dog in holeDiggin’ In – Psalms 91: take your position

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday – verses 5 & 6

Fear can strike us at any moment and at any time. Fear seems to know our weaknesses and shows no favor. It goes for the ‘throat’ and attacks us, often when we least expect. Fear comes to immobilize us and take us out!

We ended verse four yesterday with these words – His promises are our armor and our protection. What follows is what David describes as attacks from the enemy from all sides; surrounded in the worst way. Let’s take a look –

Terrors of the night/the disease that stalks in darkness – a deep dark gloom that we often can’t see; a shadow of sorts that come when we are the most vulnerable. The night or darkness refers to that time when we are at rest… or should be. Remember from verse 1 that we find ‘rest’ in God, or ‘safe passage through the night’. There is something intrinsically terrifying of the night or darkness.

Arrows that fly by day – those fiery darts that seem to come out of nowhere. They sting, they pierce and they go for the heart. Often, the first wave of attacks in battle was a very large ‘spray’ of arrows that would fly through the air, not aimed at anything specific, but would hit anything and everything – the innocent and the guilty, the weak and the strong. The purpose of this ‘pre-attack’ was to cause fear, confusion and to weaken the opposition.

The disaster that strikes at midday – just when we think our day is going great, things are clipping along at a good pace, the sun is shining brightly, we are making progress, life is good… then the enemy attacks.

I think you can see from the above descriptions that the enemy can and will attack us an anytime, any place and in any situation. There is no escaping it.

So what do we do in response? The word ‘fear’ as we often refer to it is a noun; a thing that we can hold onto, but in the tense that it is used in this verse, it is a verb, or an action word. It is something we do; something that causes us to respond. Often when the attacks do come, it is the ‘flight or flight’ thing that most of us do. But as we discussed over the few days, our only true position of safety and fortressprotection is when we are under God’s cover… living out our part in conjunction with the promises in His Word.

And this is where many of us can run into trouble. When those attacks come, our first thought isn’t to stay in or run up under God’s protection, but to either run to where we think it’s safe or to fight in our own strength. This is actually what the enemy wants – to get us ‘alone’, panicking vulnerable and scared. This will always give him a huge advantage over us.

In verses 4 & 5, David is encouraging us to ‘not fear’ when those attacks come, but rather default back to the his opening statement in the chapter –

 Those who live (sit, stay and remain) in the shelter of the Most High will find rest (safety in the night) in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (vs. 1 & 2)

In the 20th chapter of 2 Chronicles, a great army of Moabites were coming against Judah. The king however didn’t panic, but prayed and called a fast to seek the Lord. This was His response –

‘Do not fear… for this battle is not yours, but God’s… you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you…’ 2 Chron 20:15 -17

Our position in the face of opposition should always be one that looks ‘up’ to make sure we are covered by God’s protection… and then sit, stay and remain there.

 Jesus, thank you for your mighty power to protect and save me. Help me to recognize when the enemy comes and in response, to seek Your shelter and safety. Amen.


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