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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Talking to Yourself (Psalm 91:2)

"I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

The Psalmist declares his absolute trust in the Lord as he faces two categories of dangers in 
verses 3-6: those he can see (of the day) and those he can't see (of the night) which are just as real as the ones he can see. They are:
  • The fowler's snare (things that trap and hold us captive) - verse 3
  • The deadly pestilence (things that threaten our health and our livelihood) - verse 3
  • The terror of night (fears that steal our sleep) - verse 5
  • The arrow that flies by day (overt personal attacks and crisis) - verse 5
  • The pestilence that stalks in darkness (the things that sneak into our lives) - verse 6
  • The plague that destroys at midday (things that blatantly threaten our vitality) - verse 6
King Ahaziah does not seek the LORD as his refuge, so after he falls through the lattice in his upper room and injures himself he seeks the help of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron. The angel of the LORD sends Elijah to rebuke King Ahaziah for acting like the God of Israel doesn't exist, "Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub?"

Ahaziah's failure to turn to the LORD after his injury stems from his lack of surrender to God and confidence in God's ability to care for him before he was ever injured. Because he wasn't in the habit of seeking the LORD as his shelter, refuge, or fortress during the good times it didn't occur to him to turn to the LORD following his injury.

Ahaziah teaches us that accidents reveal where our hope lies and the Psalmist teaches us that only the man who understands and experiences the LORD as his refuge is prepared to face the terrors by day and the plagues of the night.

Knowing the LORD as "my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust" in the good times enables me to address the fears that accompany trouble--those of the day that I can see and those unseen and hidden in the night. When troubles do come (and they will) I continue the habit of saying to myself, "The LORD is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust" so that fears and panicky emotions are contained.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Psalm 49
  • What is the fate of those who trust in their riches and themselves?
  • Why does the Psalmist warn against being overawed with those who are wealthy?
Psalm 83
  • How does the Psalmist pray for those who plot against the LORD?
Psalm 91
  • What does this Psalm promise those who make the Most High their dwelling place?
1 Kings 22:47-49; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37; 2 Kings 1:2-18; 2 Kings 3:1-3
  • Why is Ahaziah's sending men to fetch Elijah a foolish move on his part?
  • Why does the third delegation understand about Elijah and the LORD God?
Turning truth into prayer
Thank the LORD that He is the shelter in which you can hide. Thank Him that you don't have to live in fear. Confess Him as your refuge and fortress.