2020 5/19 #36 - Living in "The Shadow"
Psalm 91 is one of the most comforting and reassuring of the Psalms. Many hold that it was penned by David after the severe chastening he had brought on Israel when against God’s command, he numbered the people in 2 Sam. 24.
Regardless of the specific occasion, what overflows from it is the way God loves to make promises to those who put their trust in Him. How He delights to reassure and comfort us when we run to Him as our shelter in times of trouble. And the reality that we would spare ourselves terrible seasons of anxiety if we would just take Him at His word. In other words - if we would live by faith.
More on that in a moment in today’s edition of Through the Word in 2020 - I’m Reid Ferguson. Thank you for joining us.
2 Samuel 15:13-17:29; Mark 11:20-25; 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 and Psalm 91 form our reading assignment for today. And they are each rich portions indeed.
Psalm 91 is neatly arranged into 4 major sections.
Vs.1 Contains: The Announcement
Those who “dwell”, not just visit from time to time but make it their business to live in the shelter of The Most High - will abide - will continuously know what it is like to live under His protection. In other words, nearness to Him brings safety.
Now the great assumption of this passage, and what is behind this announcement, is that we NEED "shelter". That we instinctively know something is horribly wrong in the universe. And that left to ourselves, without shelter - we will all be cosmic victims.
V2 Then is: The Response
If what is announced in vs. 1 is true - then by golly I will respond to the Lord by calling Him my personal refuge; the fortress where I will live; and my God. But not just my God in name only - but my God in “whom I trust.” You see, apart from actually trusting Him, merely calling Him my God does nothing. Faith must exercise trust in the One it looks to.
Vss. 3-13 detail The Explanation of why this way of living makes sense.
To be exceedingly brief - there are two issues we face which cry out for the shelter announced to us in verse 1. Two things from which we need deliverance above all others:
a. There is a "fowler" - an enemy out there - an "evil one" who seeks our destruction. Who sets traps for us. A cosmic reality we oft times forget.
b. "Deadly pestilence" - which v. 8 defines as the "recompense" or reward of the wicked. i.e. God's judgment on our sin. The ravages that the Fall has brought into this world. War, disease, death, violence, wickedness of every kind - natural disasters and more.
To those who trust in the Lord, while these remain realities, there are new dimensions to consider:
He covers us in it all. He remains faithful.
We need not fear the terror of the night - the unknown, nor the things which we can see that are harmful in plain sight.
While thousands all around us are consumed by these circumstances - the real damage they could do - to our souls - will not come near us. We’ll see it all for what it really is - the recompense for sin on the World - sin we’ve been forgiven of and justified from through the blood of Christ.
He even attends us with the invisible and imperceptible protection of the angelic host. And a final victory over it all is assured. Even the devil himself will one day be trampled under our feet.
Vss. 14-16 give us reassurance of all this in God's Personal Promises
And once again, here is the nature of true faith: Trusting Him.
Listen to these 7 precious promises that fall from the lips of our God. Believe them. Look to Him. Trust him. Seek Him.
To those who look to the Lord as their refuge from a universe gone askew due to sin:
1. There WILL be God’s personal deliverance. His Kingdom WILL come.
2. There will be protection for our souls until that day comes. Jude 24
3. We will live in a state of knowing our prayers are heard and answered.
4. We will know His presence with us in every trial.
5. We will be rescued from His day of wrath that will come upon the whole world due to sin.
6. God Himself will “honor” those who trust in Him. Amazing! What must it be to have our God bestow honor upon us?
7. Eternal life - with the utmost of satisfaction in being allowed to delve into the mystery of God’s salvation. A vision of the secrets of His heart that are so overwhelming and glorious - we could never want for anything more.
Let that soak into your soul today Christian.
And trust Him.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.