Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week #12 Psalm 91:14 "To Rescue and Protect"

"Because he loves Me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name."

So...let me get this straight. According to this verse, if we love God and acknowledge His name, we'll be rescued from calamity and protected from evil?

Well...the veteran of human life and one with better sense would probably say, "no, not exactly." After all, calamity and disaster happen all the time, to both believers and non-believers alike. Earthquakes, hurricanes, nuclear plant meltdowns, terrorist attacks and war are filling our headlines, and God's people are not immune to its effects.

Even on a "small scale" Christians are not without everyday troubles, such as illness, unemployment and home foreclosures. Okay, let's make the scale even "smaller" and say that none of us are impervious to the pain of missed appointments, flat tires and sharp words exchanged between friends or spouses.

So, what is this talk about the LORD protecting us and rescuing us? Is He really promising to protect us from calamity and evil? I say, yes.

Let me attempt a heartfelt explanation.

God has rescued us from the logical consequences of being morally-imperfect, self-centered and (occasionally) God-haters. Okay, maybe we don't really hate God, but we usually love ourselves more. 1 Thess. 1:10 tells us that Jesus rescued us from the wrath to come. Wrath, by the way, that mankind kind of deserves. Does God's wrath qualify as calamity? Yep.

God has also protected us, and continues to protect us from evil. No, that doesn't mean that evil can't do it's destructive work in the world, because it does.

What this says to me is that, while evil has its sphere of influence in this world, God has put protective armor in place for those who believe. Yes, it's the famous "Armor of God" that Ephesians speaks to us about. With it, we can withstand the schemes of the devil and extinguish his fiery darts. Evil can harass us, but it ultimately can't have us.

But, both the rescue and the protect thing can only be put in place when I do the one thing I have the power to do: believe. Oh yes, and the other two verbs in this verse: love and acknowledge His name.

Believe, love and acknowledge God. Yeah....I think I can try to do that. Why? Not because I'm such a superstar of a Christian. Just the opposite. It's because I'm such a non-superstar, and need to believe. My goodness and discipline won't cut it. My saintly behavior and devotion to bible study can't nail it.

God told Abraham that his faith (belief in God's promise) was what rescued him, not his exemplary behavior. So, I need to believe like Abraham did. I need to believe and love God as though my life depends on it.

Come to think of it, I think it does.

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