(The following excerpt is from The God of All Comfort)
I’m not giving away Steve’s trench coat.
I want to see it when I open the closet. I want to run my hand through its soft furry lining. If I have to run up to our mailbox in the rain, it’s that trench coat I reach for – a sheltering shield covering me from head to foot, protecting me from the wet, yet flooding my heart with memories:
- The day I met him – a cold February day on the campus of Northwestern University. He caught up with me after class and introduced himself. I was so excited that this man whom I’d secretly admired was approaching me that I was trembling. Steve thought I was shaking from the cold wind off of Lake Michigan, and there, right in front of Deering Library, with hundreds of students passing by, he gallantly took off his trench coat and put it over my shoulders. My knees nearly buckled.
- Our first date, just two days later – shy with each other while we were walking to the movie. Suddenly the sky opened up, pouring down buckets and buckets of water. Steve opened his coat and tucked me in, covering me, as we ran laughing into the theatre.
- Running into him by surprise downtown. We’d been married twenty-five years, but my heart still did flip flops to see him. I saw him first: taking long strides, looking strikingly handsome and masculine. His hands were in the pockets of that trench coat, his head down – concentrating, thinking hard about something. I stood still, right in the middle of his path, smiling, anticipating his reaction. Startled to be blocked, he stopped and looked up. A sudden smile of delight, then, that laugh I loved. He spread his arms, which opened his coat like sheltering wings, inviting me in. There we were, on Central Avenue, enveloped together, more in love than newlyweds.
But of course this isn’t about trench-coats, but about something far, far deeper.
It’s a mystery, Paul says in Ephesians, but marriage is a foreshadowing of a much more lasting relationship: Christ and His Bride.
When a husband tenderly protects his wife, he becomes a reflection of the ultimate Bridegroom. The quaint Old Testament phrase for this husbandly protection is “covering.” He is to “cover” his wife by bringing her under “his wing, or his skirt, or his garment.” It is personal and tender: like a mother bird sheltering her young with her wing; like a father wrapping his shivering little girl in a blanket; and like Steve opening his trenchcoat and shielding me from the rain. In medieval Jewish wedding ceremonies, the groom would take his prayer shawl and cover his bride as a symbol of his willingness to also tenderly cover her with protection, provision, and love.
If we look deeply at the love stories that move our hearts, we will inevitably glimpse Jesus.
Saturday, September 22 (3 years after Steve’s death)
Thank You Lord for a lovely day. Lee and her friend Susan came and we spent the day watching the waves, laughing, and lingering over a dinner at sunset. Then we got in our pajamas, popped popcorn, and watched “Miss Potter,” the story of Beatrix Potter, the creator of “Peter Rabbit.”
Oh. I wept copiously. How Norman believed in Beatrix when no one else did, and helped her to fly. Of course I saw Steve, who even wanted me to keep speaking when he was sick. But I also saw You, Lord. You love the ones Your hands have made and want them to fly.
When Norman “taught her how to dance” I wept again, for it was so much bigger than dancing literally. Even in this time of sorrow, You are, indeed, teaching me to dance. You want me to put my hand in Yours and let the music fill my heart.
Their tender parting scene at the train station. He was wearing a trench-coat (of course!) and he kisses her for the first time. Parting scenes always move me. My parting for the last time with my father, my mother – and of course, with Steve. “Such sweet sorrow,” as Shakespeare said.
And when Norman dies young, of course, that did me in. Yet Beatrix carried on, and life still had meaning, because she knew “he was right behind her.” I know Steve is “right behind me,” but even more, You are there.
Thank You, Lord – for this picture of Your love.
1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?)
2. Do you have any comments on the above?
In the romances of the Old Testament in Ruth, Song of Songs, and Hosea, this word “kanaph”) appears when the groom or groom-to-be covers his bride. Martin French did this painting of the “Kinsman-Redeemer” for Forever in Love to portray Hosea covering Gomer when she was ashamed and being sold on the auction block.
The passage in Hosea 3 is a bit cryptic and challenging, but basically what has happened is that Gomer has run after her other lovers and they are selling her on the auction block, and Hosea buys her back. He is her “Redeemer” for a Redeemer is One who pays a price to rescue another.
1. Read Hosea 3:1-2
A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?
B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail?
C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?
D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls?
2. Another “kinsman-redeemer” is Boaz in the book of Ruth. The Hebrew word “kanaph” appears here and may be translated corner of garment, wing, or garment. It is another challenging passage, but so full of tenderness. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it?
3. Watch the beginning of the last video where I talk about “The Covering” to the women in prison. Click here and watch for about five minutes, until I get to the “Court Date.” Write down what you learn: Link
Our own dear Joyce and another silent blogger each sent me this wonderful picture of Psalm 91:4 where the word “kanaph” is translated “wings.”
Under His wings you will find refuge
4. Read Psalm 91:1-4 and write down the promises. Comment on this word picture as well and what it means to you.
5. Some have interpreted these promises to mean no trouble will come to the believer. How does the close of the psalm, Psalm 91:14-16 clarify this?
6. The concept can also be found in the phrase “hiding place” which is in Psalm 32:6-7. Meditate on this and find the phrases that comfort you and calm you.
You are my hiding place — you always fill my heart with songs of deliverance
7. One of my favorite songs of Sara Groves is based on the above passage and is called Hiding Place. It’s actually fairly easy to learn and to sing. You can listen to it on U-Tube by clicking here: Link
I’d like you to meditate on four phrases in her song and think about how you could apply them to your life:
A. Early when the day is new, before the stirring
B. I will come and talk to you and confess the ways I’m broken (Psalm 32:3)
C. And recall the words You’ve spoken
D. And to try to comprehend the love you have for me (Psalm 32:6-7)
8. How has God shown His love to you recently? List at least three ways.
Part II. Listen to Midday Connection and Comment Here: Updated Direct Link
Part III.Listen to Keller
He has so many good messages on The Bridegroom — here are two, but they are not free. Choose one of these if possible, listen, and comment: Link
Extra Credit Fun: Watch Miss Potter and find spiritual parallels and list them here. (And if you rent it, be sure you hear the extra song by Kate Medula on the disc. Oh!) Or one of the Pride and Prejudice movies — for Austin’s lines are amazing. What spiritual parallels do you see?
PART IV (Challenge and Optional) Ezekiel 16:1-22 is a similar portrait to Hosea in a nutshell.
9. Read it carefully — find the tenderness, the covering, and how she responded to the Lord. What do you see here?
OH — SUSAN REMEMBERED REMBRANDT’S THE PRODIGAL — SO I ADDED IT LATE — NOUWEN SAYS, “SEE HOW THE FATHER’S CLOAK ALMOST LOOKS LIKE WINGS?”
10. What is your take-a-way from this whole week?
Rebecca — thank you for your comments to Laura above! Loved what you said about His intimacy to you last Sunday.
Dee, Rebecca’s comments on intimacy could be a great tool to give women as an example of the message you are wanting to convey when you return this subject matter later…just a thought.
PART II. LISTEN TO MIDDAY CONNECTION AND COMMENT.
Oh Dee, I have loved each program I’ve listened to, but this one may be the very best. I think it should be listened to by everyone who is a believer, whether going through grief or not.
These are some “nuggets of gold” that I mined from listening…
Dee said, “We need to see, when hard things come into our lives, our Lover has not abandoned us. He knows what He is doing.”
The discussion between Dee and Anita about why we don’t study Song of Solomon on a deeper level, as in it describes our relationship with God?
– because the world has so perverted sex that people are uncomfortable with it. But
everything God made is good, and everything is a pointer to God.
– Spiritual warfare. Satan wants us to stay as a sheep to a shepherd, or a friend.
But when we begin to relate to God as a spouse, he gets involved. “Let’s not see the
love of Jesus as being that intimate, that permanent, that unyielding.” Satan will try
to convince us we are way off track.
The quote by Tim Keller was intriguing about how sexual intimacy is a parallel to the gospel. In particular, “There will be a feeling of absolute safety and yet total vulnerability.” Wow. Vulnerability and safety don’t seem to be compatible, especially in our sin-marred relationships on earth where we get hurt and bruised. We hide behind masks, and stuff our feelings, and are afraid to be fully known. We wear the Christian mask to church. “Naked and unashamed”. The polar opposite of what happened to Adam and Eve, who were left naked and ashamed, and they hid. And we’ve (and that includes me) been hiding ever since, from each other, and from God.
Dee said, “This is what brought me higher” (to see Jesus as the Lover of my soul)
“Instead of banning sexual imagery, God raises it and elevates it to show the pure and passionate bride He wants”. (Derek Kidner quote)
– I love this because I think that is God’s desire for us, to elevate us above what the
world says and does – he wants us to live as butterflies, not as caterpillars! (That
is not original from me; I’ve heard Charles Stanley, for one, use that example that
we were made for “butterfly living” when we are transformed at salvation).
I took lots of notes; also loved all the music, especially the “dancing song” and Sara Groves “Hiding Place”. Also enjoyed Michael Card because his music is never “cookie cutter Christian music”.
Dee, this was an uplifting, encouraging, soul-ministering, challenging discussion. I loved how you and Anita agreed not to “tip-toe around” the hard topic!
Susan — your encouragement warms me so — especially because it is such a hard concept and so many are upset by it — so thank you!
I know it is a hard concept — and I think probably more so if your sexual relationship with your husband is hard — I don’t mean to say it is easy, and yet it is wonderful for me to see you understand!
Susan, your comment on absolute safety and yet total vulnerability is great, I am going to listen to Midday again. Like you said so many nuggets.
KIM — I LIKED THAT TOO. SAFETY AND VULNERABILITY AT THE SAME TIME.
Oh my..just into the second break and I wrote this quote down Dee gave by Jonathan Edwards. I also looked up information about him. He was into religiosity-seeing himself as breaking the rules instead of breaking God’s heart.
This is sooo good..I know we went through this in the stonecutter study, but to revisit it over and over is so good.
Here is the quote: “There is an infinite difference between being told honey is sweet and tasting honey. I began to have a new kind of inward sweet sense of Christ, a sense of being alone sweetly conversing with Christ wrapped up with God kindling a sweet burning of my heart and ardour of my soul.”
I can relate to this. I have experienced this before or so I thought until I realized He cherishes me and delights in me. In reality I am just beginning to experience His sweetness in intimacy and I deeply desire to continue to and to go deeper. I am beginning to taste Him loving me deeply and passionately, rather than merely ‘knowing’. I am starting to see that the whole of life is a dance He is leading me through from the warm sun shining on my face to the warm covering he wraps around my shoulders in times of distress.
I love this Rebecca — and am seeing it in you, and it gives me joy.
I have to say Anita was amazing — a lot of radio hosts would not have the courage she did. I even pushed some of the most controversial quotes over to her and she rolled her eyes, but she did it. She is a gutsy lady.
Wow, I hadn’t thought about that, she is a gutsy lady. I think Anita understands what you are teaching here, yet I can imagine she has to think about her audience, the repercussions of bringing this topic up among those who may misunderstand what is being said, yet she did it. I have grown to really admire her.
I also think you are courageous for bringing this to light. God gave you both the courage to do this and now we are reaping the benefits.
Oh and listening to Mid Day just brought me to worshipping Him in response to His pursuit of me all these years, to bring me to this place with Him, and yet He isn’t done with me yet-He desires to go deeper still-such passionate love and I didn’t do anything to deserve it-why me? Why pursue me even when I fail? His covenant love is sealed! I am His because of what He has done-such love..I have always believed that but really hadn’t tasted it until now..I don’t know why He loves me, but He does. 🙂 I am thankful He chose me to lavish his love on-to cover in His white robes and to have intimacy with here on Earth-but oh what is yet to come!
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold… (Psalm 45:13)
Oh Dee, He made this true-I am so grateful. In my heart I say, but me-how can you love a wretched person like me so deep, so passionately-sometimes even saving me from myself? Yet at the same time I am rejoicing with thankfulness of His covering and love.
Yes it brought me to worship too, that’s why it’s so powerful and moving.
I was listening to Michael Card’s last song before the break and these thoughts came to mind: Writing, poetry, singing, art, and the beautiful artistry of creation all shouts that God delights in romancing us-it speaks of His passionate, romantic heart.
This was great! I can see why Satan didn’t want the link to work. Satan wants us to stay superficial in our relationship with God. Well, Satan just lost…again..
I loved this from Dee out of the Song of Songs: “He wants to see your face and hear your voice, His love is like a seal on your heart, His love is like a raging fire, His love is as strong as death.”
Satan wants us to see our relationship with God like we are sheep, a friend, but let’s not be a spouse-let’s not have a deep, passionate love relationship with Jesus. Satan wants us to stay in the superficial. So good..
I guess that my take away for this week is Psalm 91.. I am having a hard time hiding under his wing right now though with the possible hurracaine coming in tommorrow. But i need to trust he will keep me safe.
7. This song is beautiful and Dee, you are right it will be easy to learn. It has a template for morning devotions and the refrain is just perfect for talking to our souls. The part I want to add to my routine is trying each morning to comprehend His love for me. Love it. Thanks!
So far we only have strong wind, but no rain. The song Hiding Place keeps going through my mind. How amazing that this truth is part of our study this week ;o) http://youtu.be/RzqpkMJxyss There are many versions of this song. I like the simple worship of this one.
Oh Anne — that one is lovely. And yes — how perfect for this stormy weekend for all of you on the east coast….
Great truth beautifully sung!
oh Anne–this is exactly the way I learned it as a child! Thank you so much for this–beautiful!
The Midday broadcast was a reminder to me of the intimacy God desires to have with me. I knew this but had forgotten it lately. When I worship, love, connect and know God this way- not just as friend and father but intimately and passionately, it changes me. It curbs my appetites for worldly things, it empowers me to turn down that piece of cake that calls my name b/c I think of our secret, intimate love we share and all earthly desires fade. LADIES: THE DEVIL DOES NOT WANT US TO KNOW THIS!!! Because when we know God in this way we are transformed, we bow and worship in truth. It is ecstasy and the devil knows it! After all, he once worshiped God with ecstasy and total abandonment before he was cast from heaven. Even as I type I feel holy goosebumps. When I first began knowing God with abandonment it was so beautiful He took my breath away. It also scared me a tiny bit. Could God want to be with me in this way? But He kept confirming it to me. When I found great writers such as Spurgeon teaching this very thing, I embraced it even more. Dee mentioned, Dr. Moody’s testament of this and how it was too intimate to speak of- I relate to him. Like the words of an old hymn “…a foretaste of glory divine!” One hymn writer said it well, “It is glory just to walk with Him.” Thank you, Dee, for the reminder to get back to my secret place with God and get in the glory.
You joy is contagious, Kim.
Wow, Kim, This really encouraged me to see God moving so mightily in you! What a testimony!
OK, I am way behind–a hectic week here, and just got started finally listening to Moody–I am 11 minutes into it and had to stop to jump on here because even if I didn’t hear another word of it (which I will–probably twice because I want my husband to listen later!)…but this one point has sealed it for me: We will have ABSOLUTE SAFETY and yet TOTAL VULNERABILITY with Christ!! That’s IT–I get it more than I ever have!
I just deleted what I was going to say—this isn’t the place-it’s just that I see why now this metaphor–and the idea of being absolutely safe, and yet totally vulnerable. I have only had a taste of in my marriage, whereas all other relationships at some point have failed to offer both. And yet, no human relationship can perfectly–but He will—face to face—the experience we were created for will finally come.
I feel certain Satan was trying to prevent us from listening…just as he has tried to corrupt the beauty of sex in our culture–it sickens me how the world has cheapened it, and how Satan has used it to tear people, marriages, apart. We struggled in this area for 10 years, but God reclaimed it, and if we let Him, he will help us see the beautiful purity, the gift it is. To imagine it is only a foretaste of what is to come in our relationship with Christ. To be fully exposed, fully known, fully accepted–to have what we were created for…!
Although my comments won’t be about the study, each week I read it and my soul needs it. This is a thank you for talking about Ann Voskamp’s book. Reading it most probably has changed me. Since my husband and son died my heart has thought way too much about me. This book has gently moved me to see there is so much to give thanks for, even in tragedy. So I give thanks (eucharisteo) for you introducing me to this book Dee.
His by grace,
Pat — thanks so for coming on. C. S. Lewis said grief is a lot like fear — and the studies about how fear and thankfulness cannot be in our brain at the same time are so interesting. Ann’s book is amazing — blessing so many — so glad it is you too.
My take-away is a bit different than I thought at first—I’m sleep-deprived today so I hope it makes sense!
The Ezekial passage really spoke to me. I was just thinking about how unlike the romantic movies our romance with Christ is. In the movies, the actress has to “earn” to some degree the affection of her lover. When a movie starts off with 2 people in love and one is “not good enough” for them…you know there will be a twist, someone new coming along, or a major change of character, and when they come, you know where the story is going.
But in our romance with Christ, I am not worthy of His love, I have, by God’s standards,fallen way short- un-loveable on my own. Without Christ, I am dirty, smelly, and even if I clean myself up on the outside, my mind has unclean thoughts.
BUT, because of Christ, I am the sought-after, chased-for, fought-for Bride! Through Him, because of Him, I am beautiful, clean, new, and my prayers a fragrant offering. He never, ever gives up on me, He pursues me like the Ultimate Leading Man, and no matter how many times I turn away, I doubt, I use my words for pain…He not only forgives, but He pursues. And His arms never cross or push me out of His embrace.
Did the storm reach you?
no–we thought we might get something, but thankfully just a lot of wind today–guess we’re just enough west–thanks for asking–
I have been praying for Anne & Meg–this study has been such a timely reminder of our Mighty Warrior!
thanks elizabeth! it hasnt hit us yet! but i heard that we are supposed to get just rain and high winds! pray for laura too she lives about 3 hours from me
I will pray for you both Meg.
I am in mid state NC and we had strong wind with very little rain and no lightening. As the sun went down there was partial clearing and for a few minutes everything was that beautiful shade of pink. We were without power most of the afternoon and then after supper we watched specials about WTC construction. Very rare that we all watch something together so it was nice. I was listening to Midday when the power went out so now I will work on catching up.
Glad you’ve been safe Anne, though losing electricity can be hard. Glad it came back and so nice that you could enjoy watching something together. We watched “The Perfect Game” last night–very good–I can’t really think of a great Spiritual parallel (I’m sure Dee could!) or reason for you all to watch, but it was good. A true story about the 1st Mexican Little League team winning the world Championship in 1957.
So, with baseball last night, tonight we get to watch Miss Potter!
Actually my husband likes chick flicks, I just don’t tell him I know that 😉
Blessings all–praying for everyone’s safety and special worship tomorrow!
Thought I would share this song with you all. This brought me to worship. My sweet friend is going to sing it tomorrow at church. It is called “The Cry of the Broken” and is applicable to our study.
Rebecca, you have great music at your church!
Part II This was a great program, helping us to understand why it is important to take this next step toward Jesus. We could play it safe as many others do but would we be totally surrendered to Him? He has made it very clear to me for many years that there will be no holding back. He demands my all. Now I have some understanding about why. That is what marriage requires.
I can’t listen to Keller tonight. It is just too late. I know I will fall asleep.
I have seen Miss Potter and I do believe it is my favorite love story. I also love how he believed in her. His love inspired her to do great things even after his death.
Part IV This is a much more graphic picture than in Hosea. The first tenderness is in His compassion for her when she was rejected and lying in the field in her blood (sin). He nourished her and she grew. When she became a young woman He betrothed Himself to her by spreading the edge of His garment over her nakedness. He provided good things for her and adorned her beautifully as a faithful husband would. She took all of what He gave her and gave it to her lovers. She was arrogant and convinced that she had gotten her good things herself. She forgot from where she came, unwanted, discarded and left to die. What I see here is a graphic picture of who I am and what I do to Him when I am desperate for my idols, for idolatry does make me desperate. I know this when I recognize the reaction in my body when they are removed.
10. My take-away is a determination to try to comprehend His great love for me. The words to Sara’s song really touched me. He gave me a dream about it back when we were in the idolatry study but I can’t remember it. Dee and Anita talked of how He has revealed His love to others. I have several of David Nevue’s CD’s (piano solo) and one of them he composed for his wife about a dream that she had of heaven. In the jacket he talks about some of it but he says that most of the dream was just too personal to share. I wondered about it at the time but now I think I understand why it was so personal.
You did a wonderful job with the challenging Ezekiel passage, Anne.
Glad you liked Miss Potter. After I recommend a movie, I always begin to panic a bit, wondering if my jaded heart missed offensive things. So I’m glad you like it so much. True stories always move me too. She was an intriguing strong woman. I remember reading Peter Rabbit as a child and wondering about Father Rabbit ending up in a pie!
Dee, I so appreciate your recommendations. I watched The Apostle recently. It was hard for me to watch but when I got to the end I had much to think about. All I can think of is that the word says that love covers a multitude of sins. It also made me think of something a friend once shared with me. The Lord spoke very plainly to her about how she should not be critical of the worship of other believers. I am learning to love books and movies that make me think.
I finally got to listen to Midday Connections for this week. It was very good…want to listen again! Praying for everyone
You are so faithful to pray, Joyce!
So glad our Carolina sisters made it through the storm — eager to hear how Laura, Meg — and there may be others in the NE did.
It is not over for us, We are getting hit this after noon ( I live in Vermont) with high winds and heavy rain, its raining right now, but not too hard. Thanks for praying!
Thanks for the link to the other study, Dee. Not very good at interpreting scripture, so extra resources help me.
I am okay so far in Nh. Only rain and wind. I didnt hear any rain all night though. I think the worst is yet to come. They canceled church today! Unheard of…..
My take away is the picture of the birds. It is now my screen saver;)
My dance group has always danced this as a “staple,” eagles wings. I tried to get a video copy for you all to watch, since we just danced it with my new group, but I have yet to receive it. I will share when I can.
they cancelled church here too Laura! praying for you!
Laura and Meg,
I have been thinking/praying for you wondering how you are doing now after the storm.
Thanks for praying it is jsut raining right now, and we are suppsoed to get the worse part this afternoon. (high winds) PLEASE PRAY! I am very anxious i live by myself, i am supposed to go over to a friends house later, but she lives by a river so not sure if she is even going to stay at her house! Love you!
Praying for you, Meg. A verse that has helped me deal with fear is Isaiah 41:13-14. It pictures God taking hold of our hand and says, “Do not fear, I myself will help you.”
PART IV (Challenge and Optional) Ezekiel 16:1-22 is a similar portrait to Hosea in a nutshell.
9. Read it carefully — find the tenderness, the covering, and how she responded to the Lord. What do you see here?
OM MY..This is beautiful. I am only on verse 9 and so far it is beautiful this word picture of a husband wooing his ‘to be’ bride-how God pursued her- he knew her even before she knew him-he drew her to himself-he came in and out like a shy lover-he woos and draws her to him-then she enters into a covenant with him-He tells her, “you became mine”- then He puts his white robe over her-cleans up her uncleanness, and lavishes her with love in how he cares for her-he adorns her with all the best-dignity, honor and favor among the people. Yet in time, she begins to trust in that instead of loving God back-in essence she uses God for the stuff He gave her rather than wanting Him for Him. Yet, it gets worse, she uses the stuff He lavished on her and gave them over to her idols-she gave her whole self and her children-everything God held as precious to Him over to idolatry. In essence, she forgot Him, She forgot the Gospel.
I think of how we do this to our husbands by refusing them and treating their lavished love on us like it was nothing special, but usually that could be for various reasons or seasons in our life, but this is God-the perfect husband and yet she still did this.
Wow, is this how God feels when I do this?? The fact that He is telling her how He feels and how jealous and hurt He is speaks volumes to me. That is my take away here-she is still in a covenant with him even though she messed up-He hasn’t left her so he is telling her how he feels. I don’t want to hurt Him and don’t want to spark his jealous anger, yet I have and I could very well do it again, and for all I know there could be something going on deep inside that is bubbling up that I am not aware of yet.
Lord, search me and know my thoughts, see if there is anything in me that is not pleasing to you and rip it from me. If there is any idol fighting for the throne in my life, Lord fight for me and do what you will to remove it, even if it hurts Lord.
My take away is within the last few days of what I have posted and really just an extension of what God is doing in my life this past year. Too much to write in order to explain it, but all I know is that God is gently pulling me closer in to Him, and the sex metaphor was huge in my life in regard to God showing me the depth of a relationship He wants to have with me. That said, what makes it not perfect or makes is a bumpier journey is my sin nature and my propensity for idol worship and how Satan takes advantage of that. Yet I also know I don’t love perfectly yet and I know God has won and I am His, and I desperately need to stay in dialogue with Him and keep growing in intimacy with Him reflecting back on the Gospel of how He has adorned me and covered me in his White Robes-to not forget and to love Him back.
Like your thoughts, Rebecca.
4. Read Psalm 91:1-4 and write down the promises. Comment on this word picture as well and what it means to you.
If I dwell in the shelter of God, the Most High, then –
I will rest in His shadow
God will be my refuge, fortress
He delivers me from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence
God will cover me, and under His wings I will find refuge
God’s faithfulness to me is a shield and a bulwark
In my innermost self, my soul must cleave to God. To stay near Him is the only
true place of safety, the only way to enter into the rest that He only can give.
The picture of the bird with its young tucked under the wings is wonderful to reflect
5. Some have interpreted these promises to mean that no trouble will come to the believer. How does the close of the psalm, Psalm 91:14-16, clarify this?
I am wondering if David was recalling his deliverances from the hand of Saul or even his own son Absalom. In those cases, God did deliver David. He was in trouble and distress; he called to God, and God was with David IN his trouble, preserving his very life, rescuing him.
So the phrase “I will be with him IN TROUBLE” means just what it says; not that the believer will never face suffering but that we will, and God promises to be with us in the midst of it.
I know we’ve talked about this before, the idea of a “rescue” sometimes being different than the rescue we would imagine or want. For often, there is no rescue here on earth; believers die of disease, accidents, as victims of violence.
Yet I love how the psalm ends:
“With a long life I will satisfy him,
And let him behold My salvation (or CAUSE HIM TO FEAST HIS EYES ON MY SALVATION).
It is confusing, as it says “a long life”, yet we know our days are counted out before we even have one of them.
I imagine when we die, beholding the Lord and heaven will truly be a feast for our eyes.
You are a well of water to me, my sisters.