O God our help in ages past – Part 1
Our topic is an adoption of Hymn by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), which was inspired by our Text Psalm 90. “Help” is to give assistance to someone in need. The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary describes “Help” as “to make it easier or possible for somebody to do something by doing something for them or by giving them something that they need. It is to improve a situation or make it easier for something to happen…” We are talking about God’s intervention in our desperate situations, when we are without strength to bring us out, save, deliver, heal, and give us victory and hope. God did it in the past, He is doing it in the present and He shall do it in the future. God is all we have. He is our very present Help in times of trouble. God is our safety and security in times of uncertainties.
Nigeria is fast becoming a failed State, where banditry, kidnapping, violent crime, poverty, spiritual wickedness and moral bankruptcy abound. Most people are carrying about afflictions, hurts and pains in their hearts and lives and sometimes we are overwhelmed. Our Theme is apt as it draws our attention to “Remember” the past mercies of God, Who intervened to heal, deliver and supply our need, when we were in desperate conditions. In the midst of our struggles and battles of life, we shall remember the faithfulness of God and what He had done. As the Psalmist said, “This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High [Psalm 77:10]. Again as the Scripture says “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice, my soul follows close behind You; your right hand upholds me” [Psalm 63:6-8].
This is also a time to call upon the LORD in faith and to express our longing for His continual intervention in our lives and situations. We have come to seek God as our only Help, and we hope and long for Him as one who is thirsty in a dry land, where there is no water. Brethren, these are desperate times. God will arise on our behalf. We come in faith in the Living God, through Jesus Christ and in the power of His Holy Spirit to obtain favour to help us in times of need.
As strangers on earth, we need help, but from whom shall we seek help? Many seek help from fellowmen, but the Scripture tells us that the help of man is vanity. Don’t hope or budget on promises or pledges, man will fail you. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” Psalm 146:3-4. Some trust in the strength of wealth, ability, achievements of the flesh [Psalm 20:7]. Some people seek help like Israel from Baal and Ashteroth, from demons, mediums and spirits. Some depend on themselves and resort to self-help. This too is vanity. In desperate search for help, some people go for demonic alliance. To such, God is saying “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help (Isa.31: 1). As Christians, we must know that “God is our refuge and strength, A very present Help in trouble…”(Psalm 46:1-2,5,7, 121:1, 20:7).
The “Help” we are talking about has to do with compassion and empathy. Every help of God flows from His compassion and mercy. Every help of God adds value to our lives, and fulfils His eternal purpose in the life of the one He helps.
(A Presentation of the Most Revd. Henry C. Ndukuba, the Primate-Elect of the Church of Nigeria at the 2019 DIVCCON)
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
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