us. Fluff can’t withstand a slight breeze—it is through His Word we will learn that even in a siege, God can make marvelous to us His lovingkindness.

Visualizing the Bible® Chris Harrison. Used by permission. Click the image to enlarge it to 900 x 540 pixels. This image was named one of the best science images of 2008 in National Geographic News. A poster of the image can be bought at HistoryShots.
“The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc – the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.”

Original content: Copyright ©2013 Iwana Carpenter

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