Psalm 19 - protection from COVID-19?
Our Midweek Moment this week comes from Barry Fisk who shared this devotional thought at the meeting of the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy (ICHC) Board recently.
Psalm 19:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
This Psalm has been popular because it speaks of how God will save you “ from the deadly disease" in verse 3 (NLT).
And the assurance that “pestilence and plague” v6, (NIV) “will not come near you” v7.
How are we to interpret theses claims. Would we absolutely say that no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent (house)? What do we say when these things do happen.
Some of us may conclude that Psalm 91 implies that Divine protection is certain for those "who make the Most high their dwelling" (v9).
It seems to me most of us intuitively know that what ever part of the Psalm we identify most with, we still obey the rules regarding social distancing, face masks, the contact tracer app and hand washing.
When Jesus was tempted by the Satan in the wilderness he quoted from Psalm 91! He told Jesus to jump off the temple because God "will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" v11-12).
Jesus understood that the Psalm didn’t offer an absolute promise to be declared or assumed. He responded by quoting Deuteronomy “do not put the Lord your God to the test."
So let’s follow Jesus insight and get vaccinated and encourage others to do so.