Tag Archives: safety

Safe and Secure

We have a security system at our house. I know it works because we’ve accidentally tripped the alarm on more than one occasion. But there is also a code we can punch in at the control box which, we’ve been told, would immediately bring emergency assistance without setting off the alarm. But how do we really know? Sometimes I would like to punch in the code just to see if anyone comes quickly. But unless I want to get into deep trouble, I need to trust and believe.

I feel much the same way when I read Psalm 91. The Psalmist is eloquent and picturesque as he speaks about four provisions of security. The first provision is in verse 3: “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.” God gives SAFETY from the traps and snares the devil sets for us.

God also provides SHELTER. (4a) “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…” When a predator or something dangerous approaches, the bird instinctively spreads its wings and the younger birds scurry underneath for shelter. So God provides shelter for His people.

God’s third provision is that He is our SHIELD. (4b) “…his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” The Psalmist knew that God is faithful to all He created (Psalm 36:5): “Your love , Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” He also knew that God’s faithfulness would pass through the generations. (Psalm 119:89-91 NLT): “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans.”

The fourth provision God provides is SACRED GUARDIANS. (11-12) “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Hebrews 1:14 teaches that angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. God sends His angels to keep His people safe and on track in all their ways. In essence, God has provided us with designated drivers to escort us home.

These provisions give us at least three freedoms, the first of which is FREEDOM FROM FEAR (5-6) “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” Since God provides security, what is there to fear? The Psalmist also says that we gain FREEDOM FROM EVIL. (7-8) “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.” Evil will not take over our lives and control us. Thirdly, we gain FREEDOM FROM HARM AND DISASTER. (10) “…no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.”

God gives safety, shelter, a shield, and sacred guardians so we are free from fear, evil, and harm and disaster. The Psalmist concludes by restating God’s covenant with His people: (14-16) “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Notice the promises – God will rescue us, protect us, answer our prayers, be with us, deliver us, honor us, satisfy us with long life, and show us salvation. It’s wonderful!

It all hinges on TRUSTING GOD. Security in God is not an insurance policy against misfortune or trials. The glorious, seemingly unconditional provisions and promises of Psalm 91 are, at core, not a call to understand but a call to trust. (1-2) “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” To ‘dwell’ is to trust God – to put all your weight on Him. Think of climbing a rock wall. Once you put your weight in the harness and trust the person holding the rope, you feel safer and therefore can climb easier and higher.
Are you willing, in the midst of the tough times of life, to put your weight on and trust in God?

Consider the following conversation. (2)

“God, can I ask you something?” “Sure.”
“Promise you won’t get mad?“ “I Promise.”
“Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?” “What do you mean?”
“Well I woke up late.” “Yes.”
“My car took forever to start.” “Okay…”
“At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait.” “Hmmm…”
“On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call.” “All right.”
“And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn’t work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?”

“Well, let me see…the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.” “Oh…”
“I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on our route that might have hit you if you were on the road.” “Oh…”
“The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn’t want you to catch what they have; I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.” “Oh…”
“Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, so I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.” “I see God.”
“Oh, and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.” “I’m sorry God.”
“Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust me…in all things, the good and the bad.” “I will trust you God.”
“And don’t doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan.” “I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.”
“You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.”

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

(1) http://www.aviatorsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_0035-2.jpg
(2) Original author unknown


A Shady Life

I admit – I live a shady life.

But it’s not what you think. I’m not dishonest, crooked, underhanded or shifty. Rather I’m shaded and sheltered. Here’s what I mean.

A desire for being in the shade and shadows brings to mind the time we took our 3 boys to Washington DC. It was hot. No – it was scorching hot. It was so scorching hot that the front page of the news showed a row of parked motorcycles all tipped over laying on their sides. In the intense heat the blacktop had softened so the kickstands sank, tilting the cycles until they all fell. Now that’s hot!

I vividly remember the sweat and fatigue. We planned our walking routes so we could get periodic spots of shade – it was the only relief and rest available outdoors. And even the air conditioned buildings seemed muggy and stifling. Perhaps that’s why I identify so easily with the Psalmist who prayed “…hide me in the shadow of your wings…” (Psalm 17:8) The wings are another image of and symbol for the cloud. What we would have given for some shadowing clouds on that day! (1)

The Psalmist uses the imagery again: “The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, or the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.” (Psalm 121: 5-7) The Lord is a shadow for all the distresses and threats we encounter – any time, day or night.

How can we be sure? Jesus points to Himself as the wings of God. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Matthew 23:37) What a picture! When her babies are in danger Mama Hen spreads her wings to protect them. Pretty much what human mothers do for their children!

The issue is whether or not we will plan our routes to go under His wings.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Underlining mine) The shady spots are available – sometimes God’s wings and shade are right where we are – but oftentimes we need to go to the shade – like the hens need to go to Mama. The Psalmist knew it – he made it clear: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91: 1-4). Curry’s Paraphrase: When we dwell under His wings we will have rest during the heat and storms of life.

One final image – Jesus hangs on the cross with His arms outstretched. His wings are spread. He’s offering the refuge of a shady life for all who come to Him.

The words of William Cushing say it eloquently: “Under His wings I am safely abiding, Though the night deepens and tempests are wild, Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me, He has redeemed me, and I am His child. Under His wings, under His wings, Who from His love can sever? Under His wings my soul shall abide, Safely abide forever.” (2)

(1) See my three previous posts: Life in the Cloud, More Life in the Clouds, Living in Glory

(2 Under His Wings, William O. Cushing