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What God Does – Charles R. Swindoll

August 2013
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C2TV ministry is designed to strengthen your spiritual walk. This ministry newsletter began in 1999, first known as the Family Tree Ministry. The goal is to be a connection builder, serving as a spiritual connection between people and matters of faith. Our mission is simple: Connecting men and women to life-changing faith in Jesus – encouraging them to impact their community with His values, ethics and love. In the age of technology the newsletter has transformed into a blog with many more features that the old paper format couldn't provide. In November 2012, The Family Tree Ministry was renamed to "Connect to the Vine - (C2TV)" based on the Book of John, Chapter 15, where we are told to remain connected to Christ. In October 2016, this blog was renamed to "Connecting Champions to the Vine - C2TV." This change came about with the adding of the ADVOCARE bar at the top of the blog site. Originally focused on a ministry outreach to family members, C2TV has expanded to reach all those whom we come into contact with. Our prayer is that this blog becomes a means of illuminating God's work in our culture and encouraging one another to stand firm in Him! At the heart of the spiritual journey is the understanding that it is a journey. None of us are perfect. Once we become believers, we are not expected to achieve instant spiritual maturity. Rather, the Christian life is a process involving both our attention (2 Corinthians 7:1) and God’s work in us (Philippians 1:6). And it has more to do with opportunity and intentionality than with age (1 Timothy 4:12).

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rescuedPsalm 91:3–4

         3 For he will rescue you from every trap

          and protect you from deadly disease.

         4 He will cover you with his feathers.

          He will shelter you with his wings.

          His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

While the first two verses of Psalm 91 depict the faithful character of God, verses 3 and 4 describe what God does. The psalmist names three actions the Lord takes on our behalf:

a. He delivers: from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence

b. He covers: with His pinions/under His wings

c. He shields: by His faithfulness

The Hebrew sentence structure enables us to point out particular emphases in our study from time to time. In this case, the emphatic part of verses 3–4 is “He.” We might render the line: “He alone” or “He it is—not anyone else!” Practically speaking, you will find no absolute assistance or deliverance from anyone other than your Lord.

Now, one at a time, let’s look at the specific actions God takes to protect and sustain us when the enemy attacks. The psalmist describes these actions using three different analogies.

1. He delivers from the snare of the trapper. The first analogy imagines a bird becoming entangled in a fowler’s trap, which is baited with something the bird needs. My Webster’s dictionary says that a trap is “something by which one gets entangled, something deceptively attractive.” The word “deliver” is translated from natzal, meaning “to separate, to cause removal.” It suggests that the bird has already been deceived by the trap and has been caught. Certain death awaits, as described by the phrase “the deadly pestilence.” Literally, from “a death of destruction.” One translation renders this “a violent death.”

2. He covers with His pinions, under His wings. The Lord is here pictured as a bird keeping close watch over its brood. Both Psalm 36:7 and Psalm 57:1 mention the protection we have under our Lord’s “wings.” When danger presents itself, baby ducks and geese make a beeline for their mother, who creates a shroud with her wings. The mother will then pivot to keep her young hidden from any predators.

3. He shields by His faithfulness. The psalmist has pictured our Lord’s protection in three distinct ways in verses 3 and 4. First, in the scene of a trapper. Second, in the scene of a bird and her brood. Now, in the scene of a battle. Here he assures us that we are guarded by His faithful presence. The Hebrew word for “shield” depicts a protective barrier large enough to protect a soldier from a hail of arrows. The term translated “bulwark” comes from a term that carries the idea of “surrounding.” It could be another kind of large, curved shield. Because the term also denotes a particular kind of stone, the concept of a fortified barrier, such as a castle wall, makes better sense.

Regardless, the idea is the same: in the heat of battle, when the enemy’s attacks become too much to bear, the faithfulness of God is there for your protection; hide behind Him.

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August 2013
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