“I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.’” —Psalm 91:2-3
Dictators overthrown. Political turmoil. Earthquakes. Unexpected nuclear disaster. All eyes linger on Japan’s nuclear crisis as both sides of the Pacific recover from a rush to stock up on potassium iodine tablets. What was once available for less than $10 per packet quickly shot past $500 in one online bid to prevent radiation sickness.
And while pill suppliers reported shortages, the World Health Organization issued a statement urging calm.
Could there be a more fitting context to be reminded of Psalm 91:2, the National Day of Prayer’s theme verse for 2011? The Bible urges calm with this life-saving message: “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” The psalmist correctly understood that during uncertain times, we can count on God alone. Even His Son experienced political upheaval and economic uncertainty during His life on earth, so the Lord knows all about the tension of living in a hysteria-charged world.
Psalm 91 reminds us that it is God who saves us from “the fowler’s snare”—outward attack; and He also saves us from the “deadly pestilence” —inward attack. The passage provides 20 statements of what God will do to protect us, with only one conditional statement in verse 9: “If you say, ‘the LORD is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” The word “dwell,” ownah, in Hebrew is significant. It is used to describe intimacy in a marriage—not a casual dwelling, but one of honesty, vulnerability, and commitment.
Our Founding Fathers understood this concept of dwelling in the presence of the Most High. Struggling to construct a country at a time of great uncertainty, they voted that our lawmakers would pray every day before beginning each session, additionally setting in place a National Day of Prayer on July 20, 1775. Today, in our uncertain times, let’s intercede that the Church would kneel and embrace this same posture of prayer, dwelling in this promise: “He is our refuge and fortress; it is in God that we trust!”