Walking on Serpents: Psalm 91 and the Price of the Promise

It is rather simple for skeptics of faith to play the ‘devils’ advocate’ when referring to Psalm 91.  The promises listed therein seem to make faith in God a “cure-all” for any possible malady; affliction or problem we could ever encounter.

It is these skeptics who can often wryly, even sneeringly, point to some natural disaster or chronic illness which befalls a person of faith and say:  “Won’t your “God” protect you?.  How is it He could have let this happen to you?”.

I am reminded of a lyric from a song by a British group, named (ironically, in this context), The Rolling Stones:

“I was driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield
Listening to gospel music on the colored radio station
And the preacher said, “You know you always have the
Lord by your side”
And I was so pleased to be informed of this, that I ran Twenty red lights in his honor….
Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord.”

The cynics and skeptics, these “devils’ advocates” demonstrate perfectly the mindset of Satan, when in the wilderness, he tempted Jesus to throw himself into an abyss, chiding him that any fear of the result would be contrary to the promises of Psalm 91. (Matthew 4:6)   But Jesus spurned his coaxings.  He would not throw himself into the abyss.heavenhellsign

And neither should we put God ‘to the test’ by “running twenty red lights”.

Why not?

Simply because, the promises God makes are to those who make their habitation with Him (v. 9), not those who would doubt Him or ‘test’ Him.  These, and their homes, shall no evil befall.  (v.10).   Habitation with the Lord will have the benefit of angels to lift us up so that we will not fall. (v.11; 12).

The angels will regard us, their charges, as children.  They will help us if we trip on the stones of sin or temptation.  They will gird us as we trample the Devil, whether manifested as a lion, or a serpent.  (v. 13)

If we know God by name; if we fix upon Him our love exclusively (v. 14); and, most importantly, if we call out to Him in a constant dialogue of prayer in times of trouble, He will deliver us.  He will be with us.  And He will answer our prayers.  (v.15)  Our lives will be long, however divided they may be between the ‘here and now’ and the ‘hereafter’.  We will know his salvation (v. 16) not by earning it; and certainly not by testing it;, but…. by acknowledging the essential fact of Grace:  The Passion of Christ…the denial to Jesus of protecting angels; of deliverance; of comfort; of protection from harm….  was Gods’ gift to those who would take refuge from their sinfulness in His habitation, and love Him in return for His proven love for us.  The promises of Psalm 91 are the reason Jesus went to the cross, and his resurrection was victory over sin; death and Satan.

Just as Jesus resisted the temptation of the serpent Satan, we must resist the temptations  posed upon us everyday by the lions of greed; fear; envy and pride.  And if we dwell in Love with God, and with one another, we can,…..and we will.



Walking with Wings on Fathers’ Day

This Fathers’ Day, I have resolved not to just mourn his passing, but to rejoice in the eternal life he shares with all who bask in the Light of the Holy Spirit.

He has passed from sight, but not from mind.  The commandment of the Lord to honor him is all the more binding on my thoughts, words and deeds now that he enjoys a life eternal.

Around from all the neighboring towns
The grieving family ran,
And cursed the fickle sickness that
Had felled so good a man.

His loss, they said, was sore and sad
Tears welled in every eye;
He was a spouse; a friend; a ‘Dad’,
“Not fair” that he should die.

But solace comes to those whos’ sight,
Discerns what Grace implied:
This man lives on in Gods’ sweet Light,
The Sin it was that died.

“and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove” –Matthew 3:16,

“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”  –2 Corinthians 4:13—-5:1