Hello everyone: We continue in our walk through Psalm 91 as we adjust, react and process all the news regarding COVID 19. Today we look at verses 3.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
After expressing his own faith in the Lord, the Psalmist begins to describe ways the Lord acts to protect those close to Him. In verse 3, we see the Lord as deliverer. The Psalmist paints an image of the Lord rescuing his people from a trap or snare. We can’t release ourselves but the Lord comes along to rescue us from the trap.
But there is also a very relevant promise in the latter half of verse 3. (He will deliver you) from the deadly pestilence.” For some of us, this verse has direct application to our lives for the very first time. Yet it reminds us that deadly pestilence has occurred before in history. The Lord has the power to deliver His people from such pestilence.
Yet this verse begs some deeper thought. Does this verse promise that the Lord will deliver everyone close to Him from deadly pestilence? Is it saying that we don’t have to fear because of the virus because the Lord guarantees our protection? If so, this verse seems to promise too much. We have received no news that the only people who have succumbed to this virus are “non-Christians.” I believe it careless to use a verse like this to promise blanket deliverance.
We must read such a verse in light of the whole of Scripture. God never promises us complete deliverance from all our troubles in this life. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation (trouble). But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Even in Psalm 91:15, the Lord says “When he calls me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor.” I will be with him in trouble. Therefore, I believe we cannot conclude that this verse guarantees deliverance from all pestilence.
But this verse also reminds us to not underestimate God’s ability to deliver us from pestilence. God has the power to intervene and protect in ways we cannot imagine. Instead of only putting our faith in isolation, hand washing, social distancing and government decisions, we must continue to say to the Lord, “My refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
So today, I encourage you to reflect back on a time the Lord delivered you out of some tough situation. Think back to the human impossibility of that situation. Then think of how the Lord worked to get you out of it and look forward with faith to our deliverer.
“Lord, God, Most High, Almighty – we praise you for your delivering work in our lives. Thank you for delivering us from our greatest enemies – sin; death and the devil. Thank you that we can look forward with an eternal hope. But we also pray for your delivering work in our lives today. Please deliver us from the deadly pestilence and show your hand of mercy again and again during this time. Grant us courage, protection and wisdom for this day. Amen.”