Experiencing love as a besieged city


Blessed be the LORD,

for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me

when I was in a besieged city.

I had said in my alarm,

“I am cut off from your sight.”

But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy

when I cried to you for help.

 Psalm 31:21-22


The Israelites knew about sieges. The Assyrians laid siege to Israel and led the inhabitants away as captives. Later, the Babylonians did the same thing to Jerusalem. A city under siege is terrible. When a dominating army has surrounded a city, no one gets in or out. People eventually starve. Living conditions become unmanageable. Sieges suck the life out of the inhabitants.

But that is not why the Psalmist uses the siege as the image for how God cares for him. He turns it upside down and here is why. A city under siege cannot receive anything; no food, no help, no reinforcements. Everything is blocked. Yet the Psalmist knows what can get through the impenetrable blockade – God’s steadfast love.

The psalmist uses a term that means not just affection, like we might mean when we say we love. It means God’s love that is based in his character and commitment to care and protect his people.

When life has us surrounded, God shows his unfading love to us. His steadfast love is not blocked. Know that God is committed to showing steadfast love to his people.

Life as a besieged city hurts and can feel isolated. God passes through every block that might be hemming us in. He passes through isolation, addiction, rejection, doubt. When these warring life circumstances terrify you, call out to God. His character is faithfulness. His method is self-sacrifice. His heart is love. Be loved today by God who passes through the siege into your city.