Category Archives: Education

“A Reason To Be Wary Of Liberties Some Leaders Champion”

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Proverbs 2-3

Today’s scripture reading is Proverbs 2-3; however, the focus for this devotional commentary is limited to Proverbs 2:12-13.

In today’s devotional, Solomon advises his son that godly wisdom will induce him to be wary of two enemies of youthWicked men and their influence (Proverbs 2:12-15) and the Adulterous woman and her ways (Proverbs 2:16-19).  For the sake of brevity, I will focus on two of the four proverbs that serve as warnings concerning wicked men.

Proverbs 2:12-13 – “To deliver [rescue; save] thee from the way [path; course of life] of the evil man [wicked], from the man that speaketh [tell; say] froward things [lies and perverseness]; 13 Who leave [forsake; abandon; depart from; loosen] the paths [way; manner; race; troop] of uprightness, to walk in the ways [path; course of life] of darkness [i.e. ignorance; sorrow];”

Preparing his son who will one day serve the nation as king, Solomon exhorts him to embrace godly wisdom and allow righteous discernment to set the course of his life.  Godly wisdom, the wisdom God alone imparts from His Word, directs youth to not only recognize the character of the ungodly, but turn from their counsel [i.e. “froward things”].

Wicked counsel often comes from those who, to borrow an old expression, “should know better”.  Solomon exhorts his son, be cautious of those who once knew and appeared to follow the “paths of uprightness” but have departed (2:13).  The Apostle Paul challenged Timothy with a similar admonition when he wrote that the last days would be “perilous” because there would be some who have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).

A personal observation: Our churches, Bible colleges and seminaries are heavily influenced by a host of men and women who hurl the “legalist” label at those who choose to take what I define as the “higher road”.

This generation of Christian leaders has focused on “Liberty” to indulge “grey areas” previous generations of Christians steered from out of concern for passions they might induce and the influence they carried.  In their pursuit of the more “enlightened life”, many Christian leaders have become advocates of driving near the cliff edge as opposed to steering far from danger.  They have become what Solomon cautioned—those who have forsaken the paths of the upright only to “walk in the way of darkness” (2:13).

Be careful my friend; the tantalizing “Liberties” you trifle with today can enslave and traumatize your children tomorrow.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Hijacked: You can lose your church while sleeping in the pew!

* The following blog is a repost of an article I first penned July 2015.  I am burdened more than ever that conservative, traditional Bible-believing churches, colleges and Universities across America are falling prey to a generation of pastors and Christian leaders that are pragmatic, rather than Biblical in their philosophy.  Our churches need Revival and Bible-believers should demand the pulpits be occupied by pastors of conviction.  

Warning: Continue placating the carnality of your members and you do so at the loss not only of your integrity, but the risk of the ministry itself!

“He stole our church out from under us!” is a statement I hear too often these days from both Independent Baptist and conservative Southern Baptist church members.

The typical scenario is a trusting, aging church calls a young, dynamic pastor to take the helm of their church ministries following a faithful veteran pastor who retired, moved on or was pushed out by church members who wanted a change.   Reasoning the young pastor would bring new ideas and the church would be blessed with an influx of youth, the trusting church settled into a familiar rut of “watch and wait” unaware they were setting a course that would inevitably abandon the legacy and heritage of the church, its traditional worship services and often its own membership.

Before I am misunderstood and taken to task, allow me to state emphatically I am not arguing against change.  Change is an inevitable dynamic with the passing of time, membership and new leadership who bring different skills, spiritual gifts and their own strengths and weaknesses.  It is impossible for a ministry to experience a change in leadership and not face the reality of changes within the body of that organization. [Let’s face it; some people oppose change regardless of how inevitable, necessary or valid the change.]church

The changes I want to address are at first subtle, pragmatic and sometimes deceptive.  The doctrine begins a subtle shift, the music style begins to drift, and inevitably unrest takes hold in the body of the church.  Several examples come to mind where young pastors who, lacking an appreciation for the heritage of the church and its godly legacy, reasoned if a new generation is reached the church must “Change or Die”.  Because the congregation dutifully followed the previous pastor for a generation, church members fail to question the young pastor.  Church leaders participate in the changes without asking for the guiding principles behind the young pastor’s “Change or Die” narrative and what those changes might be.

In fairness to the young pastor, his youth, inexperience and the pressure to be successful sends him searching for the keys to a successful ministry.  Seminars, conferences, headliner national speakers, peers and “Ministry for Dummies” books and blogs soon become his fare at the sacrifice of prayer, Bible study, and the counsel of older, experienced mentors.  Like Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, the young preacher rejects the counsel and cautions of his elders and embraces the counsel and example of his peers (1 Kings 12:6-8) who flatter his ego and inflame his pride.

preachToo often the exodus of disavowed saints who were the pillars of the church and the failed influx of youth spells doom not only for the young pastor, but also the church.   I close today’s blog with Paul’s challenge to Timothy that is both timely and prophetic.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 – “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

* The above is a brief diagnosis of the “Change or Die” narrative that many pastors and churches are following, often to their demise.

Warning: America is Not Too Big to Fail!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Jeremiah 47-52

Today’s scripture reading brings us to the conclusion of the prophecies of Jeremiah in this book that bears his name.  These final chapters, Jeremiah 47-52, predict the devastating invasion of Babylon’s army (“waters rise up out of the north” – Jeremiah 47:2) and the forthcoming destruction of the nations that were Israel’s ancient adversaries.

The annihilation of the Philistines (Jeremiah 47), the Moabites (Jeremiah 48), the Ammonites and Edomites (Jeremiah 49); even the destruction of Babylon (Jeremiah 50-51) is all predicted.   We can take many lessons from the judgment and destruction suffered by those proud nations that resisted the God of Israel and made themselves enemies of His people.   The Sovereignty of God over nations and the eradication of Israel’s ancient foes is the great lesson we take from Jeremiah’s prophetic revelations.

Jeremiah 52 records the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah.   The sins and rebellion of the people had exhausted God’s longsuffering and He determined to deliver Judah for judgment.   Jeremiah’s record of the suffering of God’s people includes famine, the captivity of king Zedekiah, the slaying of his sons, his eyes “put out” and his imprisonment until he died.   Jeremiah’s book concludes with the king’s palace and the Temple being plundered  (52:12-23) and the people of Judah led away captive to Babylon (52:24-30).

Some closing thoughts on the nations of the world and the sovereignty of God: Politicians and societal experts of the 19th century aspired to “Utopia”, a world of peace and justice where humanity lived in perfect harmony and every man pursued the common good. Unfortunately for those idealists, their ideology of atheism and the good in man was proven false by the atrocities of war and oppression of humanity in the 20th century. From the holocaust and atrocities committed by the Armies of the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan) to the crimes against humanity committed by Communist regimes (particularly the old Soviet Union, Vietnam and China), modern nations prove they are no more humane than their ancient counterparts.

One would think any aspirations for “Utopia” that survived the 20th century have surely been extinguished by the barbarity committed by the followers of militant Islam (ISIS, Taliban and Hamas) in the dawning of the 21st century; however, such is not the case.  Crucifixion, stoning, beheading, drowning, fiery deaths, poisonings and mass killings in the name of religion and the perversity and wickedness of modern man are on full display in the Middle East and around the world.

Babylon’s mighty army dominated the ancient world and her city walls appeared impenetrable; however, God declared war and against that nation (Jeremiah 50-51) and Babylon  faltered under the weight of her sin and fell.

Citizens of the United States would do well to remember the LORD bears the sword of judgment (Jeremiah 47:6-7) and no people or nation is beyond His justice or too big to fail.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Sunday Services at Hillsdale and You’re Invited

I am continuing my series, “Innocence: Tried, Condemned and Crucified” in the Gospel of Matthew this Sunday morning.  Tomorrow’s study is from Matthew 27:26-37 and my topic is “Perspectives on Christ’s Crucifixion”.  Time allowing, we will review the perspectives of Pilate, the Sanhedrin and continue our study examining the perspectives of Barabbas, of Christ Himself, the callous soldiers, the spectators in the street on the road to Golgotha and the soldiers who nailed Jesus to the Cross.

In the 6:00 PM service I will be sharing with Hillsdale a ministry vision “From the Heart of the Shepherd” for two potential ministries.

The first is the possibility of Hillsdale serving as an “Online Distance Learning ‘Bridge’”, a satellite site, for live classes from an accredited Bible College\University.

The second potential ministry grows out of my burden for a Medical\Patient Advocacy Committee for our church membership.  I have observed a diminishing in medical care as a result of ObamaCare policies and the guidelines of Health Insurance companies.  Too many of us accept without question the advice of doctors and hospitals and fail to challenge the care our loved ones are receiving.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The absence of “the fear of the LORD” has fostered a culture of pride and carnality in our homes, churches, and schools.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 27-28

Bildad, one of Job’s three “friends”, asserted in Job 25 that men suffer because of unconfessed sins, implying that Job’s sorrows and losses were, in his judgment, because of sin and wickedness.  Job 26 marked the beginning of Job’s defense to Bildad’s judgments and continues the same in Job 27-28.

Professing he has searched his heart and found no sins that would invite God’s judgment, Job is at a loss to understand why God would allow so great a sorrow to shadow his life [remember, Job had been a man of great wealth and the father of seven sons and three daughters before the LORD allowed Satan to test him; a test that ultimately took from Job his wealth, health, and family]. (Job 1-2)  Bildad professed to have wisdom in Job 25, an assertion Job addressed in a series of questions in chapter 28.

Job 28:12, 20 – “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?… 20  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?”

Knowledge might be obtained for the excessive price of an Ivy League education; however, wisdom is priceless and cannot be purchased (28:15-19)!   In the words of 19th century English Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”

What is the repository of wisdom and how might it be acquired? The answer: “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

Wisdom is found in “the fear of the LORD” (Job 28:28).  Such “fear” is reverential and worshipful.  The “fear of the LORD” is not only an emotional response, but also a practical response that obeys the Law of the LORD and forsakes the way of sin and wickedness (“to depart from evil is understanding” – 28:28b).

Moses commanded Israel to keep the statutes and judgments of God, “for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).  Hebrew fathers and mothers were to teach their sons the statutes and judgments of God that they would “learn to fear” the LORD (Deuteronomy 4:10).  Israel feared the LORD when the people received the Law of the Lord at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:5).   God’s people are to fear the LORD and delight in His commandments (Psalm 112:1).  We are to fear and reverence the name of the LORD (Psalm 86:11).

In my opinion, the greatest dereliction of duty within 21st century Bible preaching churches and institutions is the failure to instruct youth in the Law and Commandments of the LORD.   A whole generation of pastors, teachers, and evangelists are preaching “GRACE” and “LIBERTY” to the neglect of instructing Millennial sons and daughters in the statutes and judgments of God.

How many preachers can declare, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)?   The failure to teach the statutes and judgments (Law and Commandments) of God has created a void of knowledge and fostered a liberty that is a license to sin.

The absence of “the fear of the LORD” has fostered a culture of pride and carnality in our homes, churches, and schools.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

God is not only the Creator of all things; He is the Sustainer of all He has created.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 25-26

Today’s Bible reading offers an incredible insight into God’s revelation of Himself and His creation.

“Bildad the Shuhite”, one of Job’s “friends” whose role has been more of an accuser than a comforter, pretends to speak words of wisdom concerning the person and nature of God in Job 25.  Only six verses in length, the first three verses are devoted to God’s dominion and power (25:1-3), followed by verses 4-6 that focus on God’s justice and man’s natural, wretched state (25:4-6),

Job 26 records Job’s response to Bildad the Shuhite’s empty counsel.   After answering his accuser (26:1-4), Job began a discourse declaring not only the nature of God as Creator, but stating facts about creation that were not fully understood or proved until the emergence of modern science. Consider the following revelations found in Job 26:

  • God is omniscient: He knows even the abode of the dead. (26:5-6)
  • The earth hangs on nothing. (26:7)
  • God is omnipotent:
    1. He gives or withholds the water in the clouds as it pleases Him. (26:8-9)
    2. He has determined the boundaries of the oceans. (26:10, 12a; Proverbs 8:29)

The Book of Job, regarded as one of the oldest, if not the oldest, book in the Bible; reveals God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (26:7)!  “Scientific opinions” expressed as late as the Middle Ages were debating a flat earth and wondering on what the earth was resting.   Job had the answer to that question, perhaps as early as 4,000 years ago!  Who has not looked at photos of the earth taken from outer space and marveled that this beautiful sphere we call home is, like the sun, moon, stars, and planets..hanging on nothing!

God is not only the Creator of all things; He is the Sustainer of all He has created.

Colossians 1:16-17 – “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The LORD is Creator and Sovereign of the Universe

creationFriday, March 3, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 45-50

We have read Isaiah’s prophetic warnings that Judah and the capital city Jerusalem would be conquered and destroyed because of the sin and rebellion of the people (fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies razed the city and Temple and took the people captive to Babylon).  Isaiah prophesied God would send a great king who would conquer the nations and direct the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple.   In a stunning announcement, God identified the king as “Cyrus…my shepherd”, more than a hundred years before his birth (Isaiah 44:28)!cyrus-king-of-persia

Isaiah’s prophecy is directed to Cyrus in chapter 45 where the Lord describes the future king of Persia as His  “anointed”.  Why would God call a heathen king His “anointed” (45:1)? The answer to that question is summed up in one word, “Sovereignty”.  The LORD Who is Almighty, Omniscient, and Creator is the Sustainer and Sovereign of His creation.  No created being is beyond the rule and authority of the LORD. Every nation, king, dictator, and president is an instrument in the hand of the LORD. Consider the words of the LORD in Isaiah’s prophecy:

Isaiah 45:5-8 – “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded [bind; encircle] thee, though thou hast not known me:
6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [not sin, but calamity; sorrow]: I the LORD do all these things.”

lord-is-kingKings, presidents, dictators, and even pastors may boast, “Look what I have wrought”; however, we are all nothing without God!  We are frail creatures of clay and, though we strive to do much apart from His will, the LORD will have His way with us according to His eternal purposes. Isaiah’s prophecy expresses the foolishness of men who suppose they operate independent of God in these words:

Isaiah 45:9 – “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds [i.e. broken pieces of pottery] of the earth. Shall the clay say to him [the potter] that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?”

More than a century before he was born, the scriptures described the extent of Cyrus’ conquest in Isaiah 45:13-14.  Unlike all the ancient nations of history that rose to greatness only to fall and become a footnote in history, the LORD promised Israel she “shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation” (45:17).  One of the great testimonies of the LORD’s sovereign faithfulness is the existence of an ancient people called the Jews and a state named Israel!

Isaiah 45:18 is one of the great verses of the Bible that eliminates any possibility of evolution or the co-existence of both a Creator and an evolutionary process. This verse declares unequivocally, the LORD, Jehovah, Eternal, Self-existent God is Creator of all things!sovereign

Isaiah 45:18 – “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [lit. without form; confusion], he formed [made and shaped it like a potter shapes a clay vessel] it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

Proponents of evolution would have you believe the earth was a lifeless mass without form and, somehow over billions and billions of years a process of evolution caused the earth to become an inhabitable place that would support microscopic life forms that would eventually, over billions and billions of years, evolve into the our world [in my opinion, evolution takes a lot of blind faith in a “science” that cannot be tested or proved].

What does Isaiah 45:18 tell us about creation?  “The LORD created the heavens”…the sun, stars, moons, and planets (45:18a).  The LORD “formed the earth and made it”… fashioned and shaped as a potter with a plan and design (45:18b).  The LORD “established” the earth…in other words, He made it perfect according to His purpose (45:18c).   The LORD “created it not in vain”…unlike evolutionist who postulate the universe came into existence out of confusion, Isaiah declares exactly the opposite…God shaped and formed the world so that it was inhabitable from the beginning (45:18d).   To cap off the fact that creation is a reflection of the glory of its Creator, God declares: “I am the LORD; and there is none else.”psalm-19-1

Who is the LORD? Look at His creation and you will see a display of His greatness and glory.

Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Don’t Despair; God Is In Control!

friends-like-theseThursday, February 9, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 11-12

An oft heard idiom that expresses my thoughts as I read Job 11 is: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Poor Job, having heard the judgment and condemnation of two “friends”, Eliphaz and Bildad, finds himself suffering the observations and criticisms of yet another, the Naamathite name Zophar (11:1).

words-hurtRather than pity and compassion for Job in the midst of his sorrows and suffering; Zophar “goes for the kill” with cutting words and accusations. He accused poor Job of being a mocker and scoffer (11:3). With pride filling his own judgmental heart, Zophar accuses Job of being spiritually shallow, ignorant of God (11:5-12), and too stubborn to repent (11:13-20).

Finally, Job answers his accusers and addresses particularly Zophar’s judgments (Job 12-14). Job declared he was not ignorant of God’s wisdom or His ways (12:2).

Zophar had implied Job was suffering because of unconfessed sin; however, Job pointed out not all who sin face the immediate consequences of their sins.  For instance, robbers appear to prosper and those who provoke God seem secure (12:6) for a season.young-and-old-fools

Job 12:2 would seem to imply that Job’s three friends were older than he and presumed themselves wiser by the course of years.  Job, however, reminded his friends that the source of wisdom is God (12:12-13), not man.  One would hope the elders in our lives are not only older, but also wiser; however, youth do not have the market on foolishness.  One might just as easily be an old fool as another a young fool.   With God is “strength and wisdom” (12:16).

The closing verses of Job 12 assert the sovereignty of God (12:14-25) over nature and man. My friend, God is in control!

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The tolerant generation has no tolerance for conservative, moral values.

berkley-riotI invite you to read a blog posting titled, “Who Gets to Define Sin?”, by a Dr. Clay Nuttall.

Dr. Nuttall’s article is timely in light of protests and rioting taking place in America’s communities and secular college campuses in the name of political correctness.  The tolerant generation has no tolerance for conservative, moral values.

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Nuttall’s article that I hope will whet your appetite to read his article in full.

In his book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, the author, Erick Larson, records a terrible truth from the past.  It is a clear statement of where our own nation is today.
Captain Reginald Hall is described and quoted on page 350 of the book.  He visited Germany and Austria in 1934.  Ever the intelligence man, he reported his observations about the National Socialist movement to the government.  He also described his experience to a friend in America.  “All the young are in the net,” he wrote; “anyone who tried to keep out of being a Nazi is hazed till they change their mind; a form of mass cruelty which exists only in such a country.” He added, “It will sometime soon be the duty of HUMAN BEINGS to deal with a mad dog.  When that time comes, your people will have to take their share.”
By using federal education (falsely called public education), the minds of generations have blindly accepted “liberal, progressive socialism.”  It has created a nation of intellectual pagans who support everything they believe with lies.  They are expert at turning truth into lies and lies into truth.
To ensure that everyone follows their “lie pact,” anyone who disagrees has been, is, and will be “hazed.”  They are made persona non-grata, ridiculed, punished, and dismissed from the public sector.  The socialism described by Hall is the very same destructive, liberal, progressive socialism being forced on this nation.  If you want an example, all you have to do is turn on the liberal media for one day. – Dr. Clay Nuttall
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

ELECTION DEPRESSION: POLITICS AND THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS GOT YOU DOWN? (part 1)

election-depressionAnxiety and depression have become a way of life for many and, regardless of who becomes President, a change of administration in Washington will not put a “happy face” on a listless soul.  If you are one of millions wrestling with “Election Depression”,  I have good news from God’s Word!

A recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests nearly 10% of the world’s population lives in a perpetual state of anxiety and depression. A United Kingdom study suggests that 40-50% of Millennials struggle with anxiety. The news for American Millennials is no better. In fact, the problem of anxiety and depression is so dire the WHO has proposed that $147 billion be spent on “psychological counseling and antidepressant medications” in the next 15 years.slide03

Friend, there is a better way to cope with life and overcome Post-Election Blues!  Rather than deepening your rut of fear and worry, allow me to encourage your heart and mind in the principles of God’s sovereignty and providential care by inviting you to consider Psalm 91 on this Election Day.  This great psalm promises hope for the hopeless, confidence for the distraught, sanctuary for the hurting, courage for the fearful, and peace for the troubled!

If you are in need a word of encouragement to help you overcome post-election blues, consider four truths from Psalm 91:

1) The Sanctuary of the Saints (91:1-2)

2) The Security of the Saints (91:3-7)

3) The Sureness of the Saints (91:8-13)

4) The Satisfaction of the Saints (91:14-16)

slide16The saints of God find Sanctuary in the shadow of the LORD (91:1-2).  A young child is fearless when he or she is near a parent; however, stray too far from the parent and fear and panic can suddenly take hold on that child’s heart.  The same is true of the child of God.  When we purposefully and consciously stay close to the LORD, when He is our abiding place and His shadow is our retreat, we can say confidently, the LORD is “my Refuge, my Fortress, and my God” and I trust Him! (91:2)

The LORD is not only the Sanctuary; He is also the Security of God’s people (91:3-7).   Ask yourself on this election day:  Why put your confidence in man (or woman) when the LORD has promised to be your Deliverer (91:3) and Defender (91:4-7)?slide16

The psalmist assured God’s people the LORD is able to deliver His people from the snares of enemies and the troubles that plague the lives of men in this sin cursed world (91:3).   We have this assurance: put your confidence in the LORD; obey His commandments, live a virtuous life, and He will deliver you from the pestilence of sin and death (Romans 6:23).

The psalmist promises the LORD is not only the Deliverer of those who trust Him; He is also their Defender.  I suggest there are three words of encouragement we can take from Psalm 91:4-7 that should lift the spirits of God’s people.

The first word of encouragement is, Be Comforted.  The security the LORD offers His people is set forth in two spiritual portraits. arkThe first,  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalm 91:4).  The LORD is like a mother hen who sacrifices herself to give safety and shelter to her brood of chicks.  Where would the psalmist have found the feathers and wings of the LORD?  I suggest it was within the inner sanctum, the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle.  Once a year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice on the Mercy Seat and atone for the sins of Israel.  Outstretched wings of cherubim covered the Mercy Seat which represented the throne of God (Hebrews 9:5; Numbers 7:89; Leviticus 16:15). For Israel, the Mercy Seat and Ark of the Covenant represented God’s perpetual presence among His people.

shieldThe second portrait of the LORD’s comfort is a military one:  The LORD’s “truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).   The shield was a large defensive tool used by soldiers when approaching an enemies’ stronghold.  Covering the soldier’s body, the shape of the shield was much like that of a door and could be interlocked with fellow soldiers presenting a formidable defense against arrows and spears. The buckler was a small shield used by soldiers in close hand-to-hand combat.  In essence, the LORD’s Truth, His Word, Commandments, Law, and Gospel offer security to the soul like the shield and buckler of a foot soldier.

Take comfort dear friend, the LORD is a Sanctuary, offering Security for those who abide in His presence.

I will continue this study of Psalm 91 later today, praying it will be an encouragement for you on this Election Day!

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith