Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – April 4

April 4, 2020 – God’s presence and peace

Today, we look at Psalm 4 to see how the psalmist looks to God in prayer and puts their trust in Him. The passage reads:

Psalm 4 – Evening Prayer of Trust in God.

For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!

You have relieved me in my distress;

Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?

How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.

3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;

The Lord hears when I call to Him.

4 Tremble, and do not sin;

Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,

And trust in the Lord.

6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”

Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!

7 You have put gladness in my heart,

More than when their grain and new wine abound.

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,

For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.


KEY TAKEAWAYS: Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – April 3

April 3, 2020, (Spread of the Gospel)

In continuing our reading plan, today we look at Philippians 1:12-14. In this section, we read about how God used Paul to spread the Gospel in a very difficult season. It reads:

12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Phil. 1:12-14; NASB)

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Examine your situation and see the good
    • Ask God what He wants you to learn, how He wants you to grow, and what is He teaching you through these things. Paul could have been deeply depressed about his imprisonment, but saw the “joy” in that he was there for the cause of Christ by advancing and progressing the gospel message
  • Encourage others
    • Paul encouraged the Roman believers and the Philippians by being bold and courageous and telling others about Christ. Whether through word or deed, we all can look for ways to encourage fellow believers to do everything we can to advance the gospel
  • Progress and Advancement of the Gospel Message
    • The Greek word used for progress or advancing (prokopēn) the gospel was used to describe blazing a trail before an army.[1] Paul, therefore, saw the events as forging new territory for the gospel. They took Paul into contact with a select group of people, soldiers and Roman officials, who otherwise would have had no relationship to him, and they also prompted a renewed evangelistic effort in the city. While others may have seen the end of missionary activity, Paul saw the new ways the gospel could advance. The events which seemed to inhibit the freedom of the gospel became its springboard. Paul did not say “in spite of” these events, but rather “through them.” There is a note of sacrifice here. Paul’s private concerns did not matter; the gospel did.
    • This is where it is interesting for us in this new day. The virus has spread all over, and now many churches are scrambling to learn how to stream their services. Some have had more successful weeks then others. Some are dealing with overwhelming challenges; while some are already experienced in the live stream universe. (It should be remembered that we are also facing attacks from Satan and his demons as they try to derail these streaming experiences. It is something we need to remember to pray against.) Whatever the case may be, churches, pastors, and missionaries are blazing a new trail on reaching members and the masses through these trials and tribulations. Through all of these “circumstances” God is using something that we tend to see as a hinderance into something mighty and magnificent. People are now tuning into churches that others would never have tried to go to or attend. A friend of mine is pastor of a small church that has 80 normal congregants. The first week of live streaming, they had 500 people viewing their service. The next week, 3,000 people tuned in to see the service. Think about that for a second and what God did. The service experienced all sorts of technical issues and was not smooth, but the fact remains that 2,900 people viewed a church service that otherwise would never have attended any service.
    • When we come out of this, our churches are going to be far more experienced in live streaming and identifying ways to connect with the online community. We can view this with eyes that see the negative or we can take Paul’s approach and see the positive. So, when the next tribulation comes, our churches will be ready and have planned ahead for something like this. It is not easy, and it takes a lot of work. It is grueling and stressful. But God is going to do something so good that it is beyond what we can imagine. And He is already at work doing something amazing.

Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – April 2

April 2, 2020 – God’s Salvation and Rest

Continuing our reading plan from NEBC-San Antonio, today we look at Psalm 3.

Morning Prayer of Trust in God.

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

1 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!

Many are rising up against me.

2 Many are saying of my soul,

“There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah.

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,

My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice,

And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.

5 I lay down and slept;

I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.

6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people

Who have set themselves against me round about.

7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!

For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek;

You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;

Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah. (NASB)

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – April 1

April 1, 2020,

We switch back to Philippians 1 today to look at verses 7-11, which discusses the care and community of the Philippian believers.

7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (NASB) Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – March 31

March 31, 2020

Following the reading plan found here at Northeast Bible Church (San Antonio), today we look at the classic psalm in Psalm 1. This psalm discusses the benefits of being rooted in Scripture, especially during trials and tribulations.

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so,

But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the wicked will perish.

(NASB)


KEY TAKEAWAYS: Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – March 30

March 30, 2020

My local church published an article to help its congregants be reminded of who our God is and how strong and mighty He is. As the world shifts around us and the chaos ensues, we need something we can always hold on to. We need something that will not be shaken. Something that will not be blown by the shifting times. We need something stable, something sure, something certain, something that will never ever change. So, we turn to our unshakeable God.

During this time, we are reminded of how we need to hold on to God, who is our refuge, fortress, and stronghold. He is the only thing that will not be shaken during this time.

So, my church put together a reading plan and devotional plan for this time. In an effort to stay with that, I will use this resource as a way to track our devotionals over the next 30 days. Since today is day one, we will look at Philippians 1:3-6. The text reads:

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (NASB)

Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – March 29

March 29-

Today, we finish the last section of Psalm 91 by looking at verses 14-16:

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him

And let him see My salvation.”

Continue reading

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – March 27

March 27, 2020 –

Today, we continue our discussion on Psalm 91 by looking at one of the ways our Father will protect us.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,

That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

– Psalm 91:11-13 (NASB)

God has commissioned His angels to care for believers who make God their refuge. Angels protect[1] from physical harm and give believers strength[2] to overcome difficulties, pictured here as wild lions and dangerous snakes (v. 13). Satan, in tempting Christ, quoted 91:11–12 (Matt. 4:6; Luke 4:10-11), which shows that even God’s most marvelous promises can be foolishly applied. Similarly, this reminds us that Satan knows the Scriptures and can twist and turn them in ways that we may not be prepared for.

The negative statements (“no harm … no disaster,” v. 10) have their counterpart in a positive declaration (“he will command his angels … to guard you,” v. 11). The Lord charges His angels with the protection of the believers and of their “dwelling” (v. 10, also translated as “tent”), meaning, all that belongs to them, wherever they may be (“in all your ways,” v. 11). Instead of experiencing disaster, stumbling, or troubles along the way (“a stone … the lion … the cobra,” vv. 12–13), the angels will lift Christians out of danger and deliver them (cf. Ex 19:4; Isa 63:9). Whether our life is long or short, the main thing is that we gain during its existence the gracious and live-giving presence of God, and experience the saving help of the Most High. God does not merely send His servants and messengers to help His children, He also comes to help and deliver the righteous.

The animal imagery of “lion and the cobra” also pictures all kinds of evil that might threaten the coming Messiah referenced in the chapter.[3] We see the Father will protect Him no matter what the danger.

In this life, we will face many terrible things (cf. Job), but so did Jesus, our Lord, and He knows what we go through. God’s children know that nothing is out of His control. They trust their heavenly Father, while they act responsibly. Thus, they do not test the Lord to see to what extent He will deliver them from troubles. Satan tempted Jesus to act sinfully, but Jesus rebuked Satan by correctly responding that humans may not test the Lord (cf. Lk 4:10–12).

Look closely at the phrase, “in all your ways,” in verse 11. This is a reminder that wherever we go and whatever we do, God is there to guard us. The course of our life is subject to many changes and unexpected turns, and who can tell from one day to the next all the storms by which we are liable to be tossed. Except one and that is our God. The phrase “your ways” also is a warning to not make any rash steps or do things against God’s will. This is a call and a reminder to submission and surrender (see Psalm 139 for how God knows everything about us and the issues that we face).

The one who knows God, knows also what they have in God, and what they know of God they will declare under various circumstances at various times. We know that it is not easy to call upon, pray to, thank, and praise God in all times of need, even for the most pious. There are dangers all around us, enemies threatening us from all sides, and the attacks are countless and of many forms; visible and invisible, foreseen and unsuspected, concealed and openly displayed, by day and night (for more on this wording see previous post), in the house and everywhere else, at home and abroad, with violence, cunning, and wickedness, planned and executed for the destruction of many.

20190425_093205During our life and certain seasons of life we are faced with many hindrances to walking a righteous path. These seasons can be filled with a constant danger of sin. In these times, we are not merely dealing with the temptations we can see and on the outside of our “dwelling,” but also have to contend with temptations which arise within ourselves.

We start to battle the isolation in different ways. The lack of community may lead to depression which can cause us to look differently at ourselves. The hurtful words from coworkers and family members are still present. We still have to face those hurts and deal with them. The isolation does not protect us from those. We may seek to find comfort in things we should not. Our eyes and time focus on other things that are not holy.

We begin to believe the quiet temptations. Our view of ourselves begins to change. We listen to the attacks. We are not good enough. No one cares either way. Why would God love us? Why would He care so much for us? The evil attacks subtly, quietly, and unsuspectingly. The war begins and we do not know it, nor are we ready. The words sting and we seek comfort elsewhere. Our eyes are off of God. The first blows of battle begin to show.

Then, the depression gets deeper. The sadness increases. The shows have all been watched. The books have been read. The news has been watched with each fresh alert. The anxiety, worry, stress, and doubt have built inside of us. But it is too late. It has its stronghold. The virus of sin has spread within. The virus of doubt and remorse have caused us to listen to the lies that we do not matter. We are nothing. The lies tell us we are worthless. Nothing will help. Everything has been stripped away. We have believed the lies instead of God.

But no matter how late to the battle we are, we have a Deliverer. A Healer of our sin. A Great and Mighty God to fight our battles. We need divine encouragement to our soul. This brings God’s promises into view and confirms the promises of God’s help, as well as the help He will provide during the actual experience of the trial and tribulation.

The kinds of divine protection are again pointed out in these verses to assure God’s care and all-sufficiency. The benefits and requirements are secondary at this point because the emphasis is on the invitation to seek the Lord.

Christians must take refuge in God’s truth, power, faithfulness, and love. Then, in all types of danger, we can trust in His protection, be guided by His Word, and learn to identify the subtle dangers of temptation (Matt 4:6; Luke 4:10-11). We stand firm in the fearless and confident trust in God, our refuge. We enjoy the shadow of His wings and the refreshment of abiding in Him as our Dwelling place. We contemplate and meditate on the Almighty, who alone knows the duration of our life, and we wait for the coming deliverance.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] More information about angels in this regard can be found in the following verses: Psalm 34:7 (“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them”); Hebrew 1:14 (“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”)

[2] “Tread” in verse 13 is cross-referenced with several other verses along these lines: Judges 14:6; Daniel 6:22; and Luke 10:19.

[3] Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, H. Wayne House, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: Nelson, 1999), 710

Covid-19 Quarantine Devotional – Day 2

Day 2 –

Today we continue our quarantine devotional by looking at Psalm 91:5-10 (yesterday we looked at verses 1-4).

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,

Or of the arrow that flies by day;

6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

7 A thousand may fall at your side

And ten thousand at your right hand,

But it shall not approach you.

8 You will only look on with your eyes

And see the recompense of the wicked.

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

Let’s work through these verses to understand better what the psalmist is saying. Continue reading

Covid-19 Devotional – Day 1

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

 

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,

Or of the arrow that flies by day;

6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

7 A thousand may fall at your side

And ten thousand at your right hand,

But it shall not approach you.

8 You will only look on with your eyes

And see the recompense of the wicked.

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

 

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,

That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

 

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him

And let him see My salvation.”

– Psalm 91 (NASB)


In the NASB, the chapter[1] is titled “Security of the One Who Trusts in the LORD.” The NKJV describes this section as, “Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God,” and the ESV succinctly states it as, “My Refuge and My Fortress.” These short summaries summarize the masterful Psalm 91 for the reader who seeks comfort during troubling times. This Psalm is one of the most widely used psalms for those who seek comfort during troubling times and times of suffering.

In this time of panic, chaos, confusion, and struggle with the impact of the Covid-19 all around us, we turn to this Psalm as well for reassurance. Many are now facing the reality of living without a paycheck and little to no savings. The fear of having something break like a car or refrigerator only adds to the anxiety. There is worry in protecting their families, both young and old, from the virus. The additional fear and worry for those that are high-risk or have family members that are high-risk contribute to an increasing amount of worry.

The news provides no comfort as each passing minute the news gets worse. The economy worsens and nothing seems to help it. The stocks continue to fall and our retirements accounts, which once looked promising, now bring sadness. Will we even have money for our retirement? Some fear they may not even make retirement age.

Some fear not having enough food or supplies. Some face a deeper depression because of isolation. The need for community becomes an even starker need to those who get energized by being around people.

The death toll rises around the world. Those infected with virus continue to mount. The stories of those dealing with the virus invoke concern with each passing story. Without realizing, the subtle attack of fear, anxiety, and worry take over. We begin to feel surrounded by this virus as it encroaches closer. Our safe zone no longer feels safe.

So what are we to do? Where do we turn?

Our worlds are upside down and we long for the old normal as we face the new temporary normal of isolation, working from home or frantically searching for a job, and fear of the unknown.

In this troubling time, those who believe in Christ can turn to the place that has provided the constant comfort throughout generations. Through world wars, depressions, plagues, pandemics, and natural disasters, the Christian Bible has always provided believers a source of truth. God speaks to us in it and through it. The Spirit enlightens us to hear and receive the inspired words.

So as this Covid-19 situation continues and my situation changes, I want to provide a daily devotional (hopefully daily but as often as I can) to help anyone that might need some additional encouragement.

Let’s look at Psalm 91. Read the whole passage and get familiar with the text. Read it a second time and hear what God is saying. The third time, pray through it.

For the purposes of this post, let’s examine the first four verses. You will see different translations use section breaks at different points, but for me, the NASB provides the best section break and thought combination among the main translations for this passage.

Once again, verses 1-4 read:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

This section of the Psalm reads so true for many of right now. In a brief cursory overview of this section we can see several things. We shelter in the “safety” of our own home. We stay in the shadow of our own little area, whether that is house or yard or safe distance from others as we walk outside. We began to put so much faith in trust in the social distancing and our own home as we seek refuge in it. We look to procedures and visible things as our fortress. Some rightly so as we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus and prevent ourselves and family from getting it. If we do what we need to do to be safe, we will be delivered from the snare of the virus.  Our home will cover us and provide refuge. If we are faithful in doing the right thing, then we have the right shield to protect us (and our families and friends) from getting the virus.

While I truly believe we need to practice the correct procedures of sheltering in place and social distancing, we cannot be so focused on the visible that we take our eyes off of the invisible. We may end up putting more faith and trust in following guidelines than in the One who is truly worthy of all faith and trust. I am not saying we take risks and chances. I am saying what is our faith placed in. Is it in a visible refuge and access to toilet paper? Or is our security found in the Almighty, unbreakable, insurmountable, unshakeable, all-powerful, all-glorious, all-knowing Deliverer who is only worthy of the title “my refuge and my fortress.”

1387306197_IMG_2714_2653240This psalm is a beautiful testimony about security in life. Several terms link Psalms 90–92, thus suggesting they are a unit. “Dwelling” occurs in 90:1 and 91:9; “grass” in 90:5 and 92:7; “spring(s) up” in 90:6 and 92:7; “make … glad” in 90:15 and 92:4; “Your deeds” in 90:16 and 92:4; “Most High” in 91:1, 9 and 92:1. Also the judgment of the wicked is mentioned in 91:8 and 92:11.

Because the Psalmist was convinced that there is security in trusting in the Most High God, he encouraged himself that he would be delivered from the various frightening attacks of the wicked. The Psalmist expressed his great assurance in the fact that whoever trusts in the Most High finds security, refuge, and shelter. The titles of God in verse 1 (Most High and the Almighty) are significant, as they stress God’s power as the sovereign Ruler of the world.


Sidenote: On the meaning of “Almighty,” šadday, Genesis 17:1 provides the first OT occurrence of the title “God Almighty” [’ēl šadday], which is used several times in Genesis [17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; cf. 49:25]. Some scholars suggest that šadday is related to the Akkadian word šadû that means breast or mountain or both.[2] Some words describing parts of the body were also used for geographical descriptions; for example, “mouth” of a river, “foot” of a mountain. So šadday, when used of God, refers either to His ability to supply abundantly [“the Abundant One”] or to His majestic strength [“theAlmighty One”].


The pictures of the shelter and the shadow richly portray divine protection. “Shelter” (sēṯer) is a hiding place.[3] The “shadow” (sēl’)[4], perhaps the shadow of a bird’s wing (cf. 91:4), also pictures shelter and protection as well as comfort.

Calvin describes this verse in the following way:

He who has God to be the guardian of his safely shall rest under the shadow of God; … for the power of God would be contrasted with that weak defense which man is able to extend. Those, too, who dwell in the secret place of God are here said by the Psalmist to dwell under his shadow, in the sense that they experience to what a rich extent his protection reaches. Men [humanity] generally seek out a great variety of hiding-places, having recourse to one or another, according as the calamities are different which threaten to overtake them; but here we are taught that the only safe and impregnable fortress to which we can betake ourselves is the protection of God. He contrasts the security of those who trust in God with the vanity of all other confidences by which we are apt to delude ourselves.”[5]

Verse 2 shows God is also the believer’s Refuge (maḥseh, “shelter from danger”; cf. v. 9)[6] and Fortress (meṣûḏâh, “strong protection”).[7] Psalm 91:1–2 marvelously expresses the fact that safety is in the Lord.

-698410198_IMG_2721_2563025Continuing to encourage himself and preaching the truths to himself, the Psalmist expands on the theme of the Lord’s protection from danger in the following verses.

The Psalmist listed how God delivers a believer from various frightening attacks: (1) God delivers from the trapper’s snare (v. 3a; cf. 124:7), a figure for sinister attempts against his life. (2) God delivers from … deadly pestilence (91:3b). (3) God covers him with His wings (v. 4a), a figure of safety and comfort (cf. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7). (4) God protects with His faithfulness (91:4b), explained here by the metaphor of a shield and bulwark (also called rampart).

I have seen others use the word “pestilence” (דֶּ֥בֶר, dě·ḇěr) to relate it to the current virus situation. So, I wanted to share a little more about this word. This word is roughly used 49 times (38 times to mean pestilence, 10 for plague, and once for thorns).  This word, dě·ḇěr,[8] means disease, plague, pestilence, i.e., a pandemic occurrence of sickness that causes widespread death, often with the associative meaning of judgment from God.[9]

However, KB[10] and Holladay[11] identify as a bubonic plague, a bacterially spread attack on the lymph system, but other kinds of plague may be the meaning for: Ps 91:3, 6; Hos 13:4. In all three cases, the noun is masculine and probably means a thorn or a sharp-pointed, relatively short, firm, and leafless modified branch.[12]

One additional thing to note in verse 3 is the connection between the snare of the trapper and the pestilence. Some believe this to be understood as hidden sins (snare) distinguished from open sins (pestilence). The Psalmist declares the Divine protection to be sufficient for him, whether Satan should attack him openly and violently or by more secret and subtle methods. The Psalmist probably intended to denote all kinds of evil, and to teach us that God was and is willing and able to deliver us from any of attacks or sufferings.

In verse 4, we read the phrase, “He will cover you with His pinions.” In this case, pinions, refers to the outer part of a bird’s wing including the flight feathers. This imagery is employed in other parts of Scripture and beautifully expresses the tender care with which God watches over our safety. When we consider the majesty of God, we see God graciously condescend to our feeble minds to provide us imagery such as this to provide examples of the way He cares for us. As a bird cares for its young ones by spreading its wings over them to cherish and protect them, so the same is true of our Almighty Father.

Finally, “His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark” (or buckler in some translations). Simply, we must understand God’s faithfulness as never deserting His people in the time of their need. The Psalmist had his eye focused on the Divine promises, because we see his trust in God as his shield and protector. In verse 2, God is called a fortress that we can trust in and enjoy safety and security. In verse 4, the Psalmist compares God to a shield, stating that God will come between us and all of our enemies to preserve us from their attacks.


Take heart, there is a lot of bleakness and fear. Fix your eyes on God and preach the gospel to yourself. Remind yourself of these truths with each passing worry. As the worry comes, combat it with these verses. Read them or memorize them. God is your fortress and shield. We do not know how we will get through this or when we will get through this. There is hope. Call to Him regularly and frequently. He is there for you and loves you. You may be alone and isolated, but God is with you. He is listening and will help you.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] The chapter descriptions and verse assignments are not inspired like the original manuscripts, but they are very helpful in finding references quickly or providing a short summary of the chapter or section. For more information about these divisions and references, see: https://www.gotquestions.org/divided-Bible-chapters-verses.html or https://bible.org/question/how-and-when-was-bible-divided-chapters-and-verses.

[2] Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, eds. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985), 58.

[3] Also used in Pss. 27:5; 32:7; 119:114, “refuge”.

[4] Also found in Pss 17:8; 121:5; Isa 25:4; 32:2.

[5] John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Psalms.

[6] A word used of the Lord nine times in the Pss: 14:6; 46:1; 61:3; 62:7–8; 71:7; 73:28; 91:2, 9

[7] Also used in Pss 18:3; 31:3; 71:3; 144:2

[8] From the root dabar which means “to speak”

[9] TWOT 399b (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament): 1822). See uses in Ex 5:3; 9:3, 15; Lev 26:25; Nu 14:12; Dt 28:21; 2Sa 24:13, 15; 1Ki 8:37; 1Ch 21:12, 14; 2Ch 6:28; 7:13; 20:9; Ps 78:50; 91:3, 6; Jer 14:12; 21:6, 7, 9; 24:10; 27:8, 13; 28:8; 29:17, 18; 32:24, 36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17, 22; 44:13; Eze 5:12, 17; 6:11, 12; 7:15; 12:16; 14:19, 21; 28:23; 33:27; 38:22; Hos 13:14; Am 4:10; Hab 3:5+.

[10] Koehler/Baumgartner Lexicon In Veteris Testamenti Libros (1958).

[11] Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Greek Lexicon of the Old Testament.

[12] Goodrick/Kohlenberger, NIV Exhaustive Condordance.