Friday, November 19, 2010

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday November 21, 2010

(GOD protects those who look to HIM for security)
(Psalm 91)

Psalm 91 is a wonderful testimony about the security and protection that mankind can find, only in GOD. There are several terms that seem to link psalms 90-92, and this may suggest that they are a unit of sorts, and, may have been written by a common author, which, in this case, would be Moses. However, there is not too much other evidence that can help substantiate this theory, and so psalm 91 and 92, at least for now, remains in the category of “unknown human author”.
In verse 1 of this psalm, the terms “the ALMIGHTY” and “the MOST HIGH” emphasize GOD’s power as the sovereign ruler of the universe. Also, the use of the metaphors of “shelter”, or, “secret place”, and “shadow”, depict GOD as a safe refuge for anyone who trusts in HIM. They vividly portray a divine protection, or hiding place from all kinds of hurt and harm, even when being surrounded by it.
To be “under the wings of”, in verse 4, implies a certain degree of comfort, as well as shielded protection, during times of trouble. GOD and HIS angels will guard and protect us from frightening attacks, pestilence and diseases, or any other attempts on the lives of those who trust in HIM, and the LORD HIMSELF, promises this protection through HIS written word (vs. 3-13). The psalmist tells us that no harm or danger will come to those who find for themselves, refuge in the LORD ALMIGHTY.
One of the great biblical examples of how GOD protects those who trust in HIM can be found in the pages of the book of the prophet Daniel. In Daniel chapter 3, taking up at verse 16, in the, now famous, story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the “fiery furnace”, we find one of the greatest declarations of faith in all of scripture. There we see the three courageous young men of GOD, making this profound statement of defiance to greatest king of that era, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the GOD WHOM we serve is able to save us. HE will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if HE doesn’t, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (NLT). Then we see a furious King Nebuchadnezzar commanding his soldiers to heat up the palace furnace to 7 times its normal temperature. And because the three had refused to bow down and worship the king’s idols, he then orders his strongest men to bind, and then, throw the three young believers into the blazing inferno. The flames were so hot that they leaped out and killed even the soldiers, who threw the young men in.
A few moments later, while the king was watching, looking into the furnace to see the men burn, he instead sees, not three, but four figures, with the fourth looking like a divine being, walking around in the furnace. The king then asks Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to come out of the furnace, and when they did, not only were they not burnt, they didn’t even smell like smoke!
The great lesson to be gleaned from this story of these three courageous young men is that we can place our faith in two aspects the ALMIGHTY GOD’s sovereign power: One aspect is “HIS ability to do all things”, and the other is “HIS willingness to do all things that fall within the confines of HIS will”. We can always place our trust in the hands of a sovereign GOD WHO is surprised by nothing, and is in control of everything.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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