Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Everything God has told us in the Bible is plain common sense. God is reasonable, and fair. For example, the United States of America is taking extreme precautions because of possible terrorist threats, and many people are afraid. In such a time of crisis, we want to remember the promises that God has given us in the Bible of His protection in times of danger.
For example there is Psalm 91:5, 7: "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, ... A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you." Very comforting words! But is it fair for God to protect you miraculously when a "thousand" or "ten thousands" of people all around you perish? Where is the common sense or fairness in Psalm 91?
The context makes the promise plain and fair: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (vs. 1). Note that the word "dwells" means that he makes his home there every day. He doesn't run to that "secret place" only when the emergency comes; he has been staying there all along. It means that the Lord will lock the doors and windows when the "terror" comes, to protect him; he will "stay" in that secret place of safety.
God is merciful and gracious, but He is also fair and devoted to common sense. We can't deceive Him. If you wait until a forest fire is bearing down on your house to take out an insurance policy, you're too late. You must "dwell" in the insurance company's policy in order to be safe in the emergency.
It's only fair that God can see some evidence in your life that you really like to "dwell" in His "secret place." It has become your habit to say, "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress.' ... Because you have made the Lord ... your habitation, ... no evil shall befall you" (vss. 2, 9, 10). God is faithful: when terror threatens, "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (vs. 11; Jesus made plain to us that "all your ways" means paths of duty and service; Matt. 4:6, 7).
Is this trying to build up an insurance policy? No; it's common sense in God's great economy. It's simply being fair and honest with the Lord. What is "the secret place"? Not a sudden works-trip-Bible-study-prayer exercise; no, it's simply loving and daily choosing to stay closer to the Lord than to the crowds in Times Square or at the Space Needle.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 26, 1999.
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