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Devotional: September 7, 2021

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.

Psalm 91: 1-6 The Message


When fear seems to stalk us, the Psalms can be a great comfort. This Psalm seems tailor-made to address some of our contemporary fears. With Covid hospitalizations at a seven-month high, due to the Delta variant, and news of hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes, many are fearful.


The danger of this passage is that it can lead people to throw caution to the wind. They can foolishly forego reasonable precautions, stating “The Lord will protect me!” However, such an attitude seems akin to tempting God. When the devil encouraged Jesus to engage in reckless behavior, by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple, our Lord refused. He said, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” This passage is not a license to throw common sense out.


The strength of the passage lies in the confidence the Psalmist has in the Lord. He pictures the arms of God shielding him, and rescuing him from every danger.


Later in this Psalm, King David acknowledges the truth that others have perished, and not just a few of them. Yet rather than fret and worry over worst-case scenarios, the Psalmist chooses to trust God.


The scriptures tell us that perfect love casts out fear. Trusting in the Lord is a form of loving our Savior, and relying upon the love of God to sustain His children.


Like the Psalmist, we can be confident that God’s loving arms will fend off all harm. Not just some of the things which will hurt us, but every single thing we fear.


Even in the midst of a Covid pandemic surge, and a wildfire which raged in our valley just over a week ago, God is our refuge. We can trust in Him, and we are safe! Hallelujah!


Prayer


Lord of all,

If I am honest, I must admit that there are times when I am fearful and concerned about many things. There are threats to our health, our safety and security, and news of natural disasters. Lord, you know what I am most concerned about! Help me to turn over my greatest fears to you. May I grow in my faith, resting in secure knowledge of your ability to watch over me, to protect me, and to prepare a way forward for me. Just let me trust you more and more, each and every day. I pray this prayer in Your Holy name. Amen.


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