Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Those Who Live!

Today, the Word speaks for itself. Read these words from the New Living Translation and ponder them with me:

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I believe this Psalm followed the conclusion of Deuteronomy in the historical chronology of scripture as a result of when it was written, but maybe also because it is possible that Moses was the author. God knows for certain, but this we can be sure of, this passage is a comforting, reassuring, peace giving reminder that believers do not have to suffer God's wrath and that our eternal destiny is sealed.

Jesus Christ quoted this Psalm when he was tempted by Satan--not using it as a means to avoid the cross, but as a sword to fight the enemy's misuse of God's promises. His rebuke of Satan's misinterpretation of God's Word came in the form of a warning that we are never to test the Lord our God. It's important for us to follow our Savior's example by knowing what scripture teaches, and understanding the proper interpretation of the Word so that when we, too, face temptation, we do not lose the battle or test our Heavenly Father.

When Christ surrendered to his accusers and carried the cross of suffering, he drank the cup of wrath intended for every sinner. Today, we can recite Psalm 91 with confidence knowing that although we are not promised freedom from all earthly suffering, our eternity will be one in which God gives refuge, shelter, and salvation.

Thank you Father that with the Psalmist we know that our rest, our safety, and our protection is in you. You are almighty, holy, omnipotent King and Lord, and you alone deserve honor and praise. Maranatha and Amen!

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