PRINCIPLES OF PRESERVATION
IN DIFFICULT TIMES, No. 5
"Because" is a very significant word in Psalm 91. It is mentioned only three times, but each time it is used we cannot help realize that so much blessing, reward and deliverance depends on this common word that we use every day.
As the pace of this age speeds towards its final conclusion, we need to be more alert than ever to the sound of the trumpet of God calling us to an ever closer walk with Him. Without staying close to God we can be confounded, deceived and drowned in the floods of deception and temptation.
I am shocked and grieved at the epidemic of marriage breakup. In most cases the three "because" principles of Psalm 91 have either been ignored or not taken seriously.
The word "because" in Psalm 91 highlights the reasons for great blessings and rewards.
"Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High your habitation. Verse 9." Immediately following this statement are four amazing promises of preservation:
1. "No evil shall befall you". Verse 10. This is incredible, because there is so much evil in this world that could easily befall us. No evil! What amazing comfort and security. No matter what evil may threaten us, it cannot touch those who make the Lord their habitation. If evil befalls us, rather than question the Lord's faithfulness, we should question the extent of our habitation in the Lord. And we know that God is able to turn something that we may regard as evil to be for our good. Read Romans 8:28.
2. "Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling". Verse 10. Although plagues fell on Pharaoh and all the Egyptians, none fell on the Israelites in the land of Goshen. Their protection was from none other than God's angelic forces. We have no need to fear viruses from birds or any other plague. We do not have to be concerned about getting flu shots or keeping ourselves isolated from society because we have made the Most High our habitation. The secret of our health is to make the Lord our dwelling place.
3. "For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone". Verses 11-12. What an amazing truth. Think of it! Angels are watching over our feet lest we stub our toe on a rock or twist our ankle on an uneven stone. The angels must be very busy. Doesn't this speak loudly of how important and special are the Most High habitators. They truly are God's special TLC people. Because we do not see these angels guarding us does not mean that they are not present with us. Read 2 Kings 6:17.
4. "You shall tread upon the lion, and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot." (v. 13) "Lions, cobras, young lions and dragons" are no match for those who make the Most High their dwelling place. These creatures represent demonic forces and powers that resist the ways of the Lord and try to attack His followers. These evil spirits are only successful with those who dwell somewhere else other than God. God dwellers are foot-stomping, heel-crushing, and boot-trampling demon destroyers. But let us not forget that this can only come about in our daily experience "because" we make the Most High our habitation.
We need to daily claim these amazing promises even in the face of apparent contradiction.
The "Most High" emphasizes the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ has the most exalted position on our behalf. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God has "raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." And let us not forget that "God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". Philippians 2:9-11. Considering this, we need to ask ourselves why we would want to dwell anywhere less than with the Most High, for the Most High God is supreme over all the power of the enemy.
"BECAUSE" NO. 2
"Because he has set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him". Verse 14. We want to be achievers. We want to be spiritually successful, but we often forget that the secret is to set our love on God. The Ephesus church neglected their devotion to Christ and was in danger of having their candlestick removed. Revelation 2:4-5 says, "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent."
The promise to those who set their love upon the Lord is that they will be delivered. David was constantly being delivered. He talks about deliverance over 80 times in the Psalms. He speaks of being delivered from his enemies, the wicked, the sword, all transgressions, deceitful, evil and unjust men, lying, persecutors, great waters, oppression, affliction, fears, strange children, death and the grave. It means "to snatch away, recover, escape, rescue, preserve, save." This is the reward for those who daily fix their love upon the Lord. What an amazing God of deliverance we serve!
"BECAUSE" NO. 3
"Because he has known my name". Verse 14.
God gives six promises to those who know the power and glory of His name.
1. "I will set him on high". Verse 14. David speaks of his head being lifted up above his enemies. (Psalm 27:6). When Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph and caused all that he did to prosper, he set him on high. He gave him jurisdiction over his house and eventually all that he had. Read Genesis 39:1-4. Pharaoh, king of Egypt also set Joseph on high. Read Genesis 41:38-44. All the people of Egypt were ruled by Joseph's word. Genesis 41:42 says, "Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, "Bow the knee!" So he set him over all the land of Egypt."
Daniel also received great promotion from heathen kings. You can read about this in the first six chapters of Daniel. But behind all this lifting up of God's servants was the Lord himself. Psalm 75:6 says, "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another."
2. "He shall call upon me, and I will answer". Verse 15. This is a great encouragement for answers to our prayers. This challenges us again to check how much we are abiding in Christ and making Him our habitation.
3. "I will be with him in trouble". Verse 15. Each one of us goes through periods of trouble. However, what a comfort to know that God has promised to be with us in our troubles. He is with us each step of the way. Psalm 23:4 says, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me."
4. "I will deliver him". Verse 15. We have already talked about this.
5. "I will honor him". Verse 15. There are many examples in Scripture of those whom God honored. What an incredible set of events took place for Mordecai to be honored and wicked Haman to be dishonored. Read Esther Chapter six.
6. "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation". Verse 16. Simeon, an old man, had a revelation from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ. On the day that the baby Christ came into the temple, the Holy Spirit also led Simeon into the temple and gave him the revelation that this baby was the Messiah. He took Jesus up in his arms and said, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation..." Read Luke 2:25-32. Simeon's experience is an encouragement for each one of us to apply the third "because" to our daily experience.
Let us ask the Father to give us the full revelation of what it means to know His name!
Colin is the husband of Nancy Campbell, Editor of Above Rubies http://www.aboverubies.org
Colin can be contacted at 615 948 5958 for speaking engagements.
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