Saturday, July 30, 2011

Divine Protection (Psalm 33:6-11)

Ps 33:6-11 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

When we look around and see chaos and confusion, let's remember that the Lord is still in control. The psalmist tells us that the universe was made by the "word of the Lord" and the "breath of his mouth." In other words, Creation came into being when God said, "Let there be..." The word of God is powerful and what God says will happen is what happens, no matter what man may think or say on the contrary.

The raging seas, the swirling storms and the impending tsunami that put fears in all men--the psalmist tells us He treats the surging ocean and seas like water in the jars and storage tanks. Natural forces are easily manipulated by God. So we are commanded to "fear the Lord" and to "revere him". God has the power to speak and break the destructive powers of nature: "For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm." One can think of how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry ground because God took control over the forces of nature. Or how Jesus stilled the storm by rebuking the storm.

But that may beg the question why didn't God speak against the earthquakes, floods and tsunamis that have recently hit many countries. Just because God CAN do something does not mean He MUST do it. He has given us the freedom of choice: to fear God or to ignore Him. The call in this psalm is to fear and revere him. But when a people makes a choice to ignore God, they expose themselves to Satan's destructive purposes (see Job 1 & 2 to understand the source of natural disasters). The promises of divine protection in Psalm 91 belong to those who "dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1). We have the freedom to choose divine protection or the devil's destruction. God respects our choice and we have to face the consequences of that choice.

But for those who choose to fear God, He stands by us and "foils the plans of the nations" and "thwarts the purposes of the peoples".  And we will experience God's love and protection because "the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." Hallelujah!

Thank You God that You respect our choices. Thank You Lord that for those who choose to fear and revere You, You stop the destructive forces of nature and resist the evil plans of ungodly peoples.  Amen.