NEED HELP? Click and meditate on...
- The LORD my Helper
- Psalm 121 Commentary
- Greek Word Studies on Help
- Hebrew Word Studies on Help
- Jehovah: The Strong Tower
- Rationale for Name Jehovah 'Ezer
- Background: The Names of God
- Scriptural Occurrence of Jehovah 'Ezer
- Hebrew & Greek Words for Help
- Excursus on Names Related to Help: Eliezer & Ebenezer
- Scriptures Associating Jehovah and Help
- Gems from Spurgeon Related to Divine Help
- Music Related to Jehovah 'Ezer: The LORD My Help - e.g., listen and meditate on His great Name!
- More Hymns Related to Jehovah 'Ezer: The LORD My Help
The goal of this study is to examine the Scriptures that describe Jehovah as our Helper so that we might be equipped to stand fast on this great truth when the storms of life come and we find ourselves in narrow straits and in need of Jehovah's help. Before you begin you might pause and praise God for being our very present help in our time of need as you listen to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's version "My Help"
The Hebrew phrase Jehovah 'Ezer is translated as the "LORD [my] Help" or the "LORD [our] Help" as discussed below. Strictly speaking "Jehovah 'Ezer" is not one of the classic Names of God, because the Scripture never specifically declares "His Name is Jehovah 'Ezer". The writer of Hebrews however does describe God as "the Lord (is) my Helper" (where the verb "is" has been added by the translators) (Heb 13:6-note).
In a manner similar, David describes God as "the LORD...my Shepherd" (Jehovah Roi) (the verb "is" has been added by the translators). However, David does not specifically declare Jehovah Roi is His Name. So even as Jehovah is our Shepherd Who guides and protects us, so too is He our Helper Who comes to our aid in the time of need.
Explanatory Note: This study of "The LORD My Help" will make frequent use of the "LXX", the abbreviation for the Septuagint translation, which represents the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. The majority of the Old Testament quotations by Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc in the New Testament are quotes from the LXX rather than from the Hebrew OT. The LXX is a rich resource of insight and as such functions much like a "mini-commentary" on the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, see the in depth word study on the Greek word "boao".
Solomon records that
The Name of the LORD is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe." (Pr 18:10-note)
The Hebrew word for "safe" (sagab) actually refers to height and conveys the connotation of security. The NASB in fact translates sagab with this emphasis in Psalm 20:1 where David writes
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the Name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high! (Hebrew = sagab)"
Comment: Set you securely on high is the translation of the one Hebrew word sagab. Young's Literal = "Doth set thee on high." The NLT paraphrases it "keep you safe from all harm." NET = "make you secure!" ESV & NIV = "protect you." New American = "Defend you!" Now go back and read Pr 18:10 with this understanding of sagab. I see a picture of the believer in a strong tower so to speak, elevated above the fray and the turmoil. Our problems, etc, may still be present, but we are in a sense "elevated" above them and can see them with a supernatural perspective (e.g., a Ro 8:28 perspective).
Notice that in Psalm 20:1 David prays that the Name set you securely on high, which is a perfect parallel with (Pr 18:10). It follows that it behooves every saint to know God's "Names" for they speak of His character, His attributes, His provision, etc.
It is also worth noting that the Septuagint (Lxx) translates "safe" in Proverb 18:10 with the Greek verb, hupsoo (word study), which means to cause something to become high, to raise high, to elevate, to lift up or to exalt. For example, the apostle James uses Hupsoo in his command to
Humble (aorist imperative = a command which can be obeyed only as we surrender our will to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit) yourselves (i.e., permit yourselves to be humbled, accept the humbling circumstance) in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt (hupsóō) you." (Jas 4:10-note)
Comment: The Greek literally reads "be made low" (Jas 4:10YLT)! The Amplified adds "He will lift you up and make your lives significant." Note that we can't make ourselves low (if we could we would be proud of our humility!). We can accept the divine circumstances calculated to humble us.
Here is the question: Do you see any parallels between James' command and Solomon's wisdom in Pr 18:10-note? When the righteous man or woman runs into the "strong tower" of Jehovah, do they not have to make a choice to do so? Clearly God does not force us to run to Him. And so in a real sense it requires a humbling of one's self, a surrender and acceptance of the humbling circumstances, saying in essence
"In my own strength I cannot handle this situation, this circumstance, this affliction, this trial, etc".
This person is making a choice to humble themselves before Jehovah, choosing to run and hide in the "strong tower" of His Name.
What does God promise to do in James 4:10? To exalt us, to lift us up, to bring us to an elevated place similar to the effect pictured by the Hebrew verb sagab (see above). Does this exalting mean that the circumstance, trial, affliction, distress or difficulty vanishes? Not necessarily, but it does mean one can view the adverse situation or circumstance from a supernatural perspective. And like Job's growth in intimacy with God (see especially Job 42:5, 6) after he had been tried (Job 23:10-note), we too can come to know Jehovah in a more personal, intimate, experiential way then before the trial or difficulty (if we humble ourselves!) Then we won't just know His Name and His acts but we, like Moses, but we will come to know His ways as we experience Him...
He (Jehovah) made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. (Ps 103:7-note).
Comment: See how Psalm 103:7 relates to Moses prayer in Ex 33:13,14. Have you ever prayed to "know God's ways? Israel saw God's acts but did not know His ways (Ps 95:10) Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God, or do you also want to know His ways? There is a difference. This difference is illustrated in the lives of the children of Israel as compared to Moses. For 40 years the Israelites witnessed the miracles God performed. They walked across the dry Red Sea just as Moses did. They ate the manna and quail from heaven even as Moses did. However, they were content to receive God's provision without ever knowing God Himself. Moses saw beyond the provision of God to the person of God. Moses wanted to experience more than just His acts, His provision. He wanted to experience God Himself, not just God's activity. Have you come to know God more personally as a result of your experiences with Him? As you observe the acts of God, look beyond them to the revelation of His character which is revealed by His many Names, such as the one we are studying in this section - Jehovah Ezer.
Oh, beloved, may God grant us a full measure of His Spirit's illumination so that we might come to know our Father's heart in ever increasing measure as we study and meditate upon His majestic Names. Amen. (See "God's Name A Strong Tower")
King David records...
Our soul waits for the LORD. He is our help (Jehovah 'Ezer) and our shield." (Psalm 33:20 NASB)
Comment: Notice that the verb "is" has been added by the translators to make the sentence more readable. The Hebrew words for "LORD our help" are Jehovah Ezer. The Septuagint translates 'Ezer with the noun boethos which means Helper (and so translated in Heb 13:6).
Waits in the Lxx is the Greek verb hupomeno in the present tense. We could paraphrase this as "Our soul continually endures and stand's its ground, refusing to flee, for Jehovah is our Helper and Defender."
And then notice the following passage - "For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy NAME." (Ps 33:21), so again we see the NAME of Jehovah (in this case identified as the HELPER) is like a "Strong Tower" for the righteous, the one who humbles himself and chooses to "run into" the safety of Jehovah Ezer. What do you do when trouble knocks? Do you open the door and try to face it in your own strength? Or do you run into your Hiding Place, Christ Jesus, your (notice 3 "ours" in Ps 33:20) Jehovah Ezer, always ready to comfort and strengthen you in and through the trial?
We can see this Name more clearly in Young's Literal rendering...
Our soul hath waited for Jehovah our Help (Jehovah 'Ezer) and our shield is He. (Ps 33:20YLT)
"Our soul waits for the Lord. Here the godly avow their reliance upon Him whom the Psalm extols. To wait is a great lesson (Ed: Compare Isaiah 40:31-note). To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God; we are not to trust him with a few gewgaws (showy things, especially things that are useless), but with all we have and are. He is our help and our shield. Our help in labour, our shield in danger. The Lord answers all things to His people.
He is our all in all
(Play Nicole Nordeman's rendition of "You are My All in All"). Note the three "ours" in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk."
Jehovah of course means "I Am". Thus David is saying that "I Am is (my) Help". Jehovah Who spoke the heavens and earth into existence (Heb 11:3-note, Ps 33:6, Isa 40:26). If you are born again, you can "take personal possession" so to speak of this passage. In short, this very same God is my Help, my 'Ezer! What can man do to me if I truly receive and believe this truth! As the psalmist says...
Comment: Note that when LORD is written in all caps in the NAS, it represents a translation of the Hebrew word Jehovah.
The remainder of this study will seek to uncover the rich truths regarding "the LORD our Helper", our Jehovah 'Ezer, so that you might be equipped to "be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (1Cor 16:13+) (Red = imperative verbs = present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey)
Comment: 1Cor 16:13 has 4 "staccato-like" commands, all in the present imperative calling for these commands to be our lifestyle, something we can do only as we yield to and are enabled by the Holy Spirit our Helper (Enabler)! But it is not "Let go and let God!" Our responsibility is to carry out these commands in His sufficient power and for God's greater glory!
The English word help means to aid, to lend strength, to succor, to lend means of deliverance (as to help one in distress), to give assistance (from from Latin assistere to stand by, from sistere to cause to stand) or support (to carry the weight of, derived from Latin supportāre to bring from sub- = up + portāre =to carry). Help means to do for someone what he or she cannot do for himself or herself.
The Hebrew words for help are
(1) 'Ezer (click more detailed word study) (5828) is the Hebrew noun for helper (ezer) and refers to divine help 15 of the 21 OT uses. Most of these 15 uses refer to help in times of despair or distress.
(2) 'Azar (click more detailed word study) is the Hebrew verb which means to help.
(3) 'Ezrah (click more detailed word study) (5833) means help, support, assistance, aid, either human or divine. It is often used in the sense of a helper or assistant, one who assists and serves another with what is needed.
The Greek words that are most often used in the Septuagint (Lxx) to translate the preceding Hebrew words are...
(2) Boetheo (click more detailed word study) (997) is Greek verb which means to help or to come to the aid of someone. Boetheo is derived two words boe = a cry, exclamation + théō = to run. Can you see the incredible word picture that results from combining these two words? The idea conveyed is of one who upon hearing a cry for help, runs to give aid to assist (or to use an old but very good synonym, to succor).
(3) Boethos (click more detailed word study) (998) it the noun form of the verb boetheo and describes one who runs on hearing a cry to give assistance. It is used once in the NT as a description of Jehovah our Helper. (Hebrews 13:6-note).
GOD IS MY HELP
Eliezer is composed of two words el = God and ezer = help and means in essence "God is his help." Eliezer is found 15 times in Scripture describing 11 individuals but the most definitive description is by Moses who records that one of his two sons by Zipporah
Eliezer (from 'el = God or 'eli = my God + 'ezer = help) means "God is help", "my God is help", "God of help", "God is (his or my) help" or "My God is (a) Helper" (the specific translation depending on which Bible dictionary you consult). In short Moses' named his son Eliezer, a testimony reflecting his (Moses) personal experiences with God His Helper. Every time Moses called out Eliezer's name, he would be saying "God is my Helper". As an aside it should be noted that not every biblical name carries such significance and to attempt to analyze every OT character based solely on the etymology of their name may not lead to accurate interpretations. In the present case, the name Eliezer was given after Moses had killed an Egyptian and escaped Pharaoh's wrath ("delivered...from the sword of Pharaoh", cf Ex 2:15-resources) by fleeing to the wilderness of Midian. After delivering Moses, God helped him, providing a wife, a family and an occupation during his 40 year wilderness sojourn. And thus we see the rich background for the name "God is my Helper".
Application: Now stop for a moment and think back over your life. Is there some "Eliezer" event in your life? How did you respond to God's help? Maybe you did not even recognize it then but in retrospect you do see His Helping hand. Stop and offer a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to your Jehovah 'Ezer, the LORD your Helper, for He is "enthroned upon the praises of" His people. (Ps 22:3-note)
Do you think the fact that Moses acknowledged God as His Helper and Deliverer in the past had any bearing on the events that would soon transpire and culminate in Israel's exodus from Egypt? Is it not good to remember the past "helps" and deliverances of Jehovah, so that we might have a firm foundation on which to stand by faith when we encounter future trials?
Beloved, let me encourage you when you are faced with undertaking any difficult situation, be it in suffering or service for Christ, choose to recall that God is your Helper and that He has delivered you before and will yet deliver again. The trial won't necessarily disappear but your perspective concerning the trial will likely be quite different.
STONE OF HELP
Ebenezer is derived from two words, eben = stone and ezer = help and thus means "stone of help." There are only 3 uses in the Bible...
1Samuel 4:1 Thus the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped in Aphek.
Comment: Beloved, "beside Ebenezer" is always a good place for us to "make camp" (figuratively speaking)! Note that Ebenezer had apparently not yet received this name, which would be given in 1 Samuel 7:12.
1Samuel 5:1 Now the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone ('eben) and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer (literally "Stone of Help"), saying, "Thus far Jehovah has helped (help = azar, boetheo) us."
Comment: The stone Samuel named Ebenezer was a memorial to help Israel remember the many past episodes of Jehovah's help. How prone was Israel and are we beloved to so quickly forget Jehovah's past help...
May God grant each of us His grace to "set up memorial stones," stones of remembrance, our own personal "Ebenezers," that continually testifies "Hitherto hath Jehovah Helped me" which serves as a continual reminder of His ever present help in Christ! Amen
Notice that thus far is a time phrase which identifies Jehovah as the Help of Israel from her inception to the day this memorial stone was commissioned. What is amazing about Jehovah's help is that He was Israel's Help not only when they were faithful but even during times of rebellion (of which there were many)! Jehovah's help to Israel indeed is an illustration of God's grace, His unmerited favor to help Israel in her time of need!
Spurgeon once quipped: You remember Samuel setting up the stone Ebenezer, “the stone of help,” recording the goodness of God. You have, perhaps, heard of the old woman who said she had so many Ebenezers, that they formed a wall on both sides of her all her journey through life. Each of us should be able to say the same. “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us”: it is indeed a great wall of memorials of the lovingkindness of God. (from page 18 of What the Stones Say: Sermons in Stones)
I MY Ebenezer raise
To my kind Redeemer’s praise;
With a grateful heart I own
Hitherto Thy HELP I’ve known.
Spurgeon adds (from his introductory comments in his 500th published sermon entitled Ebenezer!) - It is certainly a very delightful thing to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints. How profitable an occupation to observe God’s goodness in delivering David out of the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear; his mercy in passing by the transgression, iniquity, and sin of Manasseh; his faithfulness in keeping the covenant made with Abraham; or his interposition on the behalf of the dying Hezekiah.
But, beloved, would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of His goodness and of His truth, as much a proof of His faithfulness and veracity as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before?
I think we do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that He wrought all His mighty acts in days of yore, and showed Himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare His arm for the saints that are now upon the earth. Let us review, I say, our own diaries. Surely in these modern pages we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the Divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you not been saved in six troubles? Yea, in seven hath not Jehovah helped you? Have you had no manifestations? The God that spoke to Abraham at Mamre. Hath He never spoken to you? The Angel that wrestled with Jacob at Peniel, hath He never wrestled with you? He that stood in the fiery furnace with the three holy children, hath He never trodden the coals at your side? O beloved, He has manifested Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world.
Forget not these manifestations; fail not to rejoice in them. Have you had no choice favors? The God that gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath He never listened to you and answered your requests? That God of lavish bounty, of Whom David sang, “Who satisfies thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s,” hath He never satiated you with fatness? Have you never been made to be down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely, beloved, the goodness of God of old has been repeated unto us. The manifestations of His grace to those gone to glory has been renewed to us, and delivering mercies as experienced by them are not unknown even to us, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
I beg you, therefore, dear friends, for a little time this morning, to fix your thoughts upon your God in connection with yourselves; and, while we think of Samuel piling the stones and saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” let us lay the emphasis upon the last word and say, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped US,” and if you can put it in the singular, and say, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped ME,” so much the better.
Again, it is a very delightful exercise to remember the various ways in which the grateful saints recorded their thankfulness. Who can look without pleasure upon the altar which Noah reared after his preservation from the universal deluge? Have not our eyes often sparkled as we have thought of Abraham building the altar and calling it “Jehovah-jireh, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen?” Have we not read with intense satisfaction, of Jacob setting up the stone which had been his pillow, and pouring oil upon it, and calling upon the name of the Lord, naming the place Bethel, though the name thereof was Luz at the first? Who has failed to rejoice in the martial music of Miriam’s timbrel, and the glorious notes of Moses’ song at the Red Sea? And have we not paused and looked at the twelve stones set up in the midst of Jordan by good old Joshua when Jordan was driven back, that the hosts of Israel might go through dry shod?
Surely, brethren, we have rejoiced in this stone which Samuel set up and called Ebenezer. And, in looking upon all the various ways in which the saints of God have recorded his lovingkindness of old, we have felt a satisfaction in beholding the perpetuity of God’s glory, since one generation shows forth to another all His mighty acts. Oh, would it not be quite as pleasant, and more profitable for us to record the mighty acts of the Lord as we have seen them? Should not we set up the altar unto his name, or weave his mercies into a song? Should we not take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise, and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus? Ought not our souls to give forth musics as sweet and exhilarating as ever came from David’s harp? Ought not the feet of our gratitude to trip as lightly as Miriam’s when she led the daughters of Israel? Have we not some means of praising God? Are there no methods by which we may set forth the gratitude we feel within? I trust we can make an offering unto our Lord. We can entertain our beloved with the spiced wine of our pomegranate, and the choice drops of our honeycomb.
I hope that this day our souls may suggest unto themselves some way in which we may record the Lord’s mighty deeds, and hand down to coming generations our testimony of His faithfulness and of His truth.
In the spirit of these two observations then, looking at God’s hand in our own life, and acknowledging that hand with some record of thankfulness, I, your minister, brought by divine grace to preach this morning the five hundredth of my printed sermons (Ed: Ebenezer was Sermon No. 500), consecutively published week by week, set up my stone of Ebenezer to God. I thank Him, thank Him humbly, but yet most joyfully for all the help and assistance given in studying and preaching the word to these mighty congregations by the voice, and afterwards to so many nations through the press. I set up my pillar (stone) in the form of this sermon. My motto this day shall be the same as Samuel’s, “Hitherto, the Lord hath helped me.” And as the stone of my praise is much too heavy for me to set it upright alone, I ask you, my comrades in the day of battle, my fellow-laborers in the vineyard of Christ, to join with me in expressing gratitude, while together we set up the stone of memorial and say, “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.” (Ebenezer!)
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Now through another year
Supported by His care;
We raise our Ebenezer here,
“The Lord has helped thus far.”
Play - Let Hearts and Tongues Unite
His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.
Play - Begone Unbelief
Now let's examine the relationship between Jehovah and help in the Scriptures. I think you will be intrigued, edified and encouraged as you discover the Biblical truths concerning the "LORD your Helper", Jehovah 'Ezer.
Related Resource: Spurgeon's sermon - Ebenezer = "Stone of help"
The word help (helps, helper) is found over 200 times in the NAS and a number of these passages speak of divine help. In the following examples, observe the repeated relation of Jehovah as a source of Help to His people and remember beloved that He has not changed but is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You can trust Him and rely on Him to be your Jehovah Ezer today and all the days of your life!
Genesis 49:25 (Addressed to Joseph) From the God of your father Who (Jehovah) HELPS ('azar, boetheo) you (NIV = your father's God, Who helps you), And by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
- Spurgeon's sermon on Genesis 49:25: A Boundless Benediction
Deuteronomy 33:7-see note And this regarding Judah; so he said, "Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people. With his hands he contended for them, And may You (Jehovah) be a help ('ezer) against his adversaries."
RIDES TO YOUR HELP!
Deuteronomy 33:26, 27 "There is none like the God of Jeshurun (Israel), Who rides the heavens to your HELP (azar, boethos), and through the skies in His majesty. 27 "The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, 'Destroy!'.
Comment: Moses, who had been all his life long a prophet, now closes his career a poet, and dies singing. He praises God, setting Him above all gods, and defying all men to find one like Him. Jeshurun means “righteous” and is used by Moses as a name for Israel to sarcastically express the fact that Israel did not live up to God’s law after entering the Land. This name should have served to remind Israel of God's calling to be His special possession and should have severely rebuked their continual gravitation toward apostasy. Such a rebuke would be especially emphatic in light of the dramatic picture that God Himself was willing to ride through the heavens to give Israel any help they would need to live as more than conquerors amidst the pagans!
Do not miss the incredible picture "painted" by boethos the Greek word used to translate 'azar, the Hebrew word for help. Boethos (see note above) is derived from two words (boe = cry out + theo = to run) which together give the picture of one who upon hearing a cry, runs to the aid of the one in distress! In Deut 33:26 the picture is of Jehovah Himself "riding the heavens" upon hearing the cry of His beloved to give them divine help ("Jehovah Ezer!") What is the implied condition? We need to make the choice to cry out. This might mean we need to relinquish our pride and be willing to humble ourselves and cry out. To whom do you cry out when you are in anguish, difficulty or distress? May God give us all the grace to not hesitate to cry out to Jehovah Ezer, Who will come to our aid in Jesus. Amen.
Spurgeon in a sermon on Deut 33:26 adds:
The Lord is the great joy and the delightful portion of his people. In nothing were the tribes of Israel so favored as in having the true God to be their God. This was the great glory and the peculiar privilege of the chosen people, that the only living and Most High Jehovah had manifested himself unto them and to their fathers, had taken them to be his people, and given himself to be their God...the God of Jeshurun made the heavens, and then before their eyes made the heavens to drop with manna; he made the earth, and for their supply made the flinty rocks to flow with rivers. He it was who went before his people with a pillar of fire and cloud, made them victorious over all their enemies, and promised to bring them into the promised land. “Well,” said the man who had seen all this, “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun. (Spurgeon's sermon - Israel’s God and God’s Israel)
If you practice self-reliance, but not God-reliance, you will be sure to fail. What poor strength that is which does not come from God! Is it worthy of the name of strength at all? Is it not impotence and impudence combined? May God keep us from imagining that we can do anything apart from him! At the same time, may His gracious Spirit work in us the sure confidence (trust) that we can do everything he bids us do when He is our Helper!
Everything depends on God, but we are his instruments. We are his servants, and because he is at our back, let us go forward with courage and zeal. The results are certain, God being our Helper.
MY Helper God! I bless His name:
The same His power, His grace the same;
The tokens of His friendly care
Open, and crown, and close the year.
When death shall interrupt these songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper, God, in Whom we trust,
In better worlds our souls shall boast.
Philip Doddridge, 1755.
Spurgeon continues his exposition on the help from the "God of Jeshurun" noting that:
Men can come to our help, but they travel slowly, creeping along the earth. Lo, our God comes riding on the heavens. They who travel on the earth may be stopped by enemies, they certainly will be hindered; but he that rides upon the heavens cannot be stayed nor even delayed. When Jehovah’s excellency comes flying upon the sky on the wings of the wind, how gloriously are displayed the swiftness, the certainty, and the all-sufficiency of delivering grace. God has ways to help us that we dream not of. “Thy way, O God, is in the sea.” He has a way in the tempest, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Jehovah has made for himself a highway, a chariot road along the heavens, that his purposes of love may never be hindered. If we will but trust in God, invisible spirits shall fight for us, the great wheels of providence shall revolve for our good, and God the Eternal himself, dressed in robes of war like a valiant champion, shall come forth to espouse our quarrel.
Fall back upon yourselves, lean upon your fellow creatures, trust upon earth-born confidences, and ye fall upon a rotten foundation that shall give way beneath you; but rest ye upon your God and upon your God alone, and the stars in heaven shall fight for you, yea, the stars in their courses, and things present and things to come, and heights, and depths, and all the creatures subservient to the will of the omnipotent Creator, shall work together for good to you, seeing that you love God and are depending upon his power. Thus, and thus sweetly, does Israel’s prophet sing of Israel’s God." (from Israel’s God and God’s Israel)
Spurgeon adds that Dt 33:26-27 shows "that the Lord is above, around, and underneath His saints. “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps 90:1)." We are as surrounded by You as the earth is surrounded by the atmosphere." The eternal God is your dwelling place and your rest, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Within Thy circling power I stand,
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.
Oh that Jehovah would open the eyes of our heart to understand that such a Mighty God willingly condescends to be our ever present Help. Amen
Deuteronomy 33:29NIV Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by Jehovah? He (Jehovah) is your Shield and Helper (azar, boethos) and your glorious Sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places."
2 Kings 14:26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither bond nor free, nor was there any helper (azar, boetheo) for Israel.
1 Chronicles 15:26 Because God was helping (azar, katischuo = be strong) the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
OUR ONLY HELP!
2 Chronicles 14:11 Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, "Jehovah, there is no one besides You to help (azar, boetheo) in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help (azar in the imperative, boetheo) us, O LORD our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You."
Comment: King Asa was a godly ruler of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and in his early life gives us all a good example to imitate. His prayer in this passage is in the the context of a huge army (a million men, 300 chariots!). Asa could have chosen to rely on his arm of strength for he had 280, 000 men. However, he knew the enemy was too strong and thus cast himself on the Jehovah his Help. Asa did well to recognize that even the huge army arrayed against him stood no chance against God's power. Asa's prayer was a prayer of total trust. At times the believer's only prayer is, "Help LORD.'' Believers face an evil triumvirate in the form of the world, the flesh and the devil, each of which alone is too powerful for any of us to fight in our own strength. Oh how we are children of God need to continually cry out to Jehovah our Helper and like King Asa fully rely on His omnipotent arm and not our own arm of flesh. What battle are you facing today? Are you willing to humble yourself and cry out to Jehovah Ezer? The LORD promises to be a very present Help in trouble (Ps 46:1-2).
2Chronicles 18:31 So it came about when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel," and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him.
Comment: "The LORD helped" in Hebrew is "Jehovah 'Azar". King Jehoshaphat cried out what we as believers need to do more often..."LORD help!" God answered Jehoshaphat and will answer us too dear child of God!
2Chronicles 20:4 So Judah gathered together to seek help ('azar) from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
Comment: When did Judah gather together to seek Jehovah Ezer? (See 2Chr 20:1-3). Read Jehoshaphat's prayer in 2Chr 20:5-13 ending with the great phrase "our eyes are on Thee", always a good place to fix our eyes (cp Heb 12:2). Read about the miraculous help Jehovah Ezer provided in 2Chr 20:14-30.
- Spurgeon's sermon on 2Chr 20:4: The Singing Army
2Chronicles 25:8 "But if you (King Amaziah whose name means "strengthened by Jehovah"!) do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help ('azar) and to bring down."
2Chronicles 26:7 And God helped ('azar; katischuo = make strong) him (Uzziah = "strength of Jehovah") against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites.
2Chronicles 26:15 And in Jerusalem he made engines of war invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners, for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped ('azar; katischuo = make strong) until he was strong. 16 But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Comment: Notice the phrase "he was marvelously helped until he was strong." The next word is "but" (term of contrast = this should always prompt a pause and at least one question - "What is being contrasted?") signifies a change of direction, in this case a change of heart, from humility to pride, and consequently from victory to defeat because God always opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jas 4:6-note).
2Chronicles 28:16 At that time (expressions of time should always prompt "What time?") King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria for help ('azar, boetheo).
Comment: Ahaz rejected the help of Jehovah Ezer choosing rather to seek help from the arm of flesh. How often we are all like Ahaz when the seemingly insurmountable problems close in upon us. We often run first to human counselors, instead of our Divine Counselor.
2Chronicles 32:8 (See 2Chr 32:7 for King Hezekiah's declaration that "the One with us is greater than the one with" the king of Assyria! One plus God is always a majority!) "With him (the king of Assyria) is only an arm of flesh, but with us is Jehovah our God to help ('azar, sozo = deliver, save) us and to fight our battles." And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Comment: Flesh represents man's weakness and mortality (Isa 2:22; 31:3; 40:6)
Hezekiah's calming works expressed total trust in Jehovah Ezer with a powerful effect on the people of Jerusalem. This story reminds one of the power of truth in the face of enemy attacks. Peace for a believer is not necessarily no storms, no battles, no afflictions in his/her life but a promised calm that can be ours in the midst of the storm. Jesus taught His disciples in Jn 16:33 that the words He had just spoken ("these things I have spoken to you" = John 13-16 the "Upper Room" Discourse) were truth that would give them peace in Him even in the face of the tribulation that was guaranteed to be theirs in this hostile world. Indeed...
Why do believers not need to fear tribulation (thlipsis) in this present evil world? Because we are in Jesus Who conquered the world and He Himself is our peace in the midst of the storm. Through His Cross the world has been crucified to us and we to the world. We are now alive in Christ and dead to the world! (see Gal 6:14-note).
Illustration of Placing One's Trust in Jehovah Ezer's Power to Overcome a Great Enemy: The citizens of Feldkirch, Austria, didn't know what to do. Napoleon's massive army was preparing to attack. Soldiers had been spotted on the heights above the little town, which was situated on the Austrian border. So a council of citizens was hastily summoned to decide whether they should try to defend themselves or display the white flag of surrender. It happened to be Easter Sunday, and the people had gathered in the local church.
The pastor rose and said, "Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord's resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands." The council accepted his plan and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left. We too may be facing circumstances that threaten to crush us. But let us call out to the Lord (Jehovah Ezer) and depend on His almighty power. —Henry G. Bosch
Psalm 10:14 You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You (Jehovah) have been the helper ('azar; boetheo) of the orphan.
Comment: Jehovah Ezer is the ultimate resort of the helpless, aptly described as fatherless. Perhaps you feel like your earthly father has forsaken you (mine forsook me when I was less than a year old) leaving you fatherless and, in a sense, an "orphan." You can know for certain that the Jehovah Ezer never takes His eyes off of you, for He is a "A father of the fatherless," He "makes a home for the lonely" (Ps 68:5, 6) and He "supports the fatherless and the widow." (Ps 146:9). In Jehovah Ezer, "the orphan finds mercy.” (Hos 14:3)
- Spurgeon's sermon on Psalm 10:14: The Poor Man’s Friend
Psalm 12:1 Help (save), LORD (Jehovah), for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men
Comment: A good prayer to pray to Jehovah Ezer anytime! It is not the length of the prayer, but the "strength" of the prayer that is effective (cp Mt 6:7-8, Jas 5:16). Peter was sinking and had time for only a short "prayer" - "Lord, save me!" which was enough for Jesus who "immediately stretched out His hand and took hold of him" (Mt 14:30, 31)
- Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 12:1 A Suitable Watchword
Spurgeon's Devotional on Psalm 12:1: The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious (pithy), and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word “help” is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.
The occasions for the use
of this prayer are frequent.
In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them.
Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of “Help, Lord,” to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher.
Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request.
Workers in heavenly labour may thus obtain grace in time of need.
Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication.
In fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. “Help, LORD,” will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to Him.
The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord’s character assures us that he will not leave his people; his relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us his aid; his gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and his sure promise stands, “Fear not, I will help thee.” (Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and evening : Daily readings: June 17 AM).
Beloved are we not in need of His Help, His salvation every day?! Our mortal enemies the world, the flesh and the devil daily (yea, even moment by moment) seek to being us down, to cause us to stumble, to "wound" our soul. It follows that David's prayer "Help Jehovah" should continually be in our heart and on our lips! Stop and utter this brief but powerful prayer even now. Take a moment to give thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus for His great rescue of each of us from eternal death by offering His life as a substitute for our life...listen to modern worship song based on Fanny Crosby's hymn by the same name...
Psalm 20:2 May He (Jehovah) send you help (ezer; boetheia) from the sanctuary and support you from Zion!
Comment: Note that Ps 20:1 appeals to the "name of the God of Jacob" to "set you on high" in striking contrast to what most place their trust (Ps 20:7). In verse 2 David appeals to the God of help, Whose Name is Jehovah Ezer.
There is a safe and secret place
Beneath the wings divine
Reserved for all the heirs of grace;
That refuge now is mine.
The least and feeblest here may hide
Uninjured and unawed.
While thousands fall on every side,
I rest secure in God.
Spurgeon: Out of heaven's sanctuary came the angel to strengthen our Lord, and from the precious remembrance of God's doings in his sanctuary our Lord refreshed himself when on the tree. There is no help like that which is of God's sending, and no deliverance like that which comes out of his sanctuary. The sanctuary to us is the person of our blessed Lord, who was typified by the temple, and is the true sanctuary which God has pitched, and not man: let us fly to the cross for shelter in all times of need and help will be sent to us. Men of the world despise sanctuary help, but our hearts have learned to prize it beyond all material aid. They seek help out of the armory, or the treasury, or the buttery, but we turn to the sanctuary. (Treasury of David)
Wiersbe: The Christian trusts in the Lord, and he exemplifies this trust by praying ("May He [Jehovah] send you help..."). When we are in trouble, what we do to solve our problems and turn our trouble into triumph is evidence of what or whom we're trusting. When the day of trouble arrives, some people reach for their checkbooks. They think money will solve their problems. Others reach for the telephone. They look to friends to solve their problems. (Prayer, Praises and Promises)
Psalm 22:11 Be not far from me, for (term of explanation - Pause and ask "What is David explaining?") trouble (Heb = tsarah = tightness, straits, distress, anguish, intense turmoil; Lxx = thlipsis = crushing pressure) is near; for (term of explanation - Pause and ask "What is David explaining?") there is none to help ('azar; boetheo).
Comment: David rightly recognizes that other than Jehovah Ezer, there is no real help when one is inner torment of one's soul. We need soul help and that comes from Jehovah Ezer alone. The language of this psalm is felt by most commentators to be appropriately applied to the Messiah.
Spurgeon comments: There are two "fors," as though faith gave a double knock at mercy's gate; that is a powerful prayer which is full of holy reasons and thoughtful arguments. The nearness of trouble is a weighty motive for divine help (Ed: cp "Jehovah Ezer); this moves our heavenly Father's heart, and brings down His helping hand. It is His glory to be our very present help in trouble (Ps 46:1). Our Substitute (Jesus) had trouble in His inmost heart, for He said, "the waters have come in, even unto my soul;" well might He cry, "be not far from Me." The absence of all other helpers is another telling plea. In our Lord's case none either could or would help Him, it was needful that He should tread the winepress alone; yet was it a sore aggravation to find that all His disciples had forsaken Him, and lover and friend were put far from Him. There is an awfulness about absolute friendlessness which is crushing to the human mind, for man was not made to be alone, and is like a dismembered limb when he has to endure heart loneliness.
Psalm 22:19 (NET Bible Translation) But you, O Jehovah, do not remain far away! You (Jehovah) are my source of strength! Hurry (hasten) and help (ezrah, boetheia) me!
Comment: The words in Psalm 22 penned by David are usually interpreted as fulfilled in Jesus at the time of His crucifixion. And so we see the mystery of Jesus fully God (Jehovah) and fully Man crying out for His Father's presence and assistance.
Spurgeon: Hard cases need timely aid: when necessity justifies it we may be urgent with God as to time, and cry, "make haste;" but we must not do this out of willfulness. Mark how in the last degree of personal weakness he calls the Lord my strength; after this fashion the believer can sing, "when I am weak, then am I strong." (2Cor 12:9-note)
Psalm 22:24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help (Heb = shava - cry for help; Lxx = krazo - cry out, even when one utters loud cries, without words capable of being understood by men, but understood by God!), He heard.
Spurgeon: Neither hath he hid his face from him. That is to say, the hiding was but temporary, and was soon removed; it was not final and eternal. But when he cried unto him, he heard. Jesus was heard in that he feared. He cried in extremis and de profundis, and was speedily answered; he therefore bids his people join him in singing a Gloria in excelsis. Every child of God should seek refreshment for his faith in this testimony of the Man of Sorrows. What Jesus here witnesses is as true today as when it was first written. It shall never be said that any man's affliction or poverty prevented his being an accepted suppliant at Jehovah's throne of grace. The meanest applicant is welcome at mercy's door: -- "None that approach his throne shall find A God unfaithful or unkind."
YOU HAVE BEEN
Psalm 27:9 Do not hide Thy face from me, Do not turn Thy servant away in anger; Thou (Jehovah) hast been my help (ezrah, boethos) (NIV = You have been my Helper; NLT = You have always been my Helper); Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the LORD will take me up.
Comment: The Hebrew reads more literally "You my help has become" which speaks of the psalmist's assurance of his past experience with Jehovah. In other words, he is declaring that God was there as his Helper in times past (cp "Ebenezer" = Stone of Help -1Sa 7:12),. The psalmist uses his remembrance of God's past "help" as reason why God should befriend him now.
When faced with distress, do you recall the past help of Jehovah? It is a good spiritual discipline to develop, for such memories provide a firm ground for boldly approaching His throne of grace.
And so the psalmist had reason to conclude "O God of my salvation" for Jehovah had been his help in times past, a present help in time of trouble, and one Whose hand is not so short that it cannot save and Whose power is the ever the same to come to our aid and provide help upon hearing the sound of our cry, be it bold and loud or weak and feeble. He is always attentive to the voice of His dear children, beloved.
Perhaps you need to begin a journal today, recording the instances of Jehovah's past help in preparation for the sure need we will all have of calling out for His future help.
C H Spurgeon comments: IN times of distress it is somewhat a difficulty to have a choice of helpers, because while we are making our selection, the danger may have overtaken us. While the fox was considering which way to run, the hounds had seized him; while the sick man was selecting the physician, and judging of the medicine, his disease carried him off. It is well to be shut up to one sole help, if that help is all we need; it is for our good, in such a case, to have no alternative, but to have, as the old proverb hath it, Hobson’s choice — that or none. The believer is exactly in that condition; he must trust in his God, or remain without hope. He dares not look to others as he once did, for he has discovered their incompetence; he cannot rely upon himself as once he was foolish enough to do, for he has learned by bitter experience the folly of self-confidence. He is compelled to look to the Lord alone. Blessed is that wind which drives the ship into the harbor, blessed is that wave which washes the mariner upon the rock of safety, and blessed is that distress which forces a man to rest only in his God. Such was the condition of the psalmist (David) when he wrote the text, his spirit looked to God alone; in his past experience the goodness of the Lord shone forth as the pole star of his life’s voyage, and, therefore, as to the future, he fixed his eye steadily on that one sure guiding light, and trusted in the God of his salvation. (A Mighty Plea)
Spurgeon adds: When you pray, have a plea ready, a plea that is available under all circumstances and conditions. Have a plea of your own, not one borrowed from others and perhaps only half suited to your specific needs. Have a plea that wells up from your inner consciousness, your personal plea, heavy in your own soul. Have a plea that allows you to come before the throne of grace with confidence and boldness (He 4:16-note). Have a simple plea, one you can understand. When you are in doubt, you are in a fog and you need a clear chart. When you plead with God during times of trouble, you want your plea to be clear, or else you will be so confused that you will not be able to prevail.
Pray like this, “You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me” (Ps 27:9). This is a plain, personal, suitable, simple argument, one that is not fetched from a distance but grown at home in personal experience. What would we have done without the Lord’s help in time of need? God has greatly displayed His power and His mercy on our behalf. Many of you whose heads are covered with the silver hair of age will say with tearful emphasis, “You have been my help.” Those of you in middle life, battling with its care and trials, can confess, “The Lord has been my helper.” Young people, even in their short conflict, have received such aid that they gladly proclaim, “You have been my help.” Look back on the trouble that God has brought you through. Can you remember the times when your feet had almost gone and your steps had nearly slipped? Then say, with thankful emotion and confidence, “You have been my help.”
- Spurgeon's sermon on Psalm 27:9 - A Mighty Plea
Psalm 28:7 The LORD (Jehovah) is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped ('azar; boetheo); Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Spurgeon: Heart work is sure work; heart trust is never disappointed. Faith must come before help, but help will never be long behindhand. Every day the believer may say, "I am helped," for the divine assistance is vouchsafed (granted to) us every moment, or we should go back unto perdition; when more manifest help is needed, we have but to put faith into exercise, and it will be given us.
Spurgeon: “My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” Here, too, we have both inward and outward, as I told you before—“My heart trusted in Him,” that is work done indoors, within the soul. “I am helped,” that is mercy received outdoors, openly and actually. Notice the scrupulous loyalty of the Believer whose entire confidence is centered in God. “My heart trusted.” I did not say, ‘I trusted,’ as one who makes a profession with his lips, but rather with strong conviction and profound emotion, “my heart trusted.” Has it been so with you of late? Has your heart been trusting in God? That is a very strong expression of the Prophet when he speaks of the heart going a whoring from God. The language is vehement even to coarseness, but it is none too forcible, for it involves the commission of a spiritual uncleanness when the heart trusts any other helper than God. “My heart trusted in Him.” Oh, it is so easy for the heart to get to trusting in itself! And he that trusts his own heart is a fool! It is frightfully easy for the heart to rely upon man, as we know right well! Did you ever notice the middle verse of the whole Bible? It is the eighth verse of the 118th Psalm (Ps 118:8)—“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” The comparison will not bear a thought, the preference is infinite—for confidence in man will betray your hopes, but faith in God will enrich you beyond your expectations! May our heart always keep to that—trusting God—trusting in God alone. “My heart trusted in Him.” In the next clause of the sentence, which is the outward manifestation of the inward experience, we have the result—“I am helped.” If I had been writing this Psalm of my own head, I think I should have written it thus—“My heart trusted
in Him, and I was helped,” for it is a rule in composition that if you bracket two sentences together you should write them in the same tense. But, as old Master Trapp says, faith has no tenses, because faith deals with a God who has no tenses except the present, for His name is, “I AM.” Faith does not say, “I trusted in Him and I was helped.” No, she has all former mercy present before her eyes and she sings, “I am helped.” Nor does Faith say, “My heart trusted in Him, and I shall be helped.” Perhaps the needed help has not yet arrived, but she is so sure that it will come that she cries, “I am helped! Am I as poor as I was before I prayed? No, I am not, for I have obtained the blessing I asked for. I appear to be as weak as I was before I trusted Him, but I am not, for the Lord is my strength and, having trusted in Him, I am helped.” I wish we lived more in that blessed present tense in which God dwells! (A Sacred Solo)
- Spurgeon's sermon on Psalm 28:7: A Sacred Solo
Ps 30:2, 10 O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me....10 "Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. ('azar; boethos)"
Comment: In Ps 30:10, the literal Hebrew reads "Jehovah Helper be." Observe also two aspects of God's glorious character - Helper and Healer. We need both! See related resource: Jehovah Rapha: (Jehovah Rophe) The LORD our Healer
Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help ('ezer, boethos) and our shield (protector).
Comment: In the Lxx the verb waits is hupomeno (in present tense = continually) indicating that the psalmist maintains his belief or course of action in the face of opposition, standing his ground for Jehovah his Help!
Spurgeon: Note the three "ours" in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk.
JEHOVAH OUR HELP
Psalm 35:2 (Addressed to Jehovah) Take hold of buckler and shield, and rise up for my help (ezrah; boetheia).
Spurgeon's Comment: (Jehovah) is pictured armed for battle, and interposing Himself between His servant and His enemies. The greater and lesser protections of providence may be here intended by the two defensive weapons, and by Jehovah’s standing up is meant His active and zealous preservation of His servant in peril. The psalmist thought of God as a real personage, truly working for His afflicted. (Ed: Beloved, do you truly see God as your Jehovah Ezer, the One who takes personal interest in your times of spiritual warfare and works all things out for good for His children?)
Psalm 37:40 Jehovah helps (azar; boetheo) them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.
Spurgeon: In all future time Jehovah will stand up for his chosen. Our Great Ally will bring up his forces in the heat of the battle. He shall deliver them from the wicked. As he rescued Daniel from the lions, so will he preserve his beloved from their enemies; they need not therefore fret, nor be discouraged.
Psalm 38:22 Make haste (imperative = command) to help (Ezrah; Boetheia) me, O Lord, my salvation! (cp similar prayer in Ps 40:13, 17)
Spurgeon: Delay would prove destruction. The poor pleader was far gone and ready to expire; only speedy help would serve his turn. Affliction gives new life to our pleading, and drives us with eagerness to our God.
Related Resource: Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 38:1-22 - Things to be Remembered
Comment: More literally the Hebrew reads "O Jehovah to help (ezrah) hasten" which parallels Jehovah 'Ezer, the LORD my help. Be pleased and Make haste are both imperatives (commands), which may surprise us because we don't normally think of commanding God to doe anything! However because of the shed blood of Jesus, we have bold entrance to God's presence and can "draw near with confidence (boldness) to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help (boétheia) in time of need." (Heb 4:16-note)
- Spurgeon's sermon on Psalm 40:12,13: Out of the Depths
Psalm 40:17 Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me; Thou art my help (Lxx = Boethos) and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
Psalm 44:26 Rise up (imperative = command), be our help (ezrah; Boetheo = in Lxx boetheo is an aorist imperative), and redeem (imperative = command) us for the sake of Thy lovingkindness.
AN EVER NEAR HELP!
Psalm 46:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (ezrah; boethos) in trouble (Heb = tsarah = straits, distress, anguish; Lxx = thlipsis = crushing pressure).
Comment: God is our Jehovah Ezer. God is “abundantly available for help in tight places”. Blessed are we when we realize that our safety and protection lie not in riches or armies but in Jehovah alone! The next word in Ps 46:2 is therefore which is a term of conclusion. Whenever you encounter the conjunction therefore, pause and ask what the author is concluding, why, why now, etc (See 5W/H'S)? As you develop this skill of "chewing" the Scripture by recognizing connecting words (see also terms of explanation, terms of contrast, terms of comparison) and asking questions (See John Piper's exhortation regarding the value of querying the text), you can know that you are beginning to practice the blessed discipline of Meditation (see God's promises when we meditate on His Word - see Ps 1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note, Joshua 1:8-note)
Spurgeon comments: He never withdraws Himself from his afflicted. He is their help, He is present or near them, close at the side and ready for their succor, and this is emphasized by the word very. He is more present than friend or relative can be, closer even than the trouble itself. His assistance comes at the needed time....
(Jehovah Ezer is) One Who is near at hand; always near, but nearest when He is most needed.
- Related Resource: Spurgeon's sermon Ps 46:1-3 - Earthquake, but not Heartquake
Warren Wiersbe comments on Ps 46:1: This assurance from the Lord ought to take care of all of our fears and problems. God is our refuge--He hides us. God is our strength--He helps us. These two go together. At times in our lives we need a refuge. The storm is blowing and the battle is raging, and we have to run somewhere to hide. It's not a sin to hide, but it is a sin to stay hidden. God hides us so that He can help us. Then we can return to the battle and face the storm. This is not escape but rejuvenation.
The Old Testament contains 21 different Hebrew words for trouble. Here the word trouble means "in tight places." If you are in a tight place today, let me suggest that you run by faith to Jesus. But don't go to Him to escape. Go there and tell Him, "Lord, I want to go back to the battle. I want to go back to my work. I want to carry the burdens of life, but you have to give me the strength." Then you can claim this marvelous promise of Psalm 46:1.
Notice the conclusion: "Therefore we will not fear" (Ps 46:2). When God is available as your refuge and your strength, you have nothing to fear. Take time to run to the Lord. Are circumstances overwhelming you? Take refuge in the Lord. He will enable you to continue with renewed strength and confidence. (Wiersbe, W: Prayer, Praise and Promises on Ps 46:1)
Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her (Jerusalem, the City of God, Ps 46:4), she will not be moved; God will help (azar, boetheo) her when morning dawns.
Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper (azar, boetheo); The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
Spurgeon: He saw enemies everywhere, and now to his joy as he looks upon the band of his defenders he sees One whose aid is better than all the help of men; he is overwhelmed with joy at recognizing his divine champion, and cries, Behold. And is not this a theme for pious exultation in all time, that the great God protects us, His own people: what matters the number or violence of our foes when HE uplifts the shield of his omnipotence to guard us, and the sword of his power to aid us? Little care we for the defiance of the foe while we have the defense of God.
Wiersbe: David wrote those words when he was hiding from King Saul....David went through several stages waiting for God to help him (Ps 54:1-2)....We see a turning point at Psalm 54:4, where David's faith goes to work....David now is trusting the Lord. It's one thing to cry out to God, but it's something else to believe that He is going to hear and answer.
Psalm 63:7 For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
Comment: "For" (KJV = because) is a term of explanation (which should always be cause to pause and ponder and query the "for" with the 5W/H questions, which will invariably lead to additional insights) and in this case explains why he meditated on God (as seen in the previous passage - Ps 63:6 - notice how pausing to ponder the "for" forced you to re-read the context, which in turn increased your understanding of the passage.)
Spurgeon: IN their time of trouble the children of God turn to their Father. It is according to their new-born nature to seek him from whom it came. The believing heart is like the needle in the compass: you may turn it round with your finger east and west, but when you withdraw the pressure, it will, beyond all doubt, tremble backward towards its pole. With God the regenerate heart is in its proper position. A mystic something draws the new life towards the source from whence it came. We may, alas! by the force of temptation, or by the demands of business, or by an overpowering lethargy, become indifferent to our highest love; but this cannot long continue: we can never rest except in God. The winds of trouble blow the dove of our soul back to the ark. Our heart repents of its wanderings when they bring it into a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Then we long after divine refreshments, and cannot be quiet till we have them. Then we cry, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee”!
Meditation (He had remembered in Ps 63:6 ~ "on his bed" he had meditated on God Who had been his Jehovah Ezer) had refreshed his memory and recalled to him his past deliverances. It were well if we oftener read our own diaries, especially noting the hand of the Lord in helping us in suffering, want, labour, or dilemma. This is the grand use of memory, to furnish us with proofs of the Lord's faithfulness, and lead us onward to a growing confidence in Him. (Ed: Do you have a notebook to record the Lord's lovingkindnesses in your life? You really should consider it, for past remembrances of His divine help, undergirds our trust and assurance of His help in present affliction.)
- Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 63:7: Experience and Assurance
Psalm 70:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David; for a memorial. O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my help (ezra; boetheia)!...5 But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.
Comment: Note David's personal possession ("my...") of the truth of Jehovah as his Help! In Ps 70:1 the literal order of the Hebrew is "Jehovah to help hasten"
Psalm 60:11 (A prayer to God, Jehovah Ezer) O give us help (Ezrah; boetheia) against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. 12 Through God we shall do valiantly, and it is He who will tread down our adversaries (LXX = Greek verb thlibo = literally to press together or hem in, which figuratively pictures sufferings that arise from the pressure of circumstances or from the antagonism of persons)
Comment: David acknowledged that victory had to come from God. The Israelites could not obtain it without His help. Who do you cry out to for help? On whose strength do you draw, the Lord's or your own? The source of your help and your strength will determine whether you experience victory or defeat.
MacDonald Comments: The believer’s enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil. In himself he is powerless to conquer them. And the help of other men is insufficient, no matter how well-meaning they might be. But there is victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who trust in Him for deliverance will never be disappointed. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
Psalm 63:7 For Thou (Jehovah) hast been my help (Ezrah; Boethos), and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.
Spurgeon's sermon on Psalm 63:7 - Experience and Assurance
Comment: David is urging the Lord to make haste to deliver him. He is crying out for immediate help.
Spurgeon adds that: It is not forbidden us, in hours of dire distress, to ask for speed on God’s part in his coming to rescue us...It is most fitting that we should day by day cry to God for deliverance and help; our frailty and our many dangers render this a perpetual necessity." (Treasury of David)
Warren Wiersbe asks: Has God ever been slow in your life? He was in David's. This undoubtedly was one of the psalms written when David was being harassed by King Saul. So he cries out, "Lord, why don't You do something? You're being awfully slow."
Have you ever pondered the delays of God? He is never in a hurry, but once He starts to work, watch out! He patiently accomplishes His work. David pleads, "Make haste, make haste" (Ps 70:1). He repeats his plea in Ps 70:5 : "I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay." If right now it seems as though God is tarrying instead of working, if it seems as though He is delaying instead of acting, what should you do? Seek Him and wait on Him and love Him. Ps 70:4 says it beautifully: "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, 'Let God be magnified!"' We've seen that phrase before. David, when he was sinking, said, "I . . . will magnify Him with thanksgiving" (Ps 69:30).
Here's a good lesson for us. When God is not moving as rapidly as we think He should, when our timetables do not coincide, what should we do? Rejoice in Him, love Him and magnify Him. Let Him worry about the timetable. God is always working, and we know that all things are working together for good (Ro 8:28). But He waits for the right time to reveal His victories. Let Him watch the clock.
God's delays are a part of your character-building process. The next time God gives you a delay, encourage yourself by remembering that He never stops working for you, and He knows when and how to help you. Submit to His timetable and His care." (Prayer, Praise and Promises).
Psalm 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help (ezrah; Boetheia)!
Spurgeon comments: To call God ours, as having entered into covenant with us, is a mighty plea in prayer, and a great stay to our faith.
Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake.
Psalm 86:17 Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 86:17: Tokens for Good
Psalm 88:13 But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 88:13: Heman’s Sorrowful Psalm
Psalm 94:17: If the LORD had not been my help (ezrah; boetheo), My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
Comment: When God is your Help, when you have the strength of God that comes from His Word, you can stand up against the sin in this world.
Psalm 102:1 A Prayer of the Afflicted when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my cry for help come to You.
Psalm 108:12 (Ed: A prayer to Jehovah) Oh give us help (ezrah; boetheia) against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain.
Psalm 109:26 Help (command) me, O LORD my God; Save (command) me according to Your lovingkindness (Jehovah's mercy is the foundation for these prayerful commands)
Psalm 115:9 O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 118:7 The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
Psalm 118:13 You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the Jehovah helped (azar) me.
Spurgeon's sermon on Ps 118:13-14: An Epistle Illustrated by a Psalm
Psalm 119:86 All Your commandments are faithful; They have persecuted me with a lie; help me!
Psalm 119:147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.
Psalm 119:173 Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts.
Psalm 119:175 Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.
Psalm 121:1 (Psalm 121- A Commentary) A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124:8 Our HELP (Heb = ezer; Lxx = boetheia) is in the NAME of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Spurgeon: In all times of danger from men our wisest course is to fly to the Lord our helper. He has ways and means for delivering us which we know not of. He can either turn our enemies into friends, or else so check all their efforts that they shall do us no real injury. Blessed are those men whose trust in the Lord never wavers.
Psalm 146:5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Isaiah 41:10 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'...13 "For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.' 14 "Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you," declares the LORD, "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
- Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 41:10: Away with Fear
- Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 41:10: The Sweet Harp of Consolation
- Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 41:14: Fear Not
- Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 41:14: Your Redeemer
Isaiah 44:2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, 'Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 44:1-5: A Promise for Us and For Our Children
Isaiah 49:8 Thus says the LORD, "In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
Comment: Paul quotes this verse in 2Cor 6:2.
Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 49:8: Christ in the Everlasting Covenant
Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
Spurgeon's sermon on Isaiah 50:7: The Redeemer’s Face Set Like a Flint
Isaiah 50:9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.
Hosea 13:9 It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help.
Jonah 2:2 and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.
Habakkuk 1:2 How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!" Yet You do not save.
A SHORT, POWERFUL
PRAYER FOR JESUS' HELP
Matthew 15:25 But she (a Canaanite woman) came and began to bow down (proskuneo = to bow down, prostrate one's self, many times used in context of worship [note Mt 15:25KJV rendering] and certainly an act of humility in this context, throwing herself at Jesus' feet, the best place to be!) before Him, saying, "Lord, help (boetheo - present imperative = command to continually help) me!"
Comment: Note that this woman's initial prayer (Mt 15:22) was not answered, she drew closer (at Jesus' feet) and her prayer grew shorter. Spurgeon quipped "I think when prayers grow shorter, they grow stronger. There is often more proof of earnestness in a short prayer than there is in a long one; glibness of speech is not prevalence in intercession!" This poor Canaanite woman shames us all in that she recognized her great need for Jesus' help, she believed in His ability to help her and she boldly cried out for His help. God grant that we would all more often be like this poor woman ever in urgent need of Jehovah Jesus' help! When was the last time you cried "Lord, help me!"
Spurgeon in a sermon on this text said: his woman had no need to omit any of her words, for she was not in a state of mind to utter a sentence that could be pruned of a single word. She was in such a condition that every word that came out of her mouth was like hot shot poured out of her heart. I had almost said that every letter, as well as every syllable and every word she uttered, was coined in blood. She speaks, at any rate, burning language, at blood heat; and the words, as they drop into my ear, come with a kind of overpowering force, so great is their intensity: “Lord, help me.” There is not a syllable to spare; the words are all short, simple, living, burning, from the first one to the last. I like this kind of pleading, and I commend it to you who are inured to pain and sufferings, or who have to do with this rough world, as many of you have. You find that, in your time of distress, you have to throw away a great many merely ornamental things, and you only keep what is real, solid, and substantial. Here is a woman who must deal in realities, for she has at home a real daughter, really tormented by a real devil; and she believes that before her there is a real Savior, and she intends not to let him slip away through any want of intensity on her part. She follows him with clamorous cries; if she be repulsed, she still pursues him, and when, at last, he gives her what looks like a wry word, she will not believe it; but she adores him, she worships him, and she cries out of the depths of her soul, “Lord, help me.” (A Prayer for Everybody)
Mark 9:22 "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" 23 And Jesus said to him, "'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." 24 Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief."
Spurgeon's sermon on Mark 9:22-23:"If You Can”-“If You Can”
Spurgeon's sermon on Mark 9:23: Faith Omnipotent
Luke 1:54 "He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,
Luke 4:38 Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon's home. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her.
Spurgeon's sermon on Luke 4:38-39: Fever and Its Cure
Acts 26:22 "So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place;
Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
Spurgeon's sermon on Romans 8:26: The Holy Spirit’s Intercession
2 Corinthians 6:2 for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED (boetheo) YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION "--
Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Cor 6:2: The Day of Salvation
Hebrews 2:16-note For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 2:16: Men Chosen—Fallen Angels Rejected
Hebrews 2:18-note For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid (help = boetheo) of those who are tempted.
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 2:18: Christ’s Sympathy with His People
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 2:18: The Suffering Savior’s Sympathy
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 2:18: A Tempted Savior—Our Best Succor
GRACE JUST IN TIME
Hebrews 4:16-note Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need ("in the nick of time!").
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 4:16: “The Throne of Grace”
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 4:16: Boldness at the Throne
Hebrews 13:5-note Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU," 6 so that (term of conclusion - Remember to ask the 5W/H'S- e.g., what is he concluding? why can he be confident?, etc) we confidently say, "THE LORD IS MY HELPER (boethos), I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?"
Comment: Using the expanded definition of boethos, we can rephrase the passage "The Lord is the One Who runs to my aid on hearing my cry for help."
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 13:5-6: Never, No Never, No Never”
- Spurgeon's sermon on Hebrews 13:5-6: A Vile Weed and a Fair Flower
Isaiah 10:3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help (ezrah; boetheo)? And where will you leave your wealth?
Isaiah 20:6 So the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, 'Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help (ezrah; boetheia) to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and we, how shall we escape?
Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help (ezrah; boetheia), and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek Jehovah!
Comment: The clear implication is that help is not in Egypt, but in Jehovah Ezer.
HELP IS FOUND ONLY IN
From the preceding passages, we can see clearly that the concept of "Jehovah's Help" is a foundational biblical truth. The truth is that man is not self-sufficient but is in great need for help from beyond himself. In short, our Help is found only in God Himself, our Jehovah Ezer.
"Some of you are called to some extraordinary duty and do not feel strong enough. Follow that call, for surely the Lord is in that place. He will help you. His arm will not be far off, so lean on Him. His divine strength is not remote, because “surely the Lord is in this place." (CHS comments on Jacob's declaration in Ge 28:16-other resources)
><> ><> ><>
"My help cometh from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him. What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: “Salvation is of the Lord.” (CHS Morning and evening : Daily readings - February 26 AM)
><> ><> ><>
"Do you remember how David talked to himself as if he were another person? “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Ps 42:5-resources). You see, there are two Davids talking and cheering one another. We should always be good company with ourselves. We should always be able to interrogate ourselves, and in deep sorrow we should be able to comfort ourselves."
><> ><> ><>
"O poor friend, try your rich God. O helpless one, lean on His help. He has never failed me, and I am sure He will never fail you. Come as a beggar, and God will not refuse you help. Come with no plea but His grace. Jesus is King; will He let you perish of want? What! Did you forget this?"
><> ><> ><>
When you are in distress, take a promise and see if it is true. If you have nothing to eat, take this promise: “Bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (Isaiah 33:16-resources). When there is nothing in the kitchen, say, “I will see if God will keep this promise.” If He does, do not forget it. Set it down in your diary, or mark it in your Bible. Be like the old saint who put T and P beside the promises. She told her pastor that it meant tried and proven. When she was again in distress, she believed that God would help.
><:> ><> ><>
It is beautiful to see how the saints of old found comfort in God. When painful difficulties came, when troubles multiplied, when friends failed, and when earthly comforts were removed, they looked to the Lord, to the Lord alone. To them, God was a present reality. They looked to Him as their rock of refuge, their helper, their defense, and their very present help in time of trouble (Ps 46:1-resources). We can learn a valuable lesson from them. Lean on God and hold onto Him when heart and flesh are failing.
><> ><> ><>
When you are in trouble, ask God for help. Ask believing that He is able to give it. Ask expecting that He will bestow it. Do not grieve the Spirit of God with doubts and mistrust. These things will be fiery arrows in your soul to drink away the very life of your strength. However hard the struggle, however difficult the trial, seek the Lord, and seek Him in the confidence He deserves. Depend only on the arm invisible, the arm omnipotent. Be a scholar in the school of faith. Become proficient in the divine art of prayer and praise.
><> ><> ><>
Remember what God has done for you and then say, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (He 13:8-note)....After pleading the promise and confessing our condition, we may say, “Lord, if help does come, it must come from You. It cannot come from anywhere else, so we look to You. We believe help will come. Though we do not know how it will come, we are looking to You. Though we do not know when, we are looking to You. Though we do not know what You would have us to do, still we are looking to You. Our eyes may be full of tears, but they are on You.” My brothers and sisters, may God help us to look to Him.
><> ><> ><>
Spurgeon - "Perhaps you have been reduced to such conditions that all you could do was pray. You wrestled at the throne and sought an answer, but it did not come. You used every effort to extricate yourself, but darkness covered your way again and again; you tried until hope vanished. Adding vows to your prayers, you said in agony, “Oh God, if You will deliver me this time, I will never again doubt You.” Look back on the path of your pilgrimage. You may be able to count as many blessings as there are mile markers, blessings piled up with oil poured on them—places where you said, “The Lord has helped me.” Look through your diary to see time after time when perils and demands were so great that no earthly source could help and you felt compelled to witness that there is a God—a God who guides your path and is acquainted with all your ways (Psalm 32:8-resources)."
><> ><> ><>
Related Resource: Doug Goins Sermon - The Rejected Help of God
- I Lift My Eyes Up
- I Lift My Eyes - Bebo Norman
- I Lift My Eyes Up - Ps 121 -Brian Deorksen
- I Lift My Eyes Up - Annie Buell (Also Entitled: "He Is Over Me")
- My Help - very nice
- My Help - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
- My Help - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - Another Video version on Youtube
- Psalm 121 not in English but very beautiful instrumental - read Psalm 121, listen to the Lord and meditate on His greatness as our Helper Jehovah Ezer!
OUR HELP IN AGES PAST
Click here to play all 9 stanzas
Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our Eternal Home.
Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Be Thou our Guard while troubles last
And our Eternal Home.
A MIGHTY FORTRESS
IS OUR GOD
Click to play
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from every need that hath us now overtaken.
The old evil foe now means deadly woe; deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight; on Earth is not his equal.
O God, the help of all Thy saints,
Our hope in time of ill:
We trust Thee, though Thy face be hid,
And seek Thy presence still.
All our desires to Thee are known;
Thy help is ever near;
O first prepare our hearts to pray,
And then accept our prayer!
Bless’d are the men whose hearts are set
To find the way to Sion’s gate;
God is their strength, and through the road
They lean upon their Helper God.
So now, when depths of sin,
Our souls with terrors fill,
Arise, and be our Helper, Lord,
And speak Thy “Peace, be still.”
Hear now my voice and answer; be merciful I pray.
Your face, Lord, I seek daily; do not turn me away.
For You have been my Helper ; do not reject me, God.
Though family may forsake me, I know that you will not.
O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.
Be Thou our Guide and Helper, O Jesu Christ, we pray;
So may we well approach Thee, if Thou wilt be the Way:
Thou, very Truth, hast promised to help us in our strife,
Food of the weary pilgrim, eternal Source of life.
Though a heavy cross I’m bearing
And my heart feels the smart,
Shall I be despairing?
God, my Helper, Who doth send it,
Well doth know all my woe
And how best to end it.
The Lord is just, a Helper tried,
Mercy is ever at His side,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His scepter, pity in distress,
The end of all our woe He brings;
Wherefore the earth is glad and sings:
We praise Thee, Savior, now,
Mighty in deed art Thou!
Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates;
Behold, the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near;
The Savior of the world is here!
A Helper just He comes to thee,
His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His scepter, pity in distress.
Father, Who art alone
Our Helper and our Stay;
O hear us! as we plead
For loved ones far away;
And shield with Thine almighty hand
Our wanderers by sea and land.
O Thou once tempted like as we,
Thou knowest our infirmity;
Be Thou our Helper in the strife,
Be Thou our true, our inward Life.
In God I put my trust,
I neither doubt nor fear,
For man can never harm
With God my Helper near.
What profit if I perish, if life Thou dost not spare?
Shall dust repeat Thy praises, shall it Thy truth declare?
O Lord, on me have mercy, and my petition hear;
That Thou mayst be my Helper, in mercy, Lord, appear.
Jehovah, my God, on Thy help I depend;
From all that pursue me O save and defend;
Lest they like a lion should rend me at will:
While no one is near me their raging to still.
Spurgeon - "THE needy cries; what else can he do? His cry is heard of God; what else need he do? Let the needy reader take to crying at once, for this will be his wisdom. Do not cry in the ears of friends; for even if they can help you, it is only because the Lord enables them. The nearest way is to go straight to God, and let your cry come up before Him. Straightforward makes the best runner: run to the Lord, and not to secondary causes. “Alas!” you cry, “I have no friend or helper.” So much the better; you can rely upon God in both capacities—as without supplies and without helpers. Make your double need your double plea. Even for temporal mercies you may wait upon God, for He careth for His children in these temporary concerns. As for spiritual necessities, which are the heaviest of all, the Lord will hear your cry and will deliver you and supply you. O poor friend, try your rich God. O helpless one, lean on His help. He has never failed me, and I am sure He will never fail you. Come as a beggar, and God will not refuse you help. Come with no plea but His grace. Jesus is King; will He let you perish of want? What! Did you forget this?” (Faith's Checkbook. May 23)
Spurgeon writes in Morning and evening : Daily readings (January 16 AM) - This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ’Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee.’” O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here—thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine Helper!
Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed!
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
(Help: Heb = 'azar; Gk = boethéo)
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
The Lxx translates "help" with "boethéo" so we could paraphrase God's promise as " I will strengthen you, surely I will [run on hearing your cry and give assistance] to you". Do you believe this promise, beloved? Read Spurgeon's explanation of what makes this promise so powerful and practical.
Spurgeon writes in Faith's Checkbook (Jan 6) that...
Yesterday’s promise secured us strength for what we have to do, but this guarantees us aid in cases where we cannot act alone. The Lord says, “I will help thee.” Strength within is supplemented by help from without. God can raise us up allies in our warfare if it seems good in His sight and even if He does not send us human assistance, He Himself will be at our side, and this is better still. “Our August (marked by majestic dignity or grandeur) Ally” is better than legions of mortal helpers.
His help is timely:
He is a very present help in time of trouble (Ps 46:1-note).
His help is very wise:
He knows how to give what is good for us (Jas 1:17-note)
His help is effective,
though futile is the help of friends.
His help is more than help:
He carries all the burdens and supplies all the needs.
“The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear.
What can man do unto me?” (Heb 13:6-note).
Because He has already been our help ,
we feel confidence in Him for the present and the future.
Our prayer is
“Lord, be my Helper” (Ps 30:10-note).
Our experience is
“The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses” (Ro 8:26-note)
Our expectation is
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1-note)
Our song will be,
“Thou, O LORD, hast helped me and comforted me." (Ps 86:17-note)
THE HAPPY MORN IS COME
Click to play
Christ hath the ransom paid;
The glorious work is done;
Oh Him our help is laid;
By Him our victory won.
Captivity is captive led;
For Jesus liveth that was dead.
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” So we may confidently say, "The LORD is my Helper. I will not be afraid." (Gk = boetheia)
When God Almighty is our Helper, none can harm us beyond what He decrees. Paul adds that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Ro 8:31-note)
Spurgeon -BECAUSE God will never leave nor forsake us, we may well be content with such things as we have. Since the Lord is ours, we cannot be left without a friend, a treasure, and a dwelling place. This assurance may make us feel quite independent of men. Under such high patronage, we do not feel tempted to cringe before our fellow men and ask of them permission to call our lives our own; but what we say, we boldly say and defy contradiction. He who fears God has nothing else to fear. We should stand in such awe of the living Lord that all the threats that can be used by the proudest persecutor should have no more effect upon us than the whistling of the wind. Man in these days cannot do so much against us as he could when the apostle wrote the verse at the head of this page. Racks and stakes are out of fashion. Giant Pope cannot burn the pilgrims now. If the followers of false teachers try cruel mockery and scorn, we do not wonder at it, for the men of this world cannot love the heavenly seed. What then? We must bear the world’s scorn. It breaks no bones. God helping us, let us be bold; and when the world rages let it rage, but let us not fear it." (Faith's Checkbook. May 10)
JEHOVAH EZER (Part 1) - This majestic NAME of God is one with which you may not be familiar, but one which is symbolic of a truth repeatedly affirmed in Scripture that JEHOVAH, the Great I Am, is our HELPER now and forever. Amen. And so it is fitting for David to declare "Our HELP (Heb = Ezer) is in the NAME of JEHOVAH, Who made heaven and earth." (Ps 124:8-note) Indeed Spurgeon affirms that "In all times of danger from men our wisest course is to fly to the LORD our HELPER. He has ways and means for delivering us which we know not of. He can either turn our enemies into friends (cf Pr 16:7) or else so check all their efforts that they shall do us no real injury (Read Ps 27:1-note, Ps 56:4-note, Ps 118:6-note, Mt 10:28). Blessed are those men whose trust in the (NAME of) Jehovah never wavers (Ps 40:4-note, Ps 84:12-note)." David is declaring that our HELP is in God's NAME, a truth even echoed in his prayer "May JEHOVAH answer you in the day of trouble! May the NAME of the God of Jacob SET YOU SECURELY ON HIGH." (Ps 20:1-note) "Set you securely on high" is one Hebrew word (sagab), which depicts the individual who is in need of HELP choosing to run into the "Strong Tower" of His NAME (Pr 18:10-note), and being lifted up above the waves of affliction. The trials may still be present (they probably are), but the one who is hidden in Christ, hidden safely in the NAME of JEHOVAH EZER, our HELPER, is lifted up above the trials and enabled to view them "supernaturally" (e.g., with a "Ro 8:28-note, Jas 1:2-note Perspective"). As Warren Wiersbe says "The safest place in all the world is in the will of God and the safest protection in all the world is the NAME of God. When you know His NAME, you know His nature. His NAMES and titles reveal His nature. They tell us who He is and what He can do. Each name He bears is a blessing He bestows on us." And so the better we know His name JEHOVAH EZER, the more we will trust Him when overwhelming trials create in us a sense of our great need for His gracious help. To paraphrase a wise saying, "Look at circumstances and you'll be distressed. Look at yourself and you'll be depressed. But look in faith at JEHOVAH EZER and you'll be blessed." Indeed, "How blessed is the one whose HELPER (Ezer) is the God of Jacob, whose hope (absolute assurance of future good) is in Jehovah his God." (Ps 146:5NET-note).
David affirms that "Our soul waits for the LORD our HELP (JEHOVAH EZER) and our Defender. For our heart rejoices in HIM, because we trust in His holy NAME." (Ps 33:20-21-note) By being willing to WAIT "the godly avow their reliance upon Him (Jehovah Ezer) Whom the Psalm extols. To WAIT is a great lesson (Is 40:31-note). To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God. We are not to trust Him with a few gewgaws (useless things), but with ALL we have and are. He is our HELP and our Shield. Our HELP in labor, our Shield in danger. The Lord answers all things to His people. He is our ALL IN ALL. Note also the three "ours" in Ps 33:20 -- these hold-fast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man or woman. All else is mere talk." (Spurgeon)
And how can we be so confident? Because "He Himself has said, “'NO, NEVER, I will NOT leave, NO, NEVER forsake you' (Note the FIVE Greek negatives, immutable truth you can trust!),” so that we may confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER (boethos), I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT SHALL MAN DO TO ME?” (Heb 13:5-6-note, cf Mt 28:20b-note) "As I look at the past, I see that God has cared for me every step of the way. As I look at the present, I know He is with me. As I look to the future, I know He is ahead of me. He surrounds me....No matter how difficult my experiences are, the Lord is on my side. I need not fear the past, present or future or what anybody can do to me, because I fear God (with a sense of reverential awe) God." (Wiersbe) Indeed, "All you who fear the LORD, trust in JEHOVAH! He is your HELPER (Ezer) and your Shield." (Ps 115:11NLT-note) Under girded by the truth of our personal possession of the Name JEHOVAH EZER, may His Spirit enable us to "Be strong and courageous, to not fear or be discouraged because of _______(Fill in the name of your adversary &/or affliction), for the One with us is greater than the one with him. He has with him mere human strength, but JEHOVAH our God, Who is our HELPER fights our battles for us!" (2Chr 32:7-8-note) As Adrian Rogers prayed may "the Holy Spirit emblazon upon our heart the truth that "The battle is not ours, but God's." (cf 2Chr 20:15, 32:8, 1Sa 17:47). Jeremy Taylor adds that "It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his HELPER is omnipotent."
In Hebrews 2:18, the writer uses the Greek noun "boethos" translated HELPER, which is the same word used above in the Greek translation (Lxx) of HELP (Ezer) in Ps 33:20-note. The writer of Hebrews encourages the tried, suffering saints with the truth that "since (Jesus) Himself was tempted (tested by trials) in that which He has suffered, He is continuously able to COME TO THE AID of those who are continually being tempted (tested)." (Heb 2:18-note). "Come to the aid" is a single Greek verb boetheia (related to boethos), and is derived from boe = to cry out and théo = to run. Can you envision the picture? While Jesus, JEHOVAH EZER, is always with us, when does He come to our HELP according to Heb 2:18? When we CRY OUT! Recall Peter's "walking on and sinking in water episode," prompting him to cry out "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him." (Mt 14:30-31-note) Indeed, JEHOVAH EZER is always near, ever ready as our "Refuge and strength, a very PRESENT HELPER (Lxx = boethos) in trouble ("tight places)" (Ps 46:1-note). And so we can confidently sing "A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our HELPER He amid the flood, Of mortal ills prevailing." (Martin Luther's Mighty Fortress)
"The LORD is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in Him, and I am HELPED; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him." (Ps 28:7NKJV-note) Notice the growth "in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe 3:18-note), proceeding from "trusted" (past tense), to "am helped...rejoices" (present tense), culminating in "praise" to Him (future tense). Indeed, the pattern is "Supplicating, seeing, singing." (Phillips) Notice that based on past experiences with God, David resolved to trust in JEHOVAH EZER, his "Hiding Place," and was filled with "songs of deliverance." (Ps 32:7-note) John Phillips reminds us that none of us "live our Christian lives in a vacuum. Where we are today is the result of where we were yesterday; where we will be tomorrow is being determined by where we are today." Samuel modeled this timeless truth when he "took a large stone (Heb = 'eben) and set it between the towns of Mizpah and Shen, and named it EBENEZER (literally "Stone of Help")" testifying "Up to this point JEHOVAH has HELPED us (Lxx = verb boetheia ~ "run to our aid upon hearing our cry").(1Sa 7:12-note) Beloved, may the Spirit enable all of us to ever sing these triumphant words "Here I raise my EBENEZER. Hither by Thy great HELP I've come. And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at Home." (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson)
Beloved, given our natural propensity to forgetfulness, I would encourage you to keep a journal of Jehovah's "Ebenezer memorials" in your life, so that when the fiery trial "comes upon you for your testing" (1Pe 4:12-note), you might be able to quickly recall JEHOVAH EZER'S past deliverances "in times of trouble." (Ps 41:1NIV-note), and be enabled by the Spirit to "stand firm in the faith; be men (and women) of courage; be strong." (1Cor 16:13NIV), fully confident that "after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace (cf JEHOVAH EZER), Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you." (1Pe 5:10-note). Indeed, JEHOVAH EZER is trustworthy, for "His lovingkindness (unfailing love) is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations." (Ps 100:5-note)
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my EBENEZER;
Here by Thy great HELP I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
The Name of the Lord is a Strong Tower - see Topic - the great Names of God
- Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower - Summary Chart
- Name of the LORD - Why Study It?
- Our Stronghold - sermon by C H Spurgeon on Proverbs18:10
- Jehovah - I Am
- Elohim - My Creator
- El Elyon - Most High God (Sovereign Over All)
- El Roi - God Who Sees
- EL Shaddai - God Almighty
- Jehovah Ezer - The LORD our Helper
- Jehovah Jireh - The LORD Will Provide
- Jehovah Rapha - The LORD our Healer
- Jehovah Roi - The Lord is My Shepherd Pt 1
- Jehovah Roi - The Lord is My Shepherd Pt 2
- Jehovah Sabaoth - LORD of hosts (of armies) Pt 1
- Jehovah Sabaoth - LORD of hosts (of armies) Pt 2
- Jehovah Mekeddeshem - LORD Who Sanctifies
- Jehovah Nissi -The LORD Our Banner
- Jehovah Rapha - LORD Who Heals
- Jehovah Shalom - The LORD our Peace Pt 1
- Jehovah Shalom - The LORD our Peace Pt 2
Dr John Piper
- I Am Who I Am" says the Lord - (Exodus 3:13-15)
- I Will Be Gracious to Whom I Will Be Gracious - (Exodus 33:12-19)
- My Name Is God Almighty (Exodus 5:22-6:8)
- I Am Alpha And Omega (Revelation 21:1-8)
- The Lofty One Whose Name Is Holy (Isaiah 57:14-21)
- The Lord, A God Merciful And Gracious (Exodus 34:1-10)
- The Lord Whose Name Is Jealous (Exodus 34:10-16)
- Call Me Husband, Not Baal (Hosea)
- Honor Thy Majestic Father (Malachi 1:6-14)
- The Pleasure of God in His Name (1 Samuel 12:22)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
- Romans 1:20, 21 Knowledge. Worship. Gratitude.
- Psalm 50:14, 15 True Worship
- Zechariah 8:21 A Call to Worship
- Luke 18:10 The Blessings of Public Worship
- Revelation 14:1-13 Heavenly Worship
- Why Worship?
- How to Worship - Psalm 95
- True Worship
- The Worship of an Honest Heart
- What Did We Come Here For?
Radio Bible Class