All heroes—whether they be soldiers or health care professionals or Jesus—go into danger to save us. Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), even though he knew that when he got there, he would be mocked, insulted, spat upon, flogged, and killed. Nevertheless, Jesus heroically took the hardest path to save us, having faith that he would rise again on the third day. (Luke 18:31-33).
My father’s favorite verse is inscribed on his tombstone: Psalm 91:7. It gave him strength and courage to survive fighting in World War II.
In the King James Version, Psalm 91:7 reads “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it will not come near you.”
This verse came to my mind because of the threat from the coronavirus.
Indeed, Psalm 91 speaks about surviving pestilence. It says that the LORD “is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” who will save me “from the deadly pestilence.” Therefore, I “will not fear . . . the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” (Psalm 91:5-6).
There are many types of pestilence. There is the literal type of pestilence caused by bacteria and viruses. And there is the spiritual type of pestilence caused by the love of money and the love of power.
We need to be saved from both types of pestilence. Only then can we enjoy life to the full, as intended by our Good Shepherd, Jesus. (John 10:10-11).
Psalm 91 is also on my mind because I was looking for a Lenten insight. And it struck me that heroes—whether they be soldiers or health care professionals or Jesus—go into danger to save us. Therefore, “[a]s the time approached for him to be taken up into heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51).
Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem, even though he knew that when he got there, he would be mocked, insulted, spat upon, flogged, and killed. Nevertheless, Jesus heroically took the hardest path to save us, having faith that he would rise again on the third day. (Luke 18:31-33).
All heroes must take the hardest path to save others.
Therefore, we are heroes when we follow the Way of Jesus or establish our Vision of America. We are heroes who bless ALL people, who challenge ALL pharaohs so that ALL people will be free, and who help ALL hurting people.
We take these hardest paths to bless, set free, and help others—even though such paths require us to sacrifice everything to save others. Indeed, sometimes we must sacrifice our own life to save others.
Where do we find the strength and courage to make such sacrifices in order to establish these works of our hands? Psalm 91 gives us the answer.
The LORD will rescue us. The LORD will protect us. (Psalm 91:14).
Indeed, even if it feels as if he has forsaken us (Mark 15:34), the LORD will resurrect us and establish the works of our hands—both in this life and in the one to come. (Matthew 28:18-20).
When we commit our spirits and the works of our hands to our Heavenly Father (Luke 23:46), the LORD will show us his salvation—both in this life and in the one to come—by delivering us, honoring us, and satisfying us with a long life. (Psalm 91:15-16).
I urge you to take all feasible actions against the contagious and lethal coronavirus just as my father took all feasible steps to keep himself and his buddies safe and alive in World War II.
When applying Scriptures, we must always be careful to understand each Scripture in the context of “the whole will of God” (Acts 20:27) and of all other Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For example, Psalm 91:11-12 was used by Satan to tempt Jesus, as told at Matthew 3:5-7 and Luke 4:9-12.
To read how people have sacrificed to follow the Way of Jesus, and to establish Visions of America and Visions of the Church, please read my books Lighting the World; and Visions of America and Visions of the Church (published in one volume).
For some additional thoughts that I have arising from Lent, please read my blogs “Do Not Live on ‘Bread’ Alone”, ”Do Not Jump Off the Temple”, and “Do Not Seek the Kingdoms of The World and Their Authority”.