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What does the Bible say about protection?

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Ultimately, our protection comes from God. In times of physical and spiritual attack and in threatening situations of all kinds, those who trust in the Lord find Him to be a strong Protector. “He shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30). Here are some other passages that emphasize the protection of God:

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

“You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” (Psalm 18:35–36).

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word” (Psalm 119:114).

“Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! . . . But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:1, 3).

Under the Old Covenant, God promised physical protection to His people, the Israelites, as they kept the law (Deuteronomy 7:11–26). That divine protection extended to keeping them safe against the nations that would come against them as they entered the Promised Land: “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you” (Exodus 23:27, NASB). Here we see God protecting those whose actions accorded with His foreordained plans and purpose.

Psalm 121 is a wonderfully encouraging song for those who trust fully in God. The psalmist first identifies that his help comes from the Lord of all the earth (Psalm 121:1–2). He then instructs us on the attentiveness of the Lord toward His children—the One who never slumbers is on duty night and day (Psalm 121:3–6). Finally, the psalmist assures us that the God who watches us will keep us from harm and that He oversees all our activities now and forever (Psalm 121:7–8).

Individuals who knew the protection of God include David (Psalm 18:3; 54:7; 138:7); Noah (Genesis 7); Daniel (Daniel 6); and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). God’s protection was even evident in Job’s life. Yes, Job suffered many trials as a result of the attacks of Satan, but God established boundaries that Satan could not cross. Satan was limited to doing only what God allowed, and nothing more (Job 1—3). Through all the misery and afflictions Job endured, God was protecting him from greater harm. God also protected Job’s faith, allowing Job to be tested only so far before He stepped in and spoke to Job (Job 38—42). Job could not see God working behind the scenes, but he came to understand that God’s protection is sure and faithful. God promises His people, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (see Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).

In Scripture, God used several means of protecting His people, including angels (Psalm 91:11–12), fire (2 Kings 1:9–10), floods (Judges 5:21), escape routes (Acts 9:24–25), royal decrees (Ezra 6:11–12), pagan armies (Acts 23:23–24), and insomnia (Esther 6). God’s power and creativity are unlimited.

God’s promise of protection does not guarantee that we will never know pain or loss. Job’s story shows us that, although God is able to deliver us out of every physical calamity or trouble, it may not be His will to do so. Sometimes He uses trials to purify us. At these times, we should “count it pure joy” because, by allowing trials, God tests our faith to develop a deeper faith so that we persevere and grow to maturity and Christlikeness (James 1:2–3). Protecting us from trials is not always beneficial to us.

Also, God does not always shield us from the results of our own sins or the negative effects of the sins of others. Our world is fallen, and we endure its hardships. Many in Jesus Christ endure persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus assured His disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In every situation, however, God remains in control, and our sufferings have a limit. God will not allow us to be tested beyond our ability to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13). “The waves may toss and roar,” God says, “but they can never pass the boundaries I set” (Jeremiah 5:22, NLT).

The promise of physical protection is not ours under the New Covenant; rather, our focus is on God’s spiritual protection against the enemies of our soul. For our spiritual protection, God has given us spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10–18) and His own peace to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). The essence of God’s protection is the eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:21–22). It is this protection that Paul had in mind when he wrote, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18). The Romans could do their worst, but Paul had confidence that “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

The believer is sealed for the day of final glorification (Ephesians 1:13–14). No matter what happens in this world, heaven is our home. We are spiritually safe. “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8). We draw near to God and trust His protection. We invite His work in us, knowing that He will accomplish His good purpose in our lives (Romans 8:28–39).

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This page last updated: January 4, 2022