Saturday, July 29, 2006

REFUGE - Psalm 91

Psalm 91: sixteen verses that are power-packed with reassurance, peace, inspiration, and comfort. We talk about "all the comforts of home" and certainly our home is a type of refuge; yet our ultimate Refuge, the One and Only genuine Refuge that we will abide in for all of eternity, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

In today's world there are dangers abundant; not to say that in days gone by there weren't any; obviously since the curse of sin this world has been a world of danger, tragedy, sorrow and woe.

It seems however that in today's world, these dangers have multiplied exponentially. Dangers both seen and unseen; dangers that we feel powerless to defend against. Whether you're talking about terrorism, NBC warfare, avian/swine flu, the diminishing of our constitutional rights in this nation, the potential initiative against the church by leftist powers in this country, sudden tragedy in the form of diseases and cancers, the violence of a society where assault, murder, rape are prevalent . . .

Are we tempted to barricade ourselves in our houses yet? heh

Where's the place we can reside and find a certain safety, a safe haven, a refuge? vs. 1 of Ps. 91 states: "He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

To "dwell" means to "sit down, to set, to remain, to stay" One could say in a modern colloquialism: "to hang out". This ought to be our position and attitude regarding the LORD. He is our ever present Companion and Comforter (You thought just the Holy Spirit was our Comforter? Not really, ALL Three Persons are referred to as our Comforter!). Jesus is our Comforter, as He spoke of the Holy Spirit as "another Comforter" And in 2 Cor. ch. 1 it talks about "the God of all Comfort" and you could easily think of God the Father (as any good Father will) comfort us in the way that only He can!

What does it refer to as "the secret place of the most High"? Well the Hebrew word for 'secret' is: "cether" and it means "to cover, covering, hiding place, shelter, secret place"

That term "hiding place" is also used in the Psalms: Psa 32:7 Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah."

The Lord is our Deliverer, and when it comes to our security, He has us covered!

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge, and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust."

The Psalm goes on to say that He is our Deliverer and He indeed delivers us from these things listed here: the snare of the fowler, the noisome pestilence, the terror by night, the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness, the destruction that wastes at noon day.

It states that we will be covered by His wings, and His Truth shall be our shield and buckler.

The entire Psalm is one huge solace, and comfort and source of Truth in God's ability to provide and protect.

He states that no evil shall befall us, nor any plague come near our Dwelling. He will give us His angels charge (talk about body guards!). We will tread without harm, upon the lion and the adder and the dragon,

But what about all those Christians that suffered terribly (and do even today) such horrid persecution, torture, tragedy, mortal diseases and illnesses? How were they delivered from such things, when one considers how awful they suffered!

Remember that the LORD Jesus Himself is our Dwelling, and that His grace is by far sufficient for these things; while He suffered alone the ugliness and cruelty of the cross, and the ruinous ravages of the sins of the entire human race which were laid upon Him, He told us that He would never leave us nor forsake us! Not ever! Not even our darkest hour, when it (only) seems that He has left us . . .

Recall the famous poem "Footprints"? Remember what the LORD's answer was to the questioning Christian? "MY darling child, I love You and would never forsake you. During your times of darkest trial, when you saw only one set of foot prints, it was then that I carried you."

He will be there to minister to us, and openly invites us to abide in His covering, sheltering grace that is a mysterious secret to those in the world! And its during such times of trial and suffering that we gain a far far more intimate knowledge of the LORD than we ever could by any other means! This is what Paul was speaking of when he wrote about "the fellowship of His suffering."

Phl 3:10 "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death"

Some might see this as our entering into the suffering that the LORD suffered upon the cross, and yet when you consider all the things that He suffered there, while pierced through His hands and feet, it was the agony and anguish of a sinful race, parted from a Holy God, and all that that entails. As a result of Adam falling into sin, the pandora's box of sorrow and suffering was opened. If not for sin, there would be no sadness, no disease, no strife in war and crime and violence; there would be no hate, malice, torment and death.

So as we endure such trials and pains and shocks as mortal coil is prone to in this fallen world, know that the LORD has gone before you, has tasted fully for you that bitter, bitter cup, and will share in this dark time of life, just as you will share in His peace, His joy, His grace and His love!

I believe that we as the church, the body of Christ, as represented here in America, we would do well to meditate on this Psalm during the days, months and years ahead, for we certainly shall know difficult times in this nation. May I encourage you in this, to read, meditate, ponder, study and share the treasures contained in this passage with saints that you know and love!

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