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Sunday, September 08, 2013

 

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

I went back to my home town and visited with my family. On the last day one of my nephews held a family gathering in his farm and I was amazed how the clan had multiplied from the couple who emigrated from Europe.

 
 
One evening my brother and I got into a discussion about the sad state of America.  I agreed with him about the issues the country faces: from massive debts, unemployment, cultural rot and malaise, to the horrible, no good, bad Presidency of Barack Obama.  But we disagreed about the imminence, or the likely possibility of, a  cataclysmic melt-down of the country. 
 
I sympathized with his pessimism, yet in a way I found it hard to understand.  My brother is older and was a teen ager when Hitler invaded the "old country," the Netherlands.  Yet despite the Nazi occupation we all survived, and immigrated to the US in the early 1950s.  We are in no danger of being over-run or occupied by a neighboring power.  Yet here was a survivor of the Nazi occupation pessimistic about his future.  Perhaps he's seen a version of this movie once before?
 
For myself, on this Lord's Day, September 8, 2013, the 91st Psalm comforts me as it comforted my mother during World War II.  This is my faith: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
 
 
The Psalms
91

Abiding in the Shadow of the Almighty
 
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High
        
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 
2 I will say of the LORD,
        
He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
 
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
        
and from the noisome pestilence.
 
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers,
        
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
        
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 
6 nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
        
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side,
        
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
 
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
        
and see the reward of the wicked.
 
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge,
        
even the Most High, thy habitation;
 
10 there shall no evil befall thee,
        
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
        
to keep thee in all thy ways.
 
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
        
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 
 
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
        
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
        
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
        
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honor him.
 
16 With long life will I satisfy him,
        
and show him my salvation.


 


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