The words of Psalm 91 have been a comfort to many during the current pandemic. I, too, have found myself retreating to this psalm about abiding in God’s presence. Here we find God to be a protection and refuge from the messy world around us.
A few verses from that chapter (v. 5-8) jump out at me every time I read them, because they so reflect our current world situation…
“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night [that invisible virus that has brought us to our knees], nor of the arrow that flies by day [the violence and social unrest that has rocked several cities], nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness [there’s that virus again], nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday [the vandalism and destruction of unruly crowds].
“A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand [as we see the numbers of deaths rise increasingly across the globe]; but it shall not come near you [nothing can shake our faith in God, when we hold fast to Him]; only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked [we learn about our world today through the media, which shows us vividly what is going on around us, with just our eyes].”
Many times, our world leaders have told us that we face a health crisis and an economic crisis at the same time, and it’s so true.
On the one hand, our public health system is facing enormous challenges, as we strive to keep everyone free from this dangerous, new coronavirus that causes more death and sickness than any other we have seen in our lifetime.
And, then there’s the economic toll, exacerbated by past greed and social inequalities that have always been with us to some degree.
Perhaps the consequences we now feel could have been avoided if we, as a human race, took better care of our bodies by recognizing that we are the temple of God (2 Corinthians 6:16). But many, if not most, in this world fail to recognize the authority of God, and have created many “idols” to replace Him.
And also, we know that the crisis of violence and destruction could have been averted if we had been more fair-minded and just in our dealings with minority and marginalized populations, those whom Christ identified with and called “the least of these His brethren” (Matthew 25:40).
These two fronts of danger stem from our lack of faith in God and our lack of hope in what people can become with Him. Our only chance for protection must originate with love—upon which the whole law stands.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
I never fully understood this verse in the “love chapter”, until I began to see more fully the part our faith and hope play in keeping the law, and that the only cure then for our planet is love, the greatest of these three.
Knowing that “God is love” (1 John 4:8), we can see more clearly how God is our protection, as outlined so well in Psalm 91.
Love is, in effect, a vaccine that’s already been tested and approved by God. Will you allow God to inject you with His love? There are no side effects from this cure except a desire to love God and others throughout eternity.
See my new YouTube channel, where I talk each day about the Sabbath School lesson!