|Bible Code Digest: March/April 2007 Continued
Bottom Line Message
The Sixth Benefit of Studying
the Bible: Confidence about Security
In the first benefits article, we looked at the real purpose and value of Bible codes. The purpose of Bible codes is to serve as another witness to the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible as a text that was authored by God. Now if God is the author, then what He wrote must have great value and pertinence to everyone. So its content conveys usages that far exceed the value of receiving a few reliable predictions. Given that, we continue our review of the benefits of studying the Bible. In this article, we look at the benefit of having confidence about security.
Bodyguards, Money, or Just Holding Hands
The word security brings to mind many different thoughts and images. For the rich and famous, security means bodyguards, security systems, watchdogs, and so on. For police or military personnel, security would mean carrying a weapon. For the average person, it might mean saving for retirement, or just locking up the doors at night. For a child, it means reaching up and holding a parent's hand, or being scooped up in their parent's arms. As we study God's Word, security means having confidence in God's sovereignty and His ability to watch over and protect us.
You are my refuge and my shield; (Psalm 119:114, NIV)
I have put my hope in your word.
Though the Earth Gives Way
Psalm 46 and Psalm 91 beautifully illustrate our security in God. Let's begin with Psalm 46:1-3. Here we see that even if the earth gives way beneath us, God is our refuge and shield.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3, NIV)
If we live in an area prone to earthquakes or sink holes, we know firsthand the fear, loss, and devastation that an event like that can cause. We'd like to believe that the earth beneath us is stable and secure, but sometimes the things that we'd like to believe are sources of security in our lives, are not. How much better to put our trust in the One who is capable of keeping us safe!
God is Sovereign
Looking ahead to verses 8-11, we find that God is sovereign over the wars between men, and He commands us to, "Be still and know that I am God."
Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:8-11, NIV)
Meditate on the fact that God is our fortress, our refuge, our shield, and then take a moment to be still and think about who God is: our sovereign King and our protector. It only takes a moment for our confidence to grow in His ability to watch over us.
Refuge Under His Wings
In Psalm 91, there is a vivid picture of our security. Verse four describes the refuge we will experience as He covers us with His wings.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:1-4, NIV)
In Psalm 36:7, we also read, "How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings."
Though a Thousand May Fall
Imagine what it would be like to have a thousand people fall dead next to you. The absolute terror and horror that would engender. Then think about being absolutely safe in that situation. Imagine the perfect peace and serenity you would feel.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked. (Psalm 91:5-8, NIV)
No Harm Will Befall
Abiding in the presence of God . . . making Him our dwelling . . . having God command angels to watch over us . . . just imagine . . .
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:9-12, NIV)
Angels are often depicted as cute little babies or beautiful women with wings, but if you read about angels in the Bible, you will discover that they typically elicit fear when seen by human beings. Imagine these terrifying creatures fighting for you. In 2 Kings, God sends a single angel to destroy an Assyrian camp.
Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here . . . I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant." That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! (2 Kings 19:32a, 34-35, NIV, emphasis ours)
How much power must a single angel possess to be able to destroy an entire city? How much power is that then to watch over and protect us?
God Will Save and Protect
Psalm 91 continues with another terrifying thought, trampling a great lion or serpent. What fear would consume us just to be faced with such a thought. The Psalm ends with God expressing His desire to save and protect those who love him.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation." (Psalm 91:13-16, NIV)
So whether we are rich and famous, a member of the police or military, or consider ourselves an average person, when we study God's Word and meditate on it, we will grow in confidence regarding God's ability to watch over and protect us.
The LORD is good, (Nahum 1:7, NIV)
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.
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