By Marni Montanez
New Living Translation (NLT)
9. If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10. no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home
Jesus died on the cross so we can be saved. By His stripes our sicknesses and diseases are healed and the reward of accepting Him as our Lord and Savior continues. We are also promised His protection. This verse is saying God will protect us; no harm will come to us and no plague will come near our house. I donít know about you, but I know for a fact I have seen sickness and harm and plagues that inflicted believers so who is God talking to? I believe He is talking to all of us; Old Testament and New Testament believers.
Look at the first part of this verse. The promise comes only after we have fulfilled the first half of this statement: If we make the Lord our refuge. If we make the Most High our shelter.
When we give ourselves to God He has ownership of our bodies, our minds our future. And even in this, God still will not force us to obey or surrender.
Some of us have walked out from under Godís umbrella of protection and then blame God for whatever bad that happens to us. It is not possible to be rebellious and blessed with His protection. Anne Graham Lotz, who is the daughter of Evangelist Billy Graham is quoted as saying, after the 9/11 tragedy.
She said, "I believe that God is deeply saddened by
this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling
God to get out of our schools, to get out of our
government and to get out of our lives, and being the
gentle Father that He is, I believe that He has calmly
backed out. How can we expect God to give us His
blessing and his protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
Even as Christians some of us walk as we please; we are pulled into the momentum of the world and think God will be there to protect our rebellion or ignorance. We leave ourselves wide open for attack.
Corrie Tenboom said it best when one night in her home in Poland while bombs went off all around her family during world war II. She went to bed and heard her sister in the kitchen getting milk. She felt that Lord prompting her to go comfort her sister and she obeyed.
When she returned back into her room she saw a large piece of glass imbedded into her pillow where her head would have been. She said ďthe safest place to be is in the center of Godís willĒ.
This is the only safe place.
God uses hardship to help us grow up. It seems that these hard times mean we are not safe under Godís wings, but that is not true.
Everything we go through is carefully monitored by a loving and holy God. The only way real harm can come to us is if we reject Jesus as our Lord and Savior and spend eternity out of Godís presence. This is hell. But if we choose not to accept Jesus as our Lord and savior, not only are we under His protection on earth but, we choose to spend eternity with God.
To see things through Godís eyes is the sure way to understand verses like this. Remember His eyes are eternal. This means that what we have on earth is so temporary. It says in His word that we are but dustÖÖdust. Without Him breathing life into our body it is a shallow corpse of no value or importance. What is done with the empty corpse? They bury it. The only way we are important or valuable as humans is because of Godís very breath within us. God made us important. When He created us he said ďit is goodĒ. You canít get any more important than that.
So letís look at that verse again. All this evil that surrounds us will not touch us. It really means it will not conquer us. God uses whatever we go through to prune and change and move us forward.
If we run to God as our refuge then everything that happens to us is not
for our harm, but for our ultimate good.
Challenge: the next time you feel you have been treated unfair or wrong, try thanking God for helping you move back under His umbrella.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.