He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Tsunamis, earthquakes, killer storms, pandemic, wars, the list goes on. Seems like there isn’t a single form of disaster that hasn’t either already struck or soon will. Even non-believers are beginning to ask if this is the end if the world.
Yet in the midst of this it’s been estimated that an average of 175, 000 new believers are born again somewhere in the world every day. Most of them in third world places like China, India, and Africa.
Here’s the lesson in this. The less sophisticated in the world are seeing these events as perhaps their last chance to accept the Lord’s offer of pardon while there’s time, while the more cynical see only the impending judgment and wonder if it’s finally upon us.
Illustrations of God’s protective nature, like Psalm 91 above, have been around for thousands of years. And in most of the world you wouldn’t have to ask very many people before coming across a reasonable answer to the question, “What did Jesus do on the cross?” It’s common knowledge that God loves us and wants to save us from judgment.
So how could otherwise intelligent people not respond to the call of this God Who is patient, not wanting any to perish but everyone to come to repentance? (2 Peter 3:9)
The answer is simple, but it’s at the heart of everything that’s wrong with our world. If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
Neither believers nor unbelievers seem to understand the spiritual nature of the battle for men’s souls. Each viewpoint tries to persuade the other with evidence supporting its position, not realizing that the issue isn’t one of logic or even emotion. It’s a spiritual matter.
The unimpeachable evidence of God’s existence has been around since the beginning of time. (Romans 1:18-20) And His track record of first predicting and then performing (we call it prophecy) is so impressive that in the Bible’s Greek text, the word for unbelief also means disobedient. If mere evidence was enough, a simple study of one chapter in the Book of Daniel would be sufficient to convince even the most skeptical. In Daniel 11 there are 135 historically proven fulfilled prophecies in the span of the first 35 verses.
Bob Dylan was right. “You’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Unbelievers aren’t stupid any more than believers are brilliant. The faith we have to believe is a gift from God (Ephes. 2:8-9) just as the blindness of unbelievers is a curse of the devil, and that’s all there is to it. Everyone who has ever lived winds up in one camp or the other.
But contrary to the Calvinist’s view, the destiny of unbelievers isn’t sealed. As long as they’re still drawing breath, there’s hope. We’ve just got to understand the nature of the battle and choose the right weapons. And the most effective one is prayer. In fact there are many who believe that everyone who is saved got that way through the prayers of someone who cared enough to intercede for them.
If you’ve already handed your loved ones all the books and tracts, dragged them to hear evangelists, confronted them with the gospel, and argued the rightness of your position, try praying. Pray without ceasing. Beg your Father in Heaven for their souls just like you used to beg your earthly father for something you didn’t think you could live without. Be obnoxious about it now, just as you were then. It’s the most effective thing you can do.
Heed the parable of the persistent widow. In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ “
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:2-8)
Having done everything in your earthly power, do you have the faith to put the outcome in the Lord’s hands?