PROTECTION FOR THE PERILOUS PESTILENCE
Psalm 91:3 says,
Surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
I chose this version of Psalm 91:3 in the King James because I wanted to emphasize the word “Noisome.” In other versions of the bible, it describes the pestilence as “Perilous” but in this version it says, “Noisome.”
Without thinking you might think that the English word here is calling the pestilence noisy, but that is not the meaning of the world.” This is an old English word from which we get words like “annoy” or annoyance.” This word in the mind of someone from middle English would conjure up strange odors and difficult circumstances.
We are in the middle of a pandemic. One of the most difficult times in our generation. There is stagnation that has resulted and the paralysation of government, business and economies. We are living in a time that we want to be over and yet it continues on. Many are dying of a disease that hardly seems real when you don’t have it.
I have watched for a year this battle that is taking place in our countries. I have read many reports of sickness in the lives of strangers. Because they are strangers sometimes the things that are being faced don’t even seem real, but suddenly over the last while many people I do know are getting this disease and I am left wondering what is the meaning of God protecting us from the “Noisome or Perilous Pestilence.”
What is protection? This is a question that we wrestle with in times of trouble. So many are in conflict right now. Many Christians are watching people die in their families or have seen their livelihoods affected. Is God protecting?
We know that one of the names for our God is “The Shelter of the Most High (Psalm 91:1). He is the secret place. He has to be our dwelling place. This suggests an intimacy that many Christians actually lack. Many don’t listen carefully to the words of the Lord. I find that many Christians really just repeat the latest thoughts of other people, even the latest conspiracy theories which mostly cause fear and uncertainty. They are lazy and don’t seek God as they ought for themselves. We are all guilty of this at times.
God wants your attention. He doesn’t want you to have harm in your life. I believe that God wants to speak to many in this hour. He is available. He has so much time and yet many still don’t seek Him. They are just getting through. Many could be striving and succeed during this time but many have settled for less.
2 Chronicles 20:9 “If disaster comes upon us--whether sword or judgment, plague or famine--we will stand before this temple and before You, for Your Name is in this temple. We will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and deliver us.”
This is the heart of God. He wants us to seek Him through the storm. He wants to enter into our tabernacle (our hearts) and dwell with us and lead us be still waters. He wants us to return to prayer, to seeking Him with all of our hearts.
I like Western movies. Probably because there are only a few different story lines that play out in those movies time and time again. I love them because they are predictable which makes me feel smart.
There is one storyline that comes up often and that is of people facing snakes and getting bit. Even though everyone, who is familiar with Westerns, knows that you don’t run when you get bit by a snake, inevitably there is a character who once he/she gets bit runs in madness and dies.
I can imagine back in the day audiences screaming at these characters because they know that you don’t run after you have been bit. You just lie down and wait because the poison doesn’t move as quick in the blood. At least in westerns that is the case.
But no matter how loud the audience yells at that character he/she still runs and when the main character comes and gets angry and yells at them for running, we find ourselves also wanting to do the same. The character seems strange and primitive to a mature Western audience because that character obviously wasn’t intimate with the Western genre.
Intimacy allows us to navigate more easily. Intimacy with God will get you through the storms because He is more powerful and has all the answers. If we are in His shelter which I believe is His voice, then we will get through. We may not always want to do what He says. We may have to fight the rebellion in our own hearts, but if we cultivate His voice we will get through the storms. Sometimes he will come and say “lie down and wait, this poison will not kill you if you rest.”
Not every Christian listens well, and the ones that do practice listening, don’t listen all the time. Thank God that He is gracious and protects us even when we don’t protect ourselves.
Being protected from Pestilence comes from intimacy with God and listening for direction. What do you want me to do Lord? Give me clarity about what is happening in the world. Do you want me to wear a mask or not? Are my decisions based on politics or listening to your voice. Some say they have heard God’s voice and then do strange things and when bad things happen, they wonder why. They blame God for their own madness.
God wants you to dwell first and foremost in His voice. To really listen to Him and hear Him and then act. The enemy is wanting to trap you and kill you and will not stop until he succeeds but listening to God and resting in His voice will destroy the devil’s work.
I don’t have the answers to what is happening in the world. I feel sometimes like I have been bit and I am running from that snake. I do know that I love God and that I love His voice. I find myself lately wanting to hear Him more and wonder if I am doing the right things to hear correctly. I can only hope that He will speak and guide and bless me.
I pray for you today. If you were triggered by this word I apologize. These are just my random thoughts after living in the land of the pandemic for over 300 days. I am just praying that we will all get through and be safe.