Psalm 91 (New International Version)
Assurance of God’s Protection
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw
MY DREAD AND MY SECURITY
In Old Testament times, Yahweh alone was to be feared. He had neither rival nor competitor. He alone was humanity’s ultimate concern, and he held humanity’s ultimate destiny. In the temple, in the home, or out in the field, Yahweh was the only answer to the problems the ancient Israelites faced. He was to be their dread and their security. Fear of him was the beginning of wisdom.
Yahweh alone was God, and there was no savior beside him. Perfect peace was found by keeping one’s mind stayed on him. This was not an easy religion, and it was dramatically different from the other ancient religions, in which people believed in magic, fate, and capricious gods. Old Testament faith pulled away all the normal crutches provided by society and insisted that a person must stand by faith in Yahweh alone, depending on him in all circumstances.
In our day of swaying values and relative “truths,” when the world pressures all Christians to accept some other help besides God, we need to remember that the God of the Old Testament is still our God. Jesus Christ reflects his Father’s nature and puts the same demands on us that he placed on the Israelites; he insists that we be a striking contrast to the culture around us, which would have us be conformed to its own image. Society will offer a thousand crutches on which to lean, but each one will fail and will ultimately be destructive if we turn to it for security rather than to God himself.
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
“The misery of the poor I had many occasions to be an eyewitness of, and sometimes also of the charitable assistance that some pious people daily gave to such, sending them relief and supplies both of food, physic, and other help as they found they wanted… Some pious ladies were transported with zeal in so good a work, and so confident in the protection of Providence in discharge of the great duty of charity, that they went about in person distributing alms to the poor, and even visiting poor families, though sick and infected, in their very houses, appointing nurses to attend those that wanted attending, and ordering apothecaries and surgeons… giving their blessing to the poor in substantial relief to them, as well as hearty prayers for them. I will not undertake to say, as some do, that none of those charitable people were suffered to fall under the calamity itself; but this I may say, that I never knew anyone of them that came to any ill, which I mention for the encouragement of others in case of the like distress, and, doubtless, if they that give to the poor lend to the Lord, and he will repay them, those that hazard their lives to give to the poor, and to comfort and assist the poor in such misery as this, may hope to be protected in the work.”
–from A Journal of the Plague Year, by Daniel Defoe, 1722
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
The devil quotes Scripture, too!
Luke 4:9-12 (New International Version)
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Sonicflood sings “Psalm 91.”