A Response to Threat

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day.” (Psalm 91:4-5)

Today we remember the unprovoked attack on America by Muslim terrorists. Despite attempts to make the country more secure, the threat remains scarcely abated. What should the Christian’s response be? In our text above, we see we have no cause for fear. The physical danger may be real, but our Lord promises protection in tender words likened to a mother bird’s care for her young. Our ultimate deliverance is guaranteed by His sure promises. Trust in His power and truth sustains us as surely as would a shield and buckler.

Our hope cannot ultimately rest in mere military might. God does not promise temporal safety to all, for there have been millions who have succumbed to undeserved violence. Our last hope is of a different order, firmly grounded in “the LORD, which is my refuge” (v. 9). He responds to our trust and worship with the promise “with long [better translated as ‘eternal’] life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (v. 16). Much more interested in our response to troubles than in our deliverance, He desires us to believe and serve Him, all the while trusting Him, even in perilous times.

A New Testament application of this principle can be found in 1 Peter 3:14: “If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” The remedy? “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

The Lord Jesus Christ is Himself our example and inspiration. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). Fixing our eyes upon Him, we have no cause for fear. JDM

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