Twenty-four-hour news broadcasts leave us longing for peace, mercy, justice, hope, and love. Children lose their lives, leave families; and friends wonder why. Young adults feel a sense of insecurity in life, love, and livelihood that demands justice. Older adults feel cast away by society—by employers to whom they have been loyal and by a church consumed with preservation instead of transformation. The church is under fire for not acting like Jesus and remaining silent when it should act. Yet, the psalmist proclaims, “[The Lord] will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (niv).
While the days seem dark and the times make it difficult to find anything or anyone to trust, God promises us a refuge and fortress worthy of trust. Yet, the psalmist calls us to the responsibility of dwelling: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (niv). The promise of resting, refuge, and faithfulness comes through our choosing to dwell in the presence and shelter of the Most High God.
Psalm 91 extends an invitation to peace, protection, and promise fulfilled. Yes, life is crazy! Yes, cancer, car accidents, and careless violence cause us to question our safety and make us wonder about God’s faithfulness.
Even so, God remains faithful. God is our refuge, our fortress. God covers us, saves us, and keeps us from living in fear. Divine nature and action do not depend on our feelings about God. Rather, we realize and acknowledge promises kept when we dwell in God’s presence.
Most High God, draw us near to you so that we may dwell in your shelter. When life feels unwieldy, steady us in the safety of your wings. Grant us your peace. Amen.
The Bible warns about the delusions that wealth brings, repeatedly directing readers’ attention to the poor and the destitute. Luke’s Gospel text culminates in Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus. Only in the next life, when the rich man is rid of his riches, can he see Lazarus, now secure at Abra- ham’s side. First Timothy contains a series of warnings to pros- perous readers that having the basic necessities of life should be enough. Greed diverts attention away from the God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” And against the best wisdom of all the nancial planners of Judah, Jeremiah purchases the eld at Anathoth. The prophet invests his money in the divine promise, in the outlandish conviction that God is faithful.
• Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. Where do you see God’s prom- ises in your life? How do you act on them? What keeps you from acting on them?
• Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. In what setting do you experience a sense of God’s shelter?
• Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. With what do you nd yourself content?
• Read Luke 16:19-31. How do you maintain an ability to see those in need? How do you address those needs?
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