A person’s last words are usually considered very important. Moses, who had led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and through the wilderness, was at the end of his life on earth. He knew it. And he wanted to leave a special blessing for each of the tribal groups. His words are recorded in Deuteronomy 33. To the last group, he spoke these familiar words: The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Does God really have arms? Of course, this is poetic imagery. God is Spirit. He doesn’t have a body like ours. But He spoke in words we can picture and understand. Who doesn’t like to be held in strong, loving arms? What child doesn’t want to be held and comforted when tired or ill?
There’s another picture of this in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s that of a shepherd carrying a lamb in his arms, close to his heart. Isaiah 40:11 says, He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom…. In the New Testament Jesus tells the story of the shepherd who seeks for and finds a lost sheep, then carries him home to safety. (That’s in Matthew 18:12-13 and Luke 15:4-5.) And Jesus comes right out and declares Himself to be the Good Shepherd in John 10:11. It’s all figurative language, but the meaning is clear. God cares for us – actively, strongly, tenderly.
Many years ago, I wrote a song called “The Everlasting Arms.” My husband and I sang it many times in our concerts. We even recorded it on an album called “Two Part Stylings” in about 1970. I know. That’s a long time ago. And the recording has a few flaws. But if you’d like to hear our old song, you can click on the link below.
Here are the lyrics of the chorus: ”Underneath me, all around me are the everlasting arms. Nothing ever shall release me from His everlasting arms. There I find security; there I’m safe eternally. There’s a peace and joy that comforts me, while I’m resting in His everlasting arms.”
Now doesn’t that bring encouragement and comfort to you today?
Listen to “The Everlasting Arms” from my album Two-Part Stylings: