Psalm 91:1-6 ESV
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’
“For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”
Are you one who dwells in the shelter of the Most High? Do you live your life with the Lord as your refuge and your strength? Do you hide yourself in him? Is he your sanctuary? Your security? Your stronghold? Do you depend upon him for your counsel and for your direction in life?
Do you abide (live) in him, and does his word abide in you? Do you remain, continue, and stay in him and in his word, to where they are your sustenance for life? To where you walk (in practice) in his love, his holiness, and his righteousness? Or do you depend on your own flesh, instead?
If we do abide in him, we are promised the protection of the Lord. But, what kind of protection? Are we truly promised that nothing bad will ever happen to us? That we will never have to suffer? That we will never know pain or sorrow? That no one will ever reject us or hate us or mistreat us?
Not according to Jesus’ words and the words of his New Testament apostles. According to the teachings of the New Testament, we who hide in the shelter of the Almighty are promised that we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
We are promised that we will be treated as Jesus was, and that we must suffer with Christ if we want to live with him (Matt 10:22; Matt 24:9; Jn. 15:18; 1 Pet. 2:20-21; 1 Pet. 4:1-3; Rom. 8:17; Phil. 1:29; Phil. 3:10-11).
So, what is the protection that our Lord provides? Sometimes he does protect us from physical harm. And, he is also our great physician and our healer, and so he may also keep us from getting sick, or he may heal us when we are sick.
But when we put our hope in the Lord, and when we find our dependency in him, and we hide in his shelter, he does protect us and deliver us from the trap of the enemy who hunts us down to try to catch us in his snare. He will protect us from yielding to the enemy and from fear of harm or suffering. And, he will give us the strength and the determination that we need to keep on in our walks of faith, even in the face of great persecution.
Psalm 91:7-10 ESV
“A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
“Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.”
The Lord will also protect us from falling prey to the enemy or from falling into sin. Even if the vast majority of people, or even the bulk of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ fall prey to the temptations of the evil one, the Lord will give us the strength to remain steadfast in faith and in purity.
Psalm 91:11-16 ESV
“For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Again, the Lord will give us everything we need to defeat the enemy of our souls and to remain steadfast in faith, and to keep living for our Lord, doing what his word says, even if everyone all around us gives way to the enemy and lets him defeat them in battle. But we must hold fast to the Lord.
We can’t be bouncing back and forth in opinion between the cheap grace gospel and the full gospel of Jesus Christ, though. We can’t be being tossed back and forth by every wind of teaching of men in their deceitful scheming. We can’t remain infantile and immature, always needing something of this world to pacify us. We must know Christ and then grow up in Christ to maturity of faith in him.
You can’t be playing with temptation and sin, either. You can’t continue making excuses for why you never get out of the cycle of your sinful addictions. You can’t be just drifting along, living for the flesh, doing what you want to do, and then expect the Lord to be your refuge and your strength when things get tough, which they will.
We must be those who hold fast to our Lord in love. And, to love God is to obey his commands. It is to do what he says, not what our flesh dictates. And, to “hold fast” is to remain firm and steadfast in faith and in practice, and to not waver in opinion regarding our walks of faith.
Then, the Lord will strengthen us, and he will help us in times of need, in times of distress, and when everything gets even crazier than it is now. He will be our comfort and our hope. He will heal our broken hearts. He will carry us through every difficulty. And, he will bring us safely into his heavenly kingdom when our work on earth is done. Praise the Lord!
Be with Me, Lord
By Thomas O Chisholm
Be with me, Lord – I cannot live without THEE,
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need THY strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap ev’rywhere about me,
They cannot harm or make my heart afraid.
Be with me Lord! No other gift or blessing
THOU COULDST bestow could with this one compare –
A constant sense of THY abiding presence,
Where’er I am, to feel that THOU ART near.
Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
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