Our God and His People

     We're all scared.  Most of us have never experienced anything like this during our lifetimes.  But we can take comfort in knowing that our God is Sovereign over His creation; that nothing happens apart from His Sovereign will and divine plan.  We can rest in His arms, safe in knowing that He is in control.

     Psalm 91 gives great peace with its promise of protection, and can be a prayer to God.  Here is the King James version:

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

 

     Note verses 14 through 16, which is God speaking to the supplicant (the prayer giver) in verses 1 through 13.  In verse 14, God tells us that the comforting promises of the psalm depend upon our setting our love upon Him because we know Him, understand Him and His ways, have a personal knowledge of Who He is, follow Him, and trust and rely on Him.

     The Amplified Bible leads us back to Exodus 15:26:  " ... If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord Who heals you."

     Read also 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV): "If my people, which are called by my Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

     It's important to note that God is speaking in these verses to His people, not the heathen of the land.  He wants His people, and we as Christians, to separate ourselves from the ungodly, unholy things to which people of the world are attracted and in which they participate.  No judgement, but we should all examine ourselves, as Paul exhorted the Corinthian church to do:  2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves."  The Amplified Bible tells us in this verse "to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it."

 

     When the bubonic plague came to Wittenberg, Germany in the summer of 1527, the 16th century Reformer Martin Luther was asked by a fellow pastor if it was proper for a Christian to leave the city while others had no choice but to stay.  He had this to say in his letter of reply:  

     "I shall ask God mercifully to protect us.  Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person, but will go freely."   

(Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 43: Devotional Writings II, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 43 ((Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999)), 119–38.)

You can download and read Martin Luther's full letter via The Lutheran Witness website:  https://blogs.lcms.org/2020/read-luthers-letter-about-plague/ 1 (see Notes)

 

     Let's all continually pray for wisdom during this crisis:  when and where to go or not go, for any reason; how to find supplies for our families, without hoarding, for God will give us our daily bread when we ask Him in prayer; how to best protect ourselves and our families should we need to venture out; and for protection and His care if we find we need medical attention, for any reason.

     Be well, dear sisters in Christ, and rest in the arms of our beautiful, wonderful Saviour, Jesus Christ.