The Faithfulness of God

Recently I have been battling with trusting that God is for me.  I understand him to be my advocate in a collective sense (advocating for his children and assuring their best), but I have temporarily lost my possession of knowing that he knows me uniquely as a well love child is known by her mother.  No doubt, I have seen God’s beneficence in how he has preserved me through various social and personal challenges, but I have attributed his actions to those of one who prosecutes his responsibility for the body, i.e., I see him doing good within the context of doing it for all who love him and are walking in his purpose.  The tides of life have eroded my sensing of the customization of his grace.  If you are in the same place as I am, I invite you to walk the Psalm 91 journey with me.  Over the next 91 days (13 weeks), we will memorize this personalized version of Psalm 91 from the NIV.  My prayer is that God’s word will re-ignite that belief in the individual focus that he has on your welfare and thriving.

For the first nine weeks, I will share a personal reflection around portions of the psalm as shown below.  Use my reflection to prompt your own thoughts and then work to commit that portion of the scripture to memory for that week.

Week 1

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

You can find week 1's reflection here.

Week 2 – Memorize This

Surely he will save me
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover me with his feathers,
    and under his wings I will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be my shield and rampart.

The word “will” as utilized in this passage (and this Psalm) is referred to as a modal verb.  This is the type of verb that contextually indicates various modes or attitudes.  It is utilized to communicate the concepts of likelihood, ability, permission (or choice) and obligation.  In the case where the word is applied to God, it is communicating likelihood, ability and obligation.  When I think of the word’s use in that way, I think about probabilities.  If my acquaintance tells me “I will do such and such”, life has told me that there is less than a perfect probability that whatever is promised will come to fruition.  Either through intention or inadvertence, there is a strong likelihood that my friend will let me down.  If, however, I apply the same word (will) to a perfect God who never regresses on his word (see Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Titus 1:2, Romans 11;29, Hebrews 6:18), then I am certain that the probability of the action he commits to and is obliged by is a perfect 1 (100%).  This speaks to the nature of his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Whether I believe it or not; whether I feel confident in him or not; whether I believe in him or not, God will “save me…”, and “cover me…”.  (In case you are wondering about his benevolence towards those who don’t believe in him, see Matthew 5:45.)

In the other use of the word “will” in this passage, I must make a choice.  His covering is offered, but I must make it my “refuge”.  His faithfulness is offered, but I must make it my “shield and rampart”.  (A rampart is a broad and high defensive wall).  If I make this choice, then salvation from the “fowler’s snare” (the traps of internal and external temptation) and the “deadly pestilence” (pervasive and potentially destructive trials that tend to have demonic origins) is certain.  We are powerless against either without God’s supernatural power!

Week 3

I will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Week 4

A thousand may fall at my side,
    ten thousand at my right hand,
    but it will not come near me.
I will only observe with my eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

Week 5

If I say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and I make the Most High my dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake me,
    no disaster will come near my tent.

Week 6

11 For he will command his angels concerning me
    to guard me in all my ways;
12 they will lift me up in their hands,
    so that I will not strike my foot against a stone.
13 I will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    I will trample the great lion and the serpent.

Week 7

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Week 8

15 I will call on you, and You will answer me;
    You will be with me in trouble,
    You will deliver me and honor me.

Week 9

16 With long life You will satisfy me
    and show me your salvation.”

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