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DAILY PURSUIT OF CHRIST-PSALM 91:8-10

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Psalm 91:8-10
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.

8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

God will not be mocked. The Bible teaches us the Lord is the one who is our ultimate judge. It also teaches us every action has a consequence. Some of them are positive and some are negative. This passage in no way invites us to celebrate God’s judgement on the wicked, but rather move us to pray for their redemption. Even hearing about God’s judgement causes many to shrink back in disgust. But I say His judgement is what makes Him just and righteous. It is a curious thing that some of us don’t mind when somebody else, “...get’s what they had coming to them.” ...So long as that somebody is not us.

These positions are based in the deceived kingdom of self-righteousness and humanism. It is the high of moral depravity that invites us to frolic amongst the daisies and rainbows of moral relativism...a construct that elevates the desires and comforts of the individual as the ultimate...until there is conflict. The buck must stop somewhere. If the stop is societal consensus then what do we do when society, whether perceived as enlightened or not, gets unhinged and unreasonable? Society’s default mode is to defer to the influence of a perceived elite few to whom culture abdicates its power. Society ascribes power to these elites through our admiration and their ability to control messages and people in the arenas of family, business, religion, politics, education, media, and the arts.

Instead this perceiving in the flesh of God as The Righteous Judge should lead us to approach Him with what people and the older translations of the Bible used to call, “fear and trembling.” Today we call it, “reverence and respect.” It is why countries use diplomacy between themselves. They recognize what each other is capable of and so whether they be allies or enemies they act in an appropriate, respectful manner. In God’s case, though He reveals so much of Himself to us while being infinite in nature, He is eternally mysterious and veiled to the finite understanding of our humanity. This is why we can grasp the concept of God without being able to fully encapsulate all that He is.

Many people are friends with those who serve in the special forces of our military...we can conceive of what they might be capable of as highly trained war fighters. Yet, they are human and desire relationships with people, and people with them. Even so there is still a healthy respect, and even honor, in the way relationships are approached.

What about a fast car? The driver must respect the power of the engine and the handling of the vehicle lest they harm themselves or others.

Wild animals are often majestic and beautiful, but they are dangerous...they demand our respect and admiration. While in South Africa years ago I heard a story of some businessmen on a photo safari who left the shelter of their car and turned their backs on a pride of wild lions to take a photo with them. The Lions obliged them by pouncing on them and eating them. They did not respect or have a healthy fear of what they were admiring.

Features in nature must also be respected (trees, mountains, rocks, etc.), as they are immovable realities that if faced without respect can actually result in loss of life. I had a friend that was hiking a mountain trail laced with signage warning people to watch for falling rocks. It was noted and dismissed until one, without warning, fell on the trail...narrowly missing my friend. Had it hit him it would have taken his life. The mountain reminded him to respect its unyielding nature, while welcoming exploration and admiration by those recreating on it.

9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,

“Saying” signifies the moment of appointment, or choosing. It is our part of abiding in Christ. It is our declaration of dependence on Christ, forsaking all others. It is like declaring the 10 Commandments 1-4 with a tense of personal ownership. Instead of saying, “You shall not…” we own it and declare, “I will not…” Furthermore, it is declaring that we are “in tabernacle” with the Lord. That is to say, we are in an ongoing state of existence of meeting with God, having intimacy with our creator, and communion with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. So, we are choosing the Almighty’s shelter by assuming a posture of “tabernacle” with the Lord. Tabernacling with God is where Moses and Joshua received instruction and wise counsel from the Lord.

10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

When we are tabernacling with God the things which come against us will not and cannot divide or create separation, or schism, between us and God. In fact, it will be the opposite. When I am pressed...I will turn to the Lord. His revelation, His righteous right hand shall sustain me and preserve me through the trials. Let’s pray the scriptures and mean every word!

Psalm 91:8-10
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.

 

God, we confess that what we are seeing take place around us is often intimidating and even frightful. What we see makes us keenly aware of our frailty. Lord, we ask that You move our hearts to have compassion and pity on those who are lost in darkness and do not clearly see the hope we’ve found in Christ. Holy Spirit, transform us into empowered witnesses who are full of your presence, baptized in your fire. We turn to You our Righteous Judge, our Refuge in time of trouble. Forgive us for our judgmental attitudes and give us wisdom and discernment in this life. Have mercy on us for leading with the pride of self-righteousness. Wash us clean of this thinking and arrogance that forgets Your work of rescuing us. We choose “to tabernacle” with You. Come and teach us Your ways. Cause our hearts to become hungry for Your instruction and eager to obey. We lean into Your grace and the covering of Your mercy in the midst of the storms we face. Thank You that when I am in You and You in me that nothing can separate us. I love you Lord! I trust in You and You alone! In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!