Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. Psalm 91: 9-13 (NKJV)
This Psalm, 91, has become very well-known in the past few months. If you read verse 3, it states quite clearly that God will protect us from deadly diseases. Some churches in other countries have used this verse and others to justify continuing as before, as if being a Christian gives one special protection against Covid19.
Also, I know there are churches in the United States called Snake Churches, (you can look them up, it makes interesting reading), and they have poisoneous snakes in cages among them while they worship. When they feel the Spirit upon them, they will lift the snake out in the belief that they can do so without harm. Reverend Jane and I have both handled snakes at Make Lunch; I’d like to reassure you that neither of us are keen on this practice.
Verses of this psalm are meant as a reassurance of God’s promise to those who obey him. It is not a licence to test God. Indeed this psalm is described as one of several psalms written to encourage growth and character in response to crisis. Small wonder we are becoming very familiar with it.
Now, look again at verse 11. Do you think angels are around to rescue us? When Satan tempted Jesus, he boldy quoted this verse; presumably, he would have seen angels in action. There are remarkable stories around, where people have felt that that is exactly what happened, and there are stories where people felt it must have been so, because there is no other explanation.
You may think all this doesn’t really matter. Yet, sometimes people are comforted by the image of angels being around to help us, and it can aid us in an awareness of that other world, the spiritual realm. Whatever we think of angels lets remember, that they act for God, who is our refuge, our protector, our high tower.
May peace abide with you this day. Amen