Ever feel under siege? Maybe people have been pointing the finger at you, throwing judgment and accusation your way, belittling you, making you feel bad, gossiping about you... any or all of the above? The great news is that when you are connected to Jesus he fights your corner! That is such an encouragement!
Last Sunday we considered the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha got grumpy with Mary for sitting at Jesus' feet rather than helping with chores.
It's interesting to set this story alongside that in John 12:1-8. This time it's Judas that takes a swipe at Mary - on this occasion for pouring out expensive ointment on Jesus' feet.
In both stories we see pictures of Mary's devotion to Jesus, in both we see her come under judgment from others, and in both - and here's the exciting bit - we see Jesus standing up to her accusers and fighting her corner for her! 'Leave her alone!' is the beginning of his sharp rebuke to Judas. How much Jesus cared for Mary - this woman who was so devoted to Him! What a picture we see of Jesus as her staunch defender.
God promises us that as we make Him our resting place, as we remain connected to Him, as we entrust ourselves to Him - just like Mary did - then whatever comes against us, whatever circumstances we have to face or opposition we have to contend with, He will be fighting our corner, He will be defending us and protecting us from all that might otherwise bring us down. What an encouragement and relief to know that Jesus is on our side!
Psalm 91 (below) has some wonderful things to say about the protection and peace we can know when we rest in God. Why not spend some moments now reading through it, reflecting upon God's promises to take care of those who are His.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 ‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.’