Psalm 91:1-10 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. The mention of terror or “threat” is reference to an attack by one’s enemies. Thus it is paired with “arrows,” as in arrows from an enemy. Think evil arrows.
These two references to threats from war are arrayed alongside “pestilence” and “plague” (v. 6), two references to mortal diseases that often reached epidemic proportions. How fitting for such times as these.
The Psalmist makes reference to “night…day,” at whatever time of day or night the threat may come, you will be kept safe.
A question often asked is “where is God in all of this?” Where is God?
One of the curious things about the Psalms is that there is often a declaration to the effect that if one is trusts God then no harm will come to them. Unfortunately, experience teaches something quite different. People of faith do get cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, and die from any number of diseases. People of faith are crushed in spirit by acrid verbal attacks, broken in body and mind by physical and emotional abuse, and find themselves in a hospital or die as a result of all forms of violence. People who do trust in God are acquainted with poverty, lack of food and clothing, and experience starvation. So is the Psalmist correct here? What shall we make of such an assertion?
The refuge that is found in God alone will sustain people even if the body is destroyed. This refuge will provide rescue from those things that would harm our relationship with God. The refuge is precisely that. It is a refuge of solace that can provide an inner strength to endure the harshest trials of life. In that sense, God’s presence is a refuge. Since God is ever present in all circumstances of every waking and sleeping moment, then there is a refuge that one can experience in the here and now, and in the future yet to unfold. God is our rock shelter of hope.
Lord Jesus, when tempted by the devil, you remained true to your Father, who commanded his angels to watch over you. Guard your Church from the plague of sin, so that we may remain faithful to you until the day when we enjoy the fullness of your salvation; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen
The Sacrament of the Altar copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Prayer for Psalm 91, For All the Saints – A Prayer Book For and By the Church Year 1 © 1994American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi NY