April 8 – Protection

Psalm 91: 1 – 4  (NLT)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Protection is something we hear about every day. On the news and on Facebook, there are so many questions and suggestions about how to protect ourselves from Covid-19. Right now, people are arguing about which vaccine works best, or even if we should avoid vaccines in case they do some damage to us. We are told to wear face masks in public, keep social distancing and wash our hands frequently.  We also see people pushing back against those requirements given to us by health professionals. We see puzzling restrictions – close down small businesses, but keep open big-box stores. Just how safe am I when I go to the grocery store or to the mall, or eat in a restaurant?

Today as we live through a pandemic, many people are feeling nervous and frustrated. Words from God as in Psalm 91 are what we need to hear. 

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.”

Who are we being protected by?  The Most High, the Almighty, the LORD, my refuge, my place of safety, my God. The visual pictures given to us in these verses stress protection. We live and rest in the “shelter of the Most High” and in the shadow of the Almighty”. I try to visualize someplace very strong – like a cave in the rock. 

I think of Moses on the mountain in God’s presence. Moses really wanted to see God. He had been given many instructions, including the Ten Commandments, and just like one of us in that situation, he wanted to see who he was communicating with. Here are the verses telling us about that incident:

Exodus 33:18-23  (NLT)

“Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”

19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

That is the God who protects us today. He wants a relationship with us, and when we talk with him, he listens. 

“For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.”

Verse 3 makes me stop and ponder.  Is God really going to protect me from every deadly disease? Will he protect me from the coronavirus? Here is one thing I do know. God has plans for me.  Some of those plans are for my life here on earth – the things he wants me to learn, the things he wants me to do, the people he wants me to share my faith with, etc. But God also has a plan for when I’m going home to heaven to be with him. So, there is no concrete assurance that I will stay completely healthy or that I will live forever here on earth. Death will come. This verse confirms this:

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Whatever God’s plans for me are – living here on earth, or joining him in heaven – they are good plans, plans that promise me a bright future.

 “He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

Those words are so comforting, especially today.  The metaphor of a bird covering its little ones with its wings brings the picture of a mother chicken with those cute little chicks peeking out from under her wings. The thought of God’s arms swooping me into a big hug, or pushing me behind him to protect me from what is coming, is so reassuring. It reminds me of my favourite verses that I’ve used in the devotions so many times.

Romans 8:35-39  (NLT)

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

See that line – “neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”  Isn’t that wonderful!

That is what makes living through the third wave of a pandemic something you can do with peace and confidence.

Our song for today is I Just Need You by Tobymac.

One Reply to “April 8 – Protection”

  1. I needed to see/hear the words of this song. They are comforting and encouraging – tobyMac “gets it” and I am grateful.

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