Walking Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

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Be merciful to me, O God,
be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of your wings
I will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by.
( Psalms 57:1)

We are living in the midst of a destroying storm. We hear its roaring sound from all sides.
China, Italy, Iran,Spain,France, UK, US…. the storm keeps moving. And the storm is gaining momentum with each passing moment.
Casualties are multiplying in geometric progression. We look on helplessly as our brethren are falling to it.

The pandemic of coronavirus infection ( COVID-19) lashes out across the globe taking its toll. It has already reached all continents. People live in an atmosphere of fear. Governments stare at the evolving situation not knowing what to do? Aisles of supermarkerts and grocery shops bear a deserted look not because there are no shoppers, but nothing is left to be shopped.

What should be a christian’s response in such an alarming situation? Psalmist has penned down words of comfort for us. We should call out the name of our merciful God. He will protect us in the shadow of His wings. But for how long? It is as long as the destorying storms last. It is the privilege of the faithful. It is the Word of our Lord. Look at His promise, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them” ( Psalms 34:7).

You might ask; “Hey, what are you going to say? When the whole world is reeling under COVID 19, do you think we will be unaffected from it?”

Be assured that our God has a plan for us. It is not for our destruction. But it is one that guarantees us hope and bright future. He will protect His chosen people at all times.

Difficult to believe? But God has done exactly the same thing on many occassions; saving His people from calamities even while others around them perished in it. ” But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where MY PEOPLE live, so that no swarm of flies shall be there, that you may know that I the Lord am in the land. Thus I will make a distinction between MY PEOPLE and your people”( Exodus 8:22-23). Lord our God said these words to Pharaoh through his messenger, Moses. God did protect the Israelites from the swarms of flies which invaded the whole of Egypt but spared the land of Goshen, where God’s people lived.

In our times, God’s protection is the only thing we can rely upon. In the book of Revelation we can see God instructing His angels mandated to
damage the earth and sea not to touch those bearing the seal of the LIVING GOD. ” I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the Living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying;
“Do not damage the earth or sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads” ( Revelation 7:2-3).

Take heart! Our God is still alive and active. His hand is not too short to save us, nor is His ear too dull to hear our supplications. If He saved Israelites from all the chastisements He sent to Egypt, if He has promised to instruct His angels to spare His people with the seal of the Living God on their foreheads, why can’t we believe that He will also deliver us from COVID 19? If we live, we live in His hands; if we die, we die in His hands.

But for that we should be HIS PEOPLE, which we are sure indeed. So let us lift up our hands and beg Lord our God to ‘deliver us from this evil’. For the ‘kingdom and the power and the glory are His forever’. Pray that we also be included in the list of people marked with the Seal of the Living God.

When we see a thousand fall at our side and ten thousands at our right hand ( Psalm 91:7) God assures us that it will not come near us. ‘You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday
( Psalms 91:5-6).

Doubts might arise. If it is so, why the quarantine, isolation and all? Why the authorities instruct us to stay at home and not come out? Prophet Isaiah has the answer; ‘Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past. For the Lord comes out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no longer cover its slain’ ( Isaiah 26:20-21). Yes, this is the time of wrath.This is the time to be at home, behind closed doors and be with Jesus in spirit. He will guide us throught the valley of the shadow of death. We need not fear.

‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me (Psalms 23:4).

Let us say the reassuring words of the Psalmist. ‘You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord;’ My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust” ( Psalm 91:1-2).

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