One year ago, most of us were just beginning to hear about the COVID-19 virus. And for the last twelve months staying safe from the virus has dominated the news. Varying strategies attempting to keep us safe have been debated and employed, from lockdowns, to masks, to herd immunity, to vaccinations. Today, we are aware of unintended consequences that have arisen from some of these strategies as the headlines contain articles dealing with children’s mental health issues from school lockdowns, and the rise in suicide and drug overdose within this last year. The focus continues to be on economic safety, mental health safety, and physical safety.
So what is the missing perspective in the safety debate? The news has been dominated by man’s ideas for safety, but there has been little or no mention of the Lord needing to be our safety. Imagine if Psalm 91:1-2 dominated the headlines of our minds: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God in Him I will trust.” Did you notice the words, “shadow,” “refuge,” and “fortress”? All these terms deal with protection and safety. What better place for safety, then the shadow of the Almighty and the Most High. The psalmist declares, “My God in Him I will trust.” One may say, yes, the psalmist is trusting in the Lord for spiritual protection, but not for safety from a disease. But as you continue reading you see that this trust is for the Lord to deliver him from the perilous pestilence (Psalm 91:3, 6). A pestilence is a deadly, contagious, physical disease. The One who is to be trusted for our daily bread is the same God who is to be trusted to deliver us from sickness and disease.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the major news outlets, social media feeds, and government officials proclaimed we need to ultimately depend on the Lord to deliver us from this disease? Yet this disease is showing the state of our society and our lack of trust in the Lord. Headlines are dominated by government “experts” and government edicts, all of which are training people to depend more on the government, rather than on God. Some have even borrowed a biblical term, “trust” as they have implored us to trust the science, without any mention of trusting the Savior. The term trust means “to confide in, to place one’s confidence in or to set one’s hope upon.” The Biblical perspective warns us to beware when we are told to trust in human wisdom or knowledge rather than trusting in the Lord (Psalm 20:7; Proverbs 3:5; 14:12).
When the King of all the earth, spoke to King Solomon at the dedication of the temple, He proclaimed, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Proud people will not recognize God’s sovereign hand over sickness and death. Their perspective lacks the truth that God is the Most High. But the humble will experience the blessing of “dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and of abiding under the shadow of the Almighty!” (Psalm 91:1) Ultimately, the one who trusts the Savior will be the most secure in this life, as he will see God’s sovereign control and His eternal salvation. (Psalm 91:16)