It seemed impossible that another mass murder shooting could occur on the heels of the Baton Rouge shootings last week. As I was running errands in the car today, the radio broadcast details of the shootings in Munich, Germany. Officials were telling people to stay out of public places. Will it ever be safe again to go to the mall, the ball game, church?
As reality sinks in, I realize we are living in a new, scary world. Safety cannot be guaranteed by our government. Terrorists willing to risk their own lives to do random strangers harm are on the loose, armed and dangerous. Some of them seem to have an agenda; others seem to just want to take other people with them as they commit suicide. It's hard to understand the thinking of these people. They must hate the human race for wrongs or perceived wrongs done to them.
This is how they will get revenge.
What are we to do? What I am doing is looking to the oldest and most trusted psalm, Psalm 91, to protect my family and friends. This psalm has a long and storied history of protecting those who stand on its promises from every conceivable form of danger. Service men and women have used it for centuries to protect from harm on the field of battle. In one little town in Texas during WW II, the mothers, wives, other relatives and friends of the 52 men from their town who were serving our country met daily to pray this Psalm over them. The men were serving in Europe and the Pacific theatre. When the war ended, all 52 came home unharmed. This is no coincidence. Many of these men had been in the heat of battle, but were miraculously protected. While other towns across the United States grieved their young men and women killed in action, this town celebrated its returning heroes, well and whole.
The psalm protects from disease and pestilence as well. One 13th Century doctor reported that the 91st psalm was the best protection against bubonic plague that he knew. And, when our church took a medical mission team to Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, during the Ebola crisis, we prayed the Psalm every day over the team, and our church back home prayed it every day over us as well. No one got sick.
Confessing and standing on God's promises provides great protection. The 91st Psalm brings all of the protective promises of the Bible together in one place. As I pray it each morning over our family, I remember the old American Express commercial --- and, while I may forget my American Express card, I certainly won't leave home without praying the 91st Psalm.