“Pestilence”: Any extremely poisonous, injurious or fatal contagious or infectious disease, especially one of epidemic proportions, as a plague”
Rest assured, God is not taken by surprise by COVID-19. In fact, around 1000 B.C., He inspired a Psalmist to write and sing Psalm 91. This Psalm is most certainly for us in such a time as this. How many sixteen-verse passages of Scripture reference “pestilence” twice and “plague”? (Psalm 91:3,6,10) In view of this and other deadly prospects, it gives us security for such a time as this.
THE KEY VERSE (PSALM 91:2)
“I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
It starts with a declaration: “I will say.” This is more than a casual thought or emotion—this is nothing less than a declaration of one’s will, and that is the heart of this matter. Declarations confirm and this is a “Declaration of Dependence.”
Note to whom it is addressed: “The Lord.” He is the only One appropriate to receive the declaration. Think of all the other resources“ people seek or appeal to in such a time as this.
We read God is like a “refuge” (“a place of security”) and a “fortress” (‘protecting one from attack”).
Further, the object of this Psalm is personalized, not once but three times! (“my refuge”, “my fortress”, “my God“).
Finally, the Psalmist’s declaration ends with the words “in whom I trust.” Trust must be an important Biblical concept because the word or a variant thereof is referenced no fewer than 182 times in Scripture. We must realize that “trust’ is something beyond “belief.” If I ever decided to take up sky-diving, I would go to an airport and listen to someone’s instruction and watch that person “pack” the parachute that we were going to use. I might be asked, “Do you believe that this person knows what he was talking about? That he is an experienced expert in sky-diving? That he knows how to pack a parachute? That it was going to work?” I could believe all of this and answer “Yes.” Trust, on the other hand, would be jumping out of the plane—action based on my belief.
I believe God is calling all of us to believe and trust, and trust “ruthlessly” (“not letting anything stay too long between us and our God”).