Saturday, June 20, 2015

PART 2 - PSALM 91:9-16

Living Under the Shadow of the Almighty

Psalm 91 is such a precious, calming-to-the-soul Psalm to each of us. But it especially resonates to the widow who may have no one else to be her defender, her protector, her provider, or her calming agent when life roars at her.  We want to look at verses 9-16 today.

Verse 9 begins with the declaration: For Jehovah is my refuge. I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. The preceding verses had spoken of a number of things that may occur to cause someone to fear: darkness, wars, sicknesses, calamities and disasters. When one is living alone, as most widows do, and the protection of their husbands is no longer available, God here lovingly reminds them that He is their protector and they don’t have to fear any of these things…if their trust and faith is in Him. Verse 10 asks the question, “How can evil overtake me or any plague come near? 

 We hear and read a lot about angels these days – some of it true to Scripture and a lot of it not remotely true. But here we read in Psalm 91:11 that God gives the angels orders to protect his children wherever they go. The noted Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, reminds us that this is not an order to the church in general, but to every believer in Christ personally.  This says a lot about the personal, loving God that we serve. The charge that he gives to the angels regarding you, dear widow, is to keep you in all your ways. Even when the danger to you either physically, spiritually, or emotionally, isn’t even evident to you; yet, the angels will protect you.

I love the personal attention that the Psalmist ascribes to the angels as they go about their duties toward us: They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail.  It seems to me that it is instinctive to a husband to reach out and touch the elbow or arm of his wife when there is any danger of falling or stumbling. Often my husband will reach for my hand as we cross a street, or walk up stairs. I’m sure that many of you widows remember your husbands doing this to you and you probably miss that tender physical touch. This verse reminds us of the great ability, and power given to angels, yet also their great affection for us. They are able to bear you up out of danger and they “do it with all the tenderness and affection wherewith the nurse carries the little child about in her arms,” comments Matthew Henry.

You widows know better than many the “rocks on the trail of life” and how dangerously close some of you may have come to falling because of them. Grief and loneliness are two conditions that can sink one into despair quickly and permanently if one allows them to. I think these might be the “lion” or “dangerous snakes” in your lives. I say this because death is so final and no one is totally prepared for it. Your husbands were your life partners, and some of you have eloquently stated how you felt that your “songs had lost their tune” when you became a widow. I’m convinced that Satan, if given the chance, will use these to defeat you. Yet, verse 13 states that the angels will safely protect you and you can trample these beneath your feet.  Whatever the “lions” and “snakes” are in your lives, you don’t have to fear them or succumb to them.

The last verses of this Psalm speak again of what God will do to and for those who love Him. Everything that we have is because of His great love for us. Because we know the person who owns the name God, we can use that name when we need to. He will be with us in trouble, which indicates that we will have some trouble as long as we’re on this earth, but He walks us through it. Ultimately, He will rescue us and honor us with a full, long life. As someone once remarked, “You can’t get a longer life than eternal life and eternal life is quality life.” Those are the rewards for making Jehovah God your God and trusting in Him to take your hand when you feel that you are walking alone through life.
Message by Shari Hervold

I pray that you will allow Psalm 91 be a constant reminder to you that you are precious to God and that He personally cares for you as a defender, provider, protector – and all that you need - as you traverse through life as a solo traveler.

 Enjoy the beautiful music of Josh Grodan --- Eagle's Wings