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DAILY PURSUIT OF CHRIST-PSALM 91:11-13

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Psalm 91:11-13
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.”
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.
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.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

 

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 

 

In a military sense God charges them with a purpose in assignment, “guard the ones that I assign you in my name.”  Truly, angelic beings operating on our behalf, are the expression of His care, guarding us in the totality of all our ways and our journey.  All of our ways...good and foolish ones...all of them. These angels are working to fulfill that which He has prescribed for us, or commanded in us, when we live in His shadow.

 

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 

 

The imagery is intended to give us a sense of security, rest, and safety in that it is actually talking about being held in the hollow of the angels’ hands.  Humans are creations of consequence. Everything we do either creates ripples or a vacuum. The idea of consequences, whether good or bad, are intended to cause us to think and  to reason before we act as to whether or not we really want to do what we are about to do. When we act without method or reason, which we often do, we feel the repercussions of consequence.  God stands ready to redeem the time, to heal us, and make us whole. His care is designed to be close at hand. When we wander away from Christ’s shelter He is as close as the sound of His name on our lips.  Jesus. He knows every possible outcome of every possible decision we could ever make...and still positions the Holy Spirit to redeem, rescue, instruct, and empower us. That is the care of the good, attentive Father.

 

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

 

Some translations depict this portion of scripture just a little bit different than it appears in the NIV, referring to the great lion as a “young lion” and the serpent as a dragon which actually alludes to the idea of a sea monster.  So, this would be a beast from the depths. The waters to the ancient Hebrew people were considered a place of deep mystery, the great unknown abyss. Let’s explore these animals and what they could symbolize. 

 

Lions and Young Lions:  Young lions stalk their prey, but together are given to unnecessary violence as if to stake their place in the pride. Imagine demons attempting to move up in the ranks of the army of darkness by the skill with which they work to terrorize their victims and you have the reason why young lions are used as an illustration.  Older lions are discerning and calculating in their strikes. They select their target and lay their ambush. In either case, we are looking at a foe in Satan that hunts, intimidates, ambushes, and takes violent actions against God’s people because of His hatred for God and those who God prefers. The preference I speak of is that God picked humanity and not the angels to rule the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28).  Satan thought God’s plan to exalt a lesser, “unworthy” creature was foolish and worthy of a coup attempt - that resulted in ⅓ of the angels in the counsel of God being expelled from the presence of the Lord.

 

Cobra/Adder: This references a poisonous snake that isn’t thought of much until the sting of its fangs is felt.  Life is filled with attacks on our functionality, sense of purpose, and emotional stability...like venom injected into our bloodstream.  These attacks affect our ability to operate with confidence and peace of mind. In the grand scheme of things these attacks may seem little, but they have profound impact on our personhood.   For the believer we have the advantage of perspective and empowerment that comes from Christ! He is our forerunner. We are joint heirs of Christ and therefore of His nature and character of our Father, God.  The more we stick with Him, the more He is making us like Him. Everyday we are in a relationship in Christ should be a day in which we are following Him better, knowing Him more, and living a more joy-filled, obedient, and anointed life than the day before.  That being said, if Jesus put the enemy under His feet He did it on our behalf. The first messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15 speaks to this reality, 

 

“15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 

 

This means that in Christ, God is makes available to us the same victory He had.  “You will tread” on the things which come against you in life.  He is putting them under our feet.

 

Serpent/Dragon/Mysterious Sea Monster:  Basically even the unfamiliar scary things from deep places unknown are not beyond the victory of Christ!  Some translations use the word a “dragon” in place of “serpent.” Revelation uses the “dragon” as a reference to Satan.  The imagery or use of the word “dragon” has distinctive Old Testament ties to scary sea monsters unknown to us.

 

Essentially, God is again speaking to our frailty, by pointing us to His strength and character.  His nature in us and on us is greater than our fragile psyche. 

 

2 Corinthians 12:10

10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

God is speaking  assurance to us in layers of affection that we desperately need.

 

Let’s pray the word of God and mean every word!

 

Psalm 91:11-13

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.”
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.
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.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

 

Father in the name of Jesus we come to you confessing we need you.  We thank you for breaking the power of sin off of our lives and giving us hope.  You are The Shield that we follow. Help us to advance in Your shadow. To live and keep on living in Your shelter.  You disarm the attacks against us and redeem our foolishness. You wash away our sin and cause us to overcome. You turn what was intended to harm and destroy us into vantage points from which we get to explore the victory only You can supply.  We declare that You have put the enemy of our souls beneath our feet. You have robbed him of gloating in his torments against us no matter what form they may take. You have our backs! We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus our Lord! Holy Spirit, open our eyes that we may see and rejoice with confidence in You! Thank You for sending your angels to our aid to help us face down our giants, work through adversities and tribulations.  Thank you for covering us in Your peace and comfort. We trust in You and none other. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen!