This article was originally published in September 2014, however, the message and challenge from Anne Graham Lotz to rest in God still applies today. Read & share:
In August, I was invited to be a member of a delegation of evangelical Christians that was traveling to Jerusalem to show our solidarity with Israel. One of the most memorable experiences I had while there took place south of Ashkelon, in a farming community on the Gaza border. The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel had ended the first night I was in Jerusalem, so hostilities were in full swing the next day when I visited the border region.
Three times while I was there, the sirens sounded, and I had less than 15 seconds to get into a bomb shelter. One missile attack ended harmlessly. Another one took out the house of our guide while he was leading us on tour. And another one was intercepted by the Iron Dome. We were able to witness the impact of the Israeli defense system as it intercepted the Hamas incoming missile. The sight was deceptive in that what looked like a white puffy cloud in the cobalt blue sky above us was, in fact, the explosion of an airborne bomb.
While meeting in a large bunker with the security team of the farming community, I read out loud Psalm 91. Those of us gathered around the table could almost hear God audibly speaking as He reassured everyone present that when we place our trust in Him, He Himself is our refuge. We are safe in Our Hiding Place.
Read Psalm 91. God’s Word shows us:
We Have His Presence
- What four words in these two verses are used to describe Our Hiding Place?
- Look up each word in the dictionary, and write out the definition. What does each one mean to you?
- What three conditions need to be met in order to experience His Presence in Our Hiding Place? Have you met those conditions?
- What phrases from each of the following verses confirm that God Himself is Our Hiding Place? See Deuteronomy 33:27, 2 Samuel 22:3 and Psalm 46:1.
- What difference does His presence make when our world unravels? Give phrases from Psalm 46.
- Give the three pronouns in verses 1-2 that emphasize the psalmist’s personal relationship with God. On what basis can you make the same claim today?
We Have His Protection
- What two things does God save us from? Read verses 3-4, and give a contemporary application for each.
- When He is Our Hiding Place, what are some other dangers He protects us from? See 2 Samuel 22:3 and Psalm 31:4.
- What descriptive phrase emphasizes that the protection God gives is very personal to Him and to us? Read verse 4 and Matthew 23:37.
- What object is used to describe God’s protection in verse 4?
- In what practical way does a shield act as protection to the person behind it? How effective is the protection of a shield if a person steps out from behind it? Why is it critical to not allow any distance between the shield and the person being protected by it?
- What does it mean to you that God Himself is your shield? See Genesis 15:1; Deuteronomy 33:12, 29; and Psalm 3:3.
- Explain Ephesians 6:16 in your own words.
- Based on these verses, how protected are you?
We Have His Peace
- In what four situations does Our Hiding Place provide peace? See verses 5-6.
- Is there any reason to lose a good night’s sleep because of fear or worry? Consider Psalm 4:8 and Philippians 4:6-7.
- What descriptions are used of Our Hiding Place in Psalm 27:1-6?
- Give the phrases in Psalm 27:1-6 that describe the dangerous situations in which we can have peace. Apply each one to a situation you have experienced previously, one you may encounter in the future, or to the world today.
- What insight about His peace do we have from Isaiah 9:6-7, 26:3, 32:17; John 14:27, 16:33; Galatians 1:3; and Philippians 4:6-7?
We Have His Perspective
- Write out in your own words the perspective of one who is safely inside Our Hiding Place when trouble surrounds us.
- What phrase in verse 8 indicates that no one will get by with their evil actions?
- How is this confirmed by Psalm 37:8-13, Isaiah 48:22, Matthew 25:44-46, 2 Peter 2:9, Jude 1:7 and Romans 12:17-19?
- What unique perspective did the prophet Elisha give to his servant in 2 Kings 6:15-17?
- What similar perspective does 1 John 4:4 give?
- What trouble, tension, turmoil, tragedy or trial is surrounding you? What is your perspective? After reading these verses, do you need to make an adjustment to it?
- Ask God to open your eyes so that you see the big picture from His perspective.
We Have His Power
- What is the condition for no harm befalling you? See verse 9.
- What word in verse 10 implies this includes your home and your family?
- Are there exceptions to this? Why? Read John 9:1-3, 11:1-4 and Hebrews 11:32-40.
- How do you know you have an angel assigned to you? See verse 11.
- What are some of the things that angels do? Refer to 1 Kings 19:1-8; 2 Kings 19:32-36; Psalm 34:7, 103:20; Matthew 4:11, 13:36-43, 49, 24:31; Acts 5:17-20, 12:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 1:14; and Revelation 5:11-12.
- What could the lion and the cobra represent? See 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:9 and 20:2.
- When do we receive the power of God? See Acts 1:8.
- In His power, what can we overcome? Read 1 John 2:12-14 and 5:3-5.
- If you are defeated in your Christian life, why?
We Have His Promises
- List the promises in verses 14-16 phrase by phrase.
- What are the three conditions given for receiving them?
- What do you need to do now to meet the conditions so that you can claim His promises?
- Write out the promise of Psalm 32:7 in your own words.
- Make a list of alternative names for Our Hiding Place, such as, “He is our Shelter, our Rock, our Strong Tower.”
- Substitute the pronoun my for our. Now, would you thank God for who He is to you?
In order to be safe when I was in Israel, I had to heed the siren and run quickly into the shelter. Because even though the shelter was within the distance of a 15-second sprint, I still had to leave where I was and run into it. I believe the sirens are going off in our world today, warning us of judgment that is coming. It’s time to run into Our Hiding Place (found in Christ) and abide there. So run—now.