Read Psalm 91
Focus on verse 14
I recently came across a picture of what appeared to be a salesman standing on the roof of his car while four or five large dogs were snarling and barking all around the car. In the foreground a woman is standing on the porch of a ramshackle house shouting over her shoulder. The caption beneath the picture read; “Honey, there’s a man here who wants to talk to you about a home security system.”
It seems that most people in our culture are interested in ways to improve the security and safety of their lives. We lock the doors to our homes; we install home security systems; adopt large dogs and avoid traveling in dangerous areas of certain cities. There are businesses and government agencies that work fulltime at devising ways to make our world a safer place to live; yet people still continue to get hurt. Why? One would think that eventually with all the precautions and safety procedures we have accumulated that the world should be a safer place than it is.
In today’s reading the psalmist is writing about the protection that God offers to those who walk in His will. I have always told my children that the safest place they can be is in the center of God’s will for their lives even if that leads them to live and work in a war zone. I remember when our boys were young, thinking about the possible dangers that they could encounter and I realized rather quickly that there was no possible way that I could protect them from every possible situation. It was at that point that I had to turn them over to God, saying to Him that if He wanted them to live to adulthood, He was going to have to help us keep them out of trouble.
The obvious question that hangs out there is – why does God not do that for everybody? God answers that question in verse 14 of this psalm when He says, “Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name.” God very often protects those who don’t know His name as well, even though He has no obligation to do so. For those who know His name, and who genuinely love Him, He guarantees that He will be there for them in the midst of trouble. This does not mean that He will necessarily respond to the trouble the way we expect Him to.
When the three Hebrew boys in Daniel chapter 3 get tossed into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, God did not keep them for being thrown into the fire, however, God was most certainly in the fire with them, and to the amazement of the king, they were unharmed by the heat of the flames.
The bottom line is that though God may or may not choose to save our physical life when we face life and death trials in this life. Either way He will be there with those who genuinely love Him to either walk through the trial to safety with us, or to walk us through the trial into His presence. Either way it’s a win for those who know His name and hold fast to Him in love. Either way He will deliver us.