Psalm 91:1-16 (ESV)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Many people refer to this psalm as the soldier’s psalm, because of its reference to being under the protection of the Almighty. It also speaks about being protected from pestilence and arrows, etc. While this may be true, it is also prophetic about the Messiah, Jesus. One of the temptations that the devil tried to get Jesus to fall for was a quote of part of this psalm. The devil tried to get Jesus to throw Himself off the parapet of the Temple, because the Angels are to protect Him. When I was a soldier, I read this psalm and took comfort in it. I still take comfort in it, as it refers to all who dwell under God’s protection. At least that is the way it seems to me right now.
Jesus voluntarily gave up His divine protection by the Angels. When Pilate was about to hand Him over to be crucified, Jesus told Pilate that he had no power over Him, except that which the Father had given. Jesus could have called a legion of angels to rescue Him, but He chose not to do so. This would have been against the will of the Father. Jesus HAD to die, because only by the innocent blood, could all human sins be forgiven.
Many soldiers have also given their lives for others. People who will never know their names, or what they did. As we “celebrate” Memorial Day, let us all pause, and consider those who have given their lives for our freedom. This holiday is not about all veterans... I am a veteran, but I am still here. I did not pay the ultimate price. This holiday is all about the veterans who did pay the ultimate price for our freedom, and the freedom of people in many nations. Our soldiers have served in most of the nations in the world. We have gone many places to try to help others have a taste of the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.
Take a moment and remember the fallen heroes who selflessly paid for your freedom and mine!
by Virgil Stripes
Photo: US Cemetery in the Meuse-Argonne region in France from WWI.