Category Archives: Protector / Deliverer

The Lord Is My Rock, In Whom I Find Protection

Psalm 18 is a psalm of David, a man after God’s own heart. He sang this song to God on the day God rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. This psalm encourages us that we can count on God’s help to overcome those who persecute us. The victory will not always be with a sword, but sometimes it will be and we will need to wield it properly to defend ourselves and God will help us. We can find refuge in the Lord.

I love you, Lord;
    you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.

The ropes of death entangled me;
    floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
    death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
    my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth quaked and trembled.
    The foundations of the mountains shook;
    they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
    fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
    Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
    dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
    soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
    veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
    and rained down hail and burning coals.[c]
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded
    amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
    great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord,
    at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
    and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
    he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
    I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
    I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
    He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
27 You rescue the humble,
    but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
    The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
    with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.
    All the Lord’s promises prove true.
    He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
    and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
    Your right hand supports me;
    your help[d] has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
    to keep them from slipping.

37 I chased my enemies and caught them;
    I did not stop until they were conquered.
38 I struck them down so they could not get up;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
    you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
40 You placed my foot on their necks.
    I have destroyed all who hated me.
41 They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
    They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
42 I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
    I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
43 You gave me victory over my accusers.
    You appointed me ruler over nations;
    people I don’t even know now serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
    foreign nations cringe before me.
45 They all lose their courage
    and come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
    May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
    he subdues the nations under me
48     and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
    you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.

It is obvious that David experienced real persecution and fear for his life. Yet still he tried to live according to God’s instruction. He refused to reject God. I am greatly encouraged by David in that he consistently turned to God at his lowest and most difficult times in his life. His faith was greatest when his situation was most urgent.

Many of us face true persecution or other trials and difficulties. We must never turn away from God because of our circumstances lest we perish, but when we trust in Him and serve Him we will not perish even should we lose the earthly battle. God made a way for us to be reconciled with Him through the death of Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as Lord and savior, believe He died for us, was buried, and rose again, and repent from our sins asking God to come into our hearts as Lord we find salvation through Christ.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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O Lord, Hear My Plea for Justice. Listen To My Cry For Help.

Psalm 17 contains another faithful  and heartfelt prayer from David to God. David had enemies that were stronger than him, but turned to God and relied on Him for protection. David had many times in his life when he fought his enemies, but he also relied heavily on prayer and on God.

O Lord, hear my plea for justice.
    Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
    for it comes from honest lips.
Declare me innocent,
    for you see those who do right.

You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
    By your mighty power you rescue
    those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
    from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
    Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
    watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
    like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
    Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
    Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
    destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
    May their children have plenty,
    leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
15 Because I am righteous, I will see you.
    When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.

David’s prayer is as relevant today as it was when he first prayed it. There is much wickedness and evil throughout the world today, as in days long ago. The face of wickedness and evil may change, but the true enemy remains Satan and the failure of people to recognize and submit to the one, true God.

I invite you to pray with me…

God, please stand against the evil around the world and bring them to their knees. Rescue the righteous from the hands of the wicked. Open my eyes, ears, and heart to listen to your guidance for how you want me to make a difference in defeating evil and protecting the righteous. In all things, not my will but your will be done.  Amen.

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I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!”

I always find the Psalms of David encouraging. He truly was a man after God’s own heart. Even in difficulty and suffering he sought refuge in God and found peace, hope, and reason to rejoice.  Psalm 16 is no exception.

Keep me safe, O God,
    for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
    Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land
    are my true heroes!
    I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
    I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
    or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.[b]
    My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead[c]
    or allow your holy one[d] to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

David begins with a request for God to keep him safe and provide refuge. This beginning gives us insight that once again David was in need of protection and turned to God.

The next statement is  powerful. David exclaims that God is his master and give credit to God for all good things. Then he takes time to appreciate and focus on the godly people in the land. He takes pleasure in them!

By contrast, David rightly declares that he will not be part of worship and practices of false gods and idols. He refuses even to speak the name of their false gods.

David is content and thankful for what God has given him. He looks only to God for provision and seeks to bless God in return. He seeks and accepts God’s instruction and guidance. He takes courage in knowing God is with him through difficult times.

David finds peace and rest in submitting to and serving God. He confidently proclaims the promise of God for eternity with God and finds great joy in this! David clearly understood the existence of the soul of each individual and how it may go to be with God when the body dies for those who submit to and serve God.

I am striving to personally model the heart that David showed toward God, even in difficulty and suffering. I am not there yet, but am on the right track. The more time I spend studying God’s word, seeking Him in prayer, and submitting my life to serve Him and follow His instructions the closer I get. I still have a long way to go, but praise God for showing me the path to follow!

I encourage each of you to take on that same challenge… seek God’s help for refuge and security, follow His instruction, remain separate from worship of false gods, find courage and peace and rejoice in knowing the Lord our God even in difficult times!

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Only Fools Say In Their Hearts “There is no God”

I am truly inspired by the faith and hope that David had in God even when he was experiencing grief and suffering or witnessing evil. Psalm 14 shows David relying on God even while he sees the wickedness and evil in abundance around him.

Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
    not one of them does good!

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
    if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
    all have become corrupt.[a]
No one does good,
    not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
    They eat up my people like bread
    and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
Terror will grip them,
    for God is with those who obey him.
The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
    but the Lord will protect his people.

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When the Lord restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

David reminds us that only fools deny God’s existence. Creation itself cries out in testimony to the Creator. And those who insist there is no God then tend to lean on their own sin nature to guide them, which leads to corruption, selfishness, and all kinds of evil.

Some who reject God may seem to be respectful of life and help other people. But if you really dig into what drives them it is often the Christian beliefs that have so widely affected much of the world view for centuries. They will not even recognize its origins in Christianity.

As an example… someone who believes in Darwinian evolution instead of creation with man created in the image of God really has no logical position to explain why we should help others or why we should not be okay with killing one another. The strong survive, right?  We are not special as humans, we are just “evolved” animals, right? Helping the weak and those in need is not a survival advantage consistent with evolutionary theory. Hitler conducting horrible mass executions, on the other hand… actually that is consistent with evolutionary theory. Evolutionary ideas played an important role in influencing Hitler as he tried to create the “master race”.

Even as we witness great suffering and evil around us and around the world, we can be encouraged that God will restore His people in His timing and His method. We can have faith and hope that God is in control and will protect us… will stand with us. Sometimes it is hard to see it as people are suffering such as those being executed for their faith in Jesus Christ but we can trust the promises of God. The righteous who accept Jesus as lord will find rest with God after they pass through this life. The wicked will find an eternity without God in hell.

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Sing to the Lord, Even In Suffering

Psalm 13 is a wonderful demonstration of praising God even in our suffering, and calling out to Him for protection and help instead of relying solely on ourselves.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.

I strive to live out this example in my personal life. Praising God and trusting in Him even in the midst of difficult times or when things seem to be going wrong.  I am truly inspired by the closing verse  given the context of unresolved suffering.

“I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”

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Evil Is Praised Throughout The Land

I often hear that the world is worse than it has ever been before and is degrading to new levels of wickedness and rejection of God. Though many parts of the world clearly reject God and do indeed to be in a period of decline and shift further away from Him, scripture reminds us that the world has always been full of wicked people.

Consider Genesis 6:5-9,

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord.

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

Those who are godly have had cycles where there was revival and then periods of decline to what is essentially a righteous remnant throughout history. Psalm 12 reminds us of another time where those who follow God were grieved by the wickedness of those around them.

Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing!
    The faithful have vanished from the earth!
Neighbors lie to each other,
    speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.
May the Lord cut off their flattering lips
    and silence their boastful tongues.
They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content.
    Our lips are our own—who can stop us?”

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless,
    and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them,
    as they have longed for me to do.”
The Lord’s promises are pure,
    like silver refined in a furnace,
    purified seven times over.
Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
    preserving them forever from this lying generation,
even though the wicked strut about,
    and evil is praised throughout the land.

As I read Psalm 12, my first reaction is that it may as well have been written about today in the United States of America. Evil is praised throughout the land and the wicked strut about. Every kind of sin and wickedness is tolerated or even praised, but Christians are called intolerant and pressured to be silent. I always find it ironic that those who say Christians should be tolerant of every kind of sin also refuse to tolerate our faith.

I find great comfort in God’s word and it reminds me that God is in control. I pray that true Christians around the world would rise up for their faith and live their lives like they truly serve God rather than blending in with the world. This includes electing godly leaders to political office to stop evil and work for good. When real Christians stand up for what God teaches, we will find revival and reinvigorate the body of Christ and then draw in those who may receive the good news of the gospel.

We must not be afraid to speak the truth, even when it brings controversy. We must instead follow the example of Jesus who spoke directly against sinful and wrong behavior and called people to change… to repent. If the godly are silent, evil prevails.

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Abimelech Takes Sarah From Abraham

We continue our journey with Abraham in Genesis 20, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham repeats the mistake he made previously in Egypt which resulted in his wife being taken by Pharaoh. God intervenes again this second time when Sarah is taken. What grace that our God would intervene on our behalf even when we make the same big mistake twice.

20 Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.

But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”

But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”

In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”

Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified. Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! 10 Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?”

11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’ 12 And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her. 13 When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’”

14 Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.” 16 And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silver[a] in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children. 18 For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.

Clearly God shows grace to Abraham and to Sarah after they repeat their earlier mistake of misrepresenting their relationship as a means of protection instead of trusting God. God then even uses the situation to bless them in both money and land. God knew Abraham genuinely wanted to follow and serve Him, but had made a mistake.

There is another point that is significant to note. It is reasonable to conclude that Abimelech did not know and serve God based on Abraham’s description of the area as ungodly. Never the less, God communicated directly with Abimelech to accomplish His will. Even non believers can hear from God when God wants them to.

It is also worth observing that there are serious consequences for not obeying God, even for someone who may not know Him well or serve Him. Abimelech chose wisely and obeyed, likely out of fear.

If God presents serious consequences for disobedience of those who do not know Him, then we can expect He holds even higher accountability for those who know Him and still refuse to obey His instructions? This does not mean we have to be perfect or without mistake. God shows us how He has grace for Abraham.  But we are expected to seek Him wholeheartedly and that should be reflected clearly in our lives.

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Trust In The Lord for Protection

Psalm 11 reminds us to trust in the Lord for protection. We can take comfort in knowing that God is in control always.

1 I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! 2 The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. 3 The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” 4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. 5 The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. 6 He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. 7For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.

We do not need to hear personally to know that the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished. We know this will be true because God’s word says so. It may not happen the way we want it to in this world, but all shall face God’s judgment when they die. Most will find they were not prepared and will suffer for eternity apart from God.

Be not discouraged because of trials and struggles. Instead look to God through Jesus Christ for hope and joy and for protection.

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Find Protection in God

So many of the Psalms remind us to seek protection and safety in God. We are reminded that David, though a man after God’s own heart, had many trials in his life. David consistently turned toward God when He was enduring hard times. We should also go to God for help during adversity and storms in our lives.

Psalm 7

I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.
    Save me from my persecutors—rescue me!
If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion,
    tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
O Lord my God, if I have done wrong
    or am guilty of injustice,
if I have betrayed a friend
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
then let my enemies capture me.
    Let them trample me into the ground
    and drag my honor in the dust. Interlude

Arise, O Lord, in anger!
    Stand up against the fury of my enemies!
    Wake up, my God, and bring justice!
Gather the nations before you.
    Rule over them from on high.
    The Lord judges the nations.
Declare me righteous, O Lord,
    for I am innocent, O Most High!
End the evil of those who are wicked,
    and defend the righteous.
For you look deep within the mind and heart,
    O righteous God.

10 God is my shield,
    saving those whose hearts are true and right.
11 God is an honest judge.
    He is angry with the wicked every day.

12 If a person does not repent,
    God[b] will sharpen his sword;
    he will bend and string his bow.
13 He will prepare his deadly weapons
    and shoot his flaming arrows.

14 The wicked conceive evil;
    they are pregnant with trouble
    and give birth to lies.
15 They dig a deep pit to trap others,
    then fall into it themselves.
16 The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
    The violence they plan falls on their own heads.

17 I will thank the Lord because he is just;
    I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

When David sang this psalm before God he was clearly undergoing significant adversity and felt confident that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.  Once again we are reminded that we will endure many hardships in this life, even when we have a genuine heart for God.

David ends by singing out that he will thank God and sing praise to Him, even while he is still in the midst of the trials. David had strong faith and trust in God. David knew God was bigger than any difficulty he was experiencing. David was a man after God’s own heart.

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Listen to My Cry for Help, God

David wrote many of the Psalms when he was in times of personal adversity. As a man after God’s own heart, he consistently turned to God during suffering.

In Psalm 5 David demonstrates trust in God, reflects on God’s character, recognizes God’s love for him and his unworthiness to come before a holy God, and ends with a call to be joyful and praise God. When David prayed, he expected to hear from God.

O Lord, hear me as I pray;
    pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
    for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
    for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
    or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
    Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
    Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 O God, declare them guilty.
    Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.

As with many scriptures, there is much wisdom packed into these precious verses. I admire the relationship David had with God.

We can challenge ourselves to do the following when we have times of suffering:

  • Rely on God. Ask Him for protection and help.
  • Expect God to answer our prayers.
  • Reflect on the character of our holy God.
  • Remember God’s love for us.
  •  Sing joyfully and praise Him even in adversity.

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