To protect is to cover or shield from danger or injury. It is to defend a person, place, people or organization or country from attack, hurt, oppression and exploitation. It is to guard someone, something or a place. It is to keep safe. These are all things God specializes in doing.
Protection or safety is a basic need of everyone. Whether rich or poor, young or old, Christian or Muslim, or whatever religion one practices, people want to be able to go out and not be attacked or assaulted by hooligans. If you are travelling by road or by air, you want the comfort of knowing there won’t be an accident or crash that can end your life prematurely. Or your trip won’t be hijacked by kidnappers or terrorists. You want to go to bed at night and not be afraid that thieves and armed robbers will break into your home. You want to attend a function such as a wedding, birthday party, anniversary or book launch and have the assurance that your car, phone or money won’t be cleverly snatched from you. You want to receive a basket of homemade food from a neighbour, colleague or church member and not have any qualms that there’s poison in the food. As a lady you want to walk on the streets of your community and not be apprehensive that there’s a rapist out there. We desire these assurances or guarantee of safety as the likelihood of danger whether real or imagined, creates tension and increases stress and anxiety.
Protection is such a vital need of man that people go to great extents to secure their lives. Some spend large amounts of money to get policemen and other armed security to guard and patrol their homes or offices. People pay huge amounts of money to get guard dogs, CCTV Cameras, GPS Trackers so you can track the exact location of your car or other personal items if they get stolen or missing. Alarm Systems, Bomb Detectors and other latest high-tech security gadgets are used in many homes and offices today so nothing is left to chance, so people are well protected. Some people even wear charms and all kinds of amulets which they believe will protect them from harm and danger.
Now more than ever before, protection or security has become an important issue for individuals, families, organizations and countries. We live in perilous times; very dangerous times. These are the days that you leave your house and go to work or school, and you are not sure of what you will meet on the way. You can be attacked in broad day light by hooligans, kidnappers, robbers and rapists. These are the times that people board trains and planes and the next thing you hear is that it has been bombed. These are the days that people go to church to worship God and from nowhere gunmen open fire and kill several people.
Psalm 91:5-6 buttresses this point that there’s real danger out there. We see from these two verses that there is really no safe day, there is no trouble free time. In the night, there is the terror of the night to deal with. In the day time, there are all kinds of arrows flying about. When it’s dark, there’s a pestilence out there. At noonday, there’s a destruction that waste people’s lives.
In the face of all these impending danger, God assures of His protection. He says to us in Isaiah 41:10 ‘Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ In Psalm 91:10 God assures us that no evil will befall us, no plague will come near our dwelling place.
What makes God a Great Protector?
1) Firstly His names. Through the names of God, we get a deeper understanding, revelation and appreciation of who God is, what He is capable of doing. God has so many names that show He is capable of protecting us from all manner of harm, danger and evil. The names of God reveal God to us as a Great Protector. Protective names of God include:
• Shield or Buckler – A shield is a broad piece of metal or another hard material used to protect one from blows or missiles. God is a large shield that protects our whole body and our entire life. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot touch your souls. This goes to show that only God has the power to protect your soul from being touched, from being harmed. When God’s shield of protection is covering you, you escape blows and missiles sent from the kingdom of darkness. God shields us from danger, defends and protects us from being assaulted, attacked or injured. In Genesis 15:1, God encouraged Abraham by telling him not to be afraid, He is Abraham’s shield. God was in essence telling Abraham don’t be afraid of anything or anyone. Don’t be afraid of what you see and hear. Don’t be afraid of any arrow or weapon of the enemy. I am your Shield; I will cover, protect and defend you. Maybe like Abraham you are going through a difficult situation, you have heard some disheartening news, you have received a frightful report. Your heart has been beating fast. You are worried and afraid. God is saying to you, I am your shield, I will cover you, I will protect you. In Psalm 3:3, David said there were many rising up against him, many troubling him, many mocking him, but in the midst of all this, He realized that God is his shield, his glory and the lifter of his head. May we like David be able to boldly declare in the midst of enemies, opposition, trouble and danger that the Lord is my Shield, my glory and the Lifter up of my head.
• Refuge – Psalm 46:1 informs us that God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble. We take refuge, we take shelter in God and are protected from danger, distress, and calamity. God is a secure dwelling place in times of insecurity and uncertainty. He is a refuge from the storm. When the storms of life strike; when you are going through tough and difficult times, God is the place to go to find peace, calm, safety and security (Isaiah 25:4).
• Fortress– God is a fortified place, a highly secured dwelling place. The day God delivered David from the hand of Saul and all his enemies, David sang a song about God being his Fortress and Deliverer (2 Samuel 22:1-2, Psalm 18:2). When God is your Fortress, He will secure your life from all your enemies and from every Saul in your life; everyone close to you planning to harm you or bring you down. Whatever you are going through, whatever news of danger and insecurity is flying all over the place, trust God to be your Fortified place of Protection.
• Hiding Place – God is our Hiding Place, He hides us from our enemies and evil arrows so they can’t see us, they can’t get us, they can’t touch us. God hides us from seen and unseen enemies, known and unknown danger, from troubles within and without. When God is your Hiding Place, He will surround you with many songs of deliverance. You shall have many songs of divine protection to sing and testify about (Psalm 32:7).
• Keeper – God keeps watch over us wherever we go. He keeps danger and evil far away from us (Psalm 121:4-5). God keeps us, God saves us from injury and destruction. God stands in the position of our Guardian, our Guardian of Protection.
• Rock of Refuge, Rock of Ages – God is our Rock in whom we can take refuge. He is the Rock we can run to and hide in when dander abounds (Psalm 18:1-2). In Exodus 33:22, God told Moses that He would put him in the cleft of the rock and cover him with His hand as His glory passes. This experience was an explanation, a revelation into how God protects His people. Jesus is the Cleft of the Rock for us today. Our lives are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3), hidden in the Rock that can never fail or shake. Rocks are places people go to hide when there’s war, trouble, danger or they are surrounded by enemies (1 Samuel 13:6, 1 Samuel 23:25). In the day of trouble, God hides us. He hides us in the Cleft of the Rock; He hides us in His pavilion, in His secret place (Psalm 27:5), He hides us in Christ.
• Shade – Life can get hot and uncomfortable. God is a Shade to protect us from the heat out there (Isaiah 25:4). God stands right beside us as a Protective Shade that keeps the sun from striking us with skin damage, skin cancer, sunstroke and dehydration (Psalm 121:5). In Matthew 13, Jesus told a Parable of the Sower. In verse 6, we are told that for some seeds sown, when the sun was up they were scorched, and withered away. In our walk with God, the sun will come up; the heat of tribulation or persecution will come. If God is not your Shade on your right hand, if you aren’t rooted in Christ and the Word of God, you will get scorched, burnt, by these trials and troubles. With all that is happening in our personal lives, families, churches, nation and the world at large, everyone needs God as a Shade of Protection to survive these risky, challenging and life-threatening times.
• Strong Tower – Towers have always been places people run to for safety. They are usually strong and well-fortified. In Judges 9:51-52, we are told that there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower. The people ran into this tower to hide from Abimelech and his wicked deeds. Are you surrounded by wicked and heartless people who have no regard for human life, who carry out all kinds of atrocities on innocent lives? Then you need to run into God’s Tower of Protection. David, a man who experienced God’s protection in different ways and at different times, described God as a tower of salvation, a tower of deliverance (2 Samuel 22:51). Proverbs 18:10 tells us that the name of the Lord is a Strong Tower the righteous run into it and are kept safe.
• Stronghold – God is referred to as a Stronghold or Defense in Psalm 18:2, Psalm 62:6, Psalm 94:22, Psalm 144:2. God is a Stronghold in the day of trouble (Nahum 1:7). A stronghold is a defensive structure. It is a place of security. These structures are difficult to access. When God is our stronghold, we become inaccessible to the enemy. God makes our lives out of reach for their monitoring gadgets. God makes it difficult for powers, forces and agents of darkness to penetrate into our lives and homes and cause havoc.
2) The second reason why God is a Great Protector is that God’s protection never fails. The protective gear and gadgets of God never fail. We wear clothes to protect us from cold, but our clothes can get torn, burnt or stolen. When God covers you with His protection, for example His shield of protection, nothing can happen to this shield. God’s shield of protection can’t get stolen, spoilt or damaged.
People go to idols and all kinds of gods to secure their lives (Deuteronomy 32:37). They collect good luck and protective charms from them. Isaiah 46:7 tells us that idols cannot answer or save one from trouble. They can’t protect from danger and trouble. In fact, they themselves are nothing but danger and trouble. We see from the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel how such gods can fail and disappoint. It’s interesting that the prophets of Baal at a point took swords and knives and were cutting themselves to the point of blood gushing out and Baal didn’t do anything about it. If indeed Baal can truly protect, if indeed he cares about the safety of his prophets, servants and worshippers, seeing his prophets torturing themselves, going through excruciating pain, Baal would have told them to stop, don’t harm yourself (1 Kings 18:25-29). The prophets of could have killed themselves and Baal wouldn’t have done anything to help, save or defend them because no matter how hard and long you cry, idols cannot answer, they can’t rescue you from trouble. There is only One true and Living God who is the Great, Protector, who delivers, shelters and keeps safe from trouble.
Some other people put their hope in men to protect them. Like their security guards. Their confidence is in the fact that they have well trained, professional guards watching over their homes, offices and properties. This is not to say that it is a sin or it is wrong to have security guards. We can have them, but our trust, our reliance and dependence should not be in them. Why? They are mere men prone to faults and weaknesses. They can connive with armed robbers to steal from us. They can run away and leave our properties they were paid to secure when armed robbers come. This is why Psalm 146:3 tells us not to put our trust in princes or men.
Our security guards can be fast asleep during the day instead of doing their work, instead of being awake and vigilant. The same with guard dogs, they too fall asleep. But our God, the Great Protector, never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4). God is the only Guard that never takes a short nap, oversleeps, goes on a short break, takes a day off or neglects and abandons His duty post. God guards twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. God’s security watch is round the clock, and He doesn’t receive a dime for it.
3) Thirdly, the things God has the power to protect us from show that God is a Great Protector
• God protects us from sin and temptation. When the devil brings a temptation before you to gossip about a colleague, sleep with your secretary as a married man, steal money from your office and you say NO to these acts of ungodliness, the strength, the grace to resist these temptations is not of yourself, it is from God. It is God protecting you (Titus 2:11-12, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Peter 2:9). Divine protection is not just about being protected from an accident on the road. In fact, protection from sin and temptation is vital to our walk with God as sin destroys lives and destines faster than anything else (Judges 14-16).
• God protects us from wicked and unreasonable men, from violent men – 2 Thessalonians 3:2, Psalm 140:4. Terrorists, bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists, wife and husband beaters fall into this category. In 2 Timothy 4:14, Paul spoke about Alexander the coppersmith that did much harm to him. He concluded by saying beware of him. It is not stated in the Bible the exact kind of harm this man inflicted on Paul. What we know is that false prophets and brethren, pretentious friends, enemies and people given to violence, can cause great emotional, physical and spiritual harm. We need our Divine Protector to protect us from such people. May we not fall into the hands of people with the spirit of Alexander the Coppersmith.
• God protects from oppression – Psalm 9:9 tells us that God is a refuge for the oppressed. God is a refuge for the spiritually and physically oppressed and battered. The classic example of oppression in its highest form in the Bible is what the Israelites endured under the cruel leadership of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The same God that rescued the Israelites from the harsh treatment of Pharaoh will rescue and deliver us from every Pharaoh that wants to keep us in bondage and under severe oppression. (Exodus 3:7-10).
• God protects us from calamities and all manner of danger – As the Keeper, Defender and Protector of our lives, God protects us from calamities; from widespread misfortune and misery caused by wars, natural disasters like earthquakes and floods (Psalm 57:1).God protects us from pestilence; from deadly diseases that can wipe out an entire community (Psalm 91:3-7). We are alive today because God protected us from the Covid-19 pestilence that ended so many lives.
• God protects us from Satan, his agents and cohorts – 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan is always on the move looking for someone to kill, harm and destroy. We are alive today because God in His faithfulness has been protecting us from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3). God has been protecting us from satanic blows, missiles and arrows sent from the kingdom of darkness to cut short our lives (Ephesians 6:12). This kind of protection is not protection from flesh and blood, it’s from things, beings and sprits we can’t see with the physical eyes. If God should open our spiritual eyes, we would be amazed at the kind of spiritual dangers and mishaps God daily protects us from.
• God protects us from evil traps set for us, evil plans and counsel for our lives – There are people with wicked intentions and malicious hearts that set traps for us to fall into and be disgraced, traps to tie us down and hold us down so we don’t make any headway in life (Psalm 31:4). But when God is our Strength, Helper and Protector, like a bird we escape, we bypass their evil traps and snares (Psalm 124:7) In 2 Timothy 4:17-18, Paul testified to how God delivered him from a lion sent to harm him and from every evil plan for his life. God protects us by frustrating, cancelling, nullifying and overthrowing every evil plan and counsel for our lives (Job 5:12, Isaiah 8:10).
• God protects us from strange and mysterious things that happen while people sleep – Tares; spiritual, health, financial, marital and family problems are planted while men sleep (Matthew 13:24-25). In 1 Kings 3:19-21, there was a case of a child being swopped while the mother slept at night. But for the wisdom God gave Solomon, the woman that swopped her son, would have gotten away with her wicked scheme. In the same way, people’s blessings, bright and promising destines are swopped at night. It is because protection while we sleep is so important that we have scriptures like Psalm 3:5 and Psalm 4:8 which tells us that as we lay down to sleep, God will protect us, God will sustain us, God will keep us so we rise to see the next day.
How Does God Protect?
1. God protects with His mighty presence – Psalm 23:5 tells us that when God is with us we can walk through the valley of shadow of death, we can be in the middle of the most frightening and dangerous situation, and walk through it without suffering any harm. There will always be danger, there will always be fearful times, but when we are surrounded and covered with the presence of God, we will be kept safe (Isaiah 43:2, Joshua 1:5). Moses knew the power of God’s presence that’s why he said to God, if your presence does not go with us do not bring us up from here. Moses knew going through life without the presence of God is putting your life at risk, it is exposing yourself to untold dangers (Exodus 33:19).
2. God protects with His hand – In Psalm 138:7, David said when he was in the midst of trouble, danger and enemies, the right hand of God saved and protected him. The safest place in the entire universe is the hands of God. John 10:28 says no one can snatch us out of God’s hands. God’s hands can be likened to the feathers or wings of a bird. God spreads His hand, His wings of protection over us and we are kept safe (Psalm 91:4, Deuteronomy 32:11, Psalm 17:8). When you are under God’s wings of protection, thousands of people may be dying, attacked, but for you, it’s a different story. You only hear about the danger and destruction affecting many lives, you don’t experience it (Psalm 91:4, 7).
3. God protects by sending angels to protect us – Angels are as real today as they were in Bible times (Hebrews 1:14). God still send angels to take charge over the roads we pass, the planes, cars, buses and buildings we enter into it( Psalm 91:11). While in a strange and foreign land, angels of protection played a significant role in the lives of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:28, Daniel 6:33). They escaped raging fires, saw God shut the mouths of lions because God sent angelic protection to them. In the day time and at night, when we are awake, when we asleep, as we go about our daily responsibilities, may God’s angel of protection encamp around us (Psalm 34:7).
4. God protects by giving us divine instructions – God does not lead and guide into danger. On the contrary, He gives instructions that can keep us from harm and danger. In 2 Kings 6:8-9, through divine revelation and instruction, Elisha warned the Israelites not to pass a certain place because the Syrians were stationed there ready to attack them. Like it happened with Elisha, to keep us safe, God instructs people through dreams, revelations, impressions and promptings in our hearts not to pass a certain road, attend an event, go on a particular trip or enter a particular bus or plane.
5. God protects by sending confusion into the camp of our enemies – From the time of the building of the Tower of Babel, confusion has been one of the strategies God uses to scatter and frustrate evil plans and plots from taking place (Genesis 11:1-8). In 1 Samuel 14:20, when the Philistines came against the Israelites, God sent confusion into their camp and instead of them harming and killing the Israelites, which was their original intention, they started fighting themselves. This our God is indeed a Great Protector. Who else can do this; who can make your enemies start fighting themselves? God is amazing! He can confuse the language of your enemies. He can make your enemies see and hear strange things to get them to run away from you and abandon the evil plan they had to harm you (2 Kings 7:6). God gives our enemies a taste of their own medicine. He makes their plans boomerang. He makes those that have dug a pit for you, to fall into the exact pit while you escape the pit (Psalm 7:15, Proverbs 26:27, Esther 7:10).
6. God protects through the name of the Lord – You can’t threaten or scare away demons by shouting your name at them. There is only one name demons who afflict and harm hear and they tremble (Philippians 2:9-11, James 2:19). There is only one name that can make a young lad overpower and overcome a giant much bigger, more armed, equipped, trained and experienced in fighting and winning battles than him. What happened between David and Goliath makes no human, no logical sense. The only explanation is the name of the Lord. Goliath thought the fight with David would be a walkover. Goliath undermined and underrated the power in the name of the Lord. In I Samuel 17:45, David said ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’ The name of the Lord protected David from Goliath’s sword, spear and javelin which could have ripped him too pieces. Proverbs 18:10 tells us that the name of the Lord is a Strong Tower, the righteous run into it and are kept safe. When you wake up in the morning, as you move from place to place, hear breaking news of wars, disasters and calamities, run into the name of the Lord with your entire family, with your loved ones, so the Great Protector can keep you safe.
7. God protects with the Blood of Jesus – Have you ever pricked your hand, had a cut, wound or injury that brought out blood? When this happens, nothing remarkable happens in the spiritual realm, nothing significant happens in the kingdom of darkness. But when Jesus was crucified and His blood trickled down, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split, graves were opened, dead bodies of believers came alive (Matthew 27:51-52) The blood of Jesus is not your regular blood. Never equate the blood of Jesus with human blood or with the blood of any animal. There is supernatural life in the blood of Jesus. There is extraordinary power in the blood of Jesus. We overcome seen and unseen evil and danger through the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11) In Exodus 12:13, the blood of a lamb without blemish, was put on the houses of the Israelites and as the plague of death was moving all over the land of Egypt striking down the firstborn of every family and livestock of the Egyptians, death did not enter into the dwelling places of the Israelites. The blood of the lamb and the mighty protection it brought to the Israelites is symbolic of the protection we receive from the blood of Jesus. Wherever the blood of Jesus is sprinkled, it speaks deliverance, it speaks protection (Hebrews 12:24). No man, no devil, no demon can trouble you when the mark of Christ, the mark of the blood of Jesus, the mark of God’s protection is on you (Galatians 6:17)
8. God protects through death – Isaiah 57:1-2 says ‘The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.’ Strangely, God at times uses death as an escape route from something more terrible than death. For a believer, death can never be the worst thing that can happen to you. Death takes you to the bosom of the Lord. But there could be a sin, a scandal, a relationship, a business deal a believer may fall for or get involved in that could wreck the person’s life , bring great shame to the person, his family, his ministry and even the body of Christ. To protect the believer from nasty and unpleasant outcomes known only to God, God at times calls the person home. There are also times that to save His children from the stress of all the pain, peril and dangers in this life, God gladly welcomes His saints’ home to come and rest in a place where there is no weeping, no pain, no threats to human life, no terrorists, no brutal men (Revelation 21:4).
How can I continually abide under God’s Protection?
Is God’s protection a given, something that we will always enjoy irrespective of anything we say and do. Yes, God is a Great Protector, He has promised to protect us, there’s no kind of danger and evil He can’t protect us from. But is there anything we are to do to stay under God’s protection? For instance, if I’m travelling is there a need to pray about the trip since God has already told me that no evil will befall me?
To continually abide under God’s protective cover, we need to:
1) Dwell or abide in His presence (Psalm 91:10). Staying in God’s presence is key to receiving divine protection. It develops an intimate and stronger relationship with God. This helps us know His voice and hear Him clearly as He gives out instructions that can secure and protect our lives, families and properties. Abiding in God’s presence; spending time with God, soaks and surrounds us with the presence of God.
2) Pray for protection – Jesus when teaching us to pray said we should pray to be delivered from evil (Matthew 6:13). This is praying for protection. David prayed to God to keep and protect him (Psalm 17:8-9). In the place of prayer we place our lives, ways, steps and everything that concerns us in the hands of God (Psalm 31:5, 15). In the place of prayer, we bring our lives under God’s canopy of protection. As we pray for divine protection, we discover that the eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).
3) Be always grateful, thankful and appreciative for God’s protection – Psalm 103:2, 4 tells us not to ever forget the benefits of the Lord, not to forget the destruction God has redeemed and protected us from. Going out and returning back home safely, sleeping and waking up, having all our bones intact, being free from sicknesses and diseases, which have ended many lives are not things that happen by chance or are a normal occurrence of everyday life. They are things we have benefited, blessings that have come our way because God stood by our side to shield and protect us. There’s so much work God puts into protecting us as we move from place to place, travel or sleep. When you are thankful and grateful for what God has done for you or given you no matter how ‘small’, ‘ordinary’ or ‘insignificant’ the thing is, you position yourself for more blessings to be released into your life. There’s the principle of increase and multiplication that comes with thanksgiving. (John 6:5-13). The more we thank God, the more we experience greater dimensions of divine protection.
So, let’s continue to abide in God’s presence, pray God’s protection over our lives, families, our loved ones, our nation, thank God daily for His protection, and we will be kept under the shadow of the Almighty. God will cover us with His feathers, and under His wings we shall find refuge (Psalm 91:1, 4).
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