2007-01-15 - The Care of God
Psalm 91:11, 12, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
There is an obvious Messianic nature in these verses since these verses are used by Satan in his temptation of Christ. Matthew 4:6 reads, "'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down for it is written, "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."'"
The response of Jesus was to quote another passage of Scripture showing that this promise is given only to those who fall into danger when fulfilling their duty. They only may hope for, and trust in, the protection of the Lord. The implication being that to simply test the care and providence of God for the sake of curiosity would be to put God to the test which we are warned not to do in Deuteronomy 6:16 - the verse Jesus quoted back to Satan in Matthew 6:7. The promises of God are not given to encourage us to stupidity. They are given that we might be strengthened to follow, with firmer resolution, the Lord our Righteousness.
This is a precious promise to the followers of Christ. The Lord looks out for us. Even when there is no apparent danger, it is a true promise. However when the danger is obvious this promise is both a comfort and a stronghold. The angels lifting the saints up in their hands is a wonderful picture of the care and affection that the Lord has for those who are His. They guard our way. They look out for our interests and protect us from both danger and temptations.
Those who do not follow Christ cannot claim this care and provision. It is a sure wake up call to those who have not come to faith in Christ that they do not have the angels given to them to care for them. They are alone. They are exposed to all the trials and dangers that these verses promise to shield the servant of Christ from. There is no protection for them. They are alone and without help. We could say that they go through this life at the mercy of circumstance.
However, it is not nearly as bad for the unbeliever as it could be. They still have the providential care of God in His general oversight. We call this common grace. The Lord causes the sun to rise, and the rain to fall, on the righteous and the unrighteous. Sadly, this only confirms the ungodly in their ungodliness because they do not now experience the pure displeasure of God for their forsaking Him. One day that displeasure will be unleashed. The great day will unveil the truth of all things, but it will be a day of reckoning for those who lived their lives outside the mercy, grace, care and provision of the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria,