As I try to write this message, I cannot forget the chilling thought about a harrowing incident that happened at our home recently. Let me recount the incident for you.
One evening, I found the cabinet shelves soaking wet. Every carton box stored in the cabinet was inundated with water. My husband did a physical check and found that the water leakage was from the water heater tank concealed above the ceiling board.
On further investigation, we were horrified to discover that the water heater had a small opening at the vertical joint of the cylindrical tank. It was like a zipper being ripped apart and water was seeping out of the joint.
We called the water heater manufacturer to express our disappointment with the quality of the tank. It had been purchased barely a year ago and was already tearing apart at its seam. The company could not believe that the water heater tank had ripped apart at its joint as it is designed to contain 23 litres of boiling water. They immediately despatched two engineers to investigate the problem. The engineers were rudely shocked to find that the piping had been wrongly installed. The pipe connecting the heater was installed at an angle which had restricted the smooth outflow of steam from the boiling water. The excess steam trapped within the tank and the pressure built up within had forced it to rip apart at the joint. It was dangerous and the situation had to be rectified immediately.
It took a full day’s work to replace the water heater, mend the ceiling board and restore the cabinet. I was really upset with the negligent contractor who had installed the system. On the other hand, I was thankful that we had discovered the problem early. I cannot imagine the consequences of a boiling torrent of wrath from an exploding tank.
Mulling over the whole incident, I am reminded of the promises in Psalm 91: 1-4
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
In the Bible there are conditional and unconditional promises of God. Psalm 91 is an affirmation of God’s deliverance and protection when we are willing to posture ourselves under His covering.
As I think about the intriguing theme ‘Posture’ for this issue of the Polished Shaft, I want to first, commend you for choosing such a captivating word-theme. But more importantly, I want to draw some lessons from the above passage on how we can come under the wings of the Almighty.
I like to suggest three necessary postures required on our part to stay under God’s divine protection and deliverance.
- MOVE IN.
“He who dwells in…” Psalm 91:1a
The Hebrew word for “dwell” is “yashab” – to sit down; to remain; to settle permanently. To “yashab” requires the action of moving in and the posture of sitting, settling in and remaining there.
The Psalmist says those who “dwell.” Notice that the requirement is not just a quick ‘drive-in’ or visiting there occasionally, but a continuous state of being in and remaining there.
Moses was consistently found in the tent of meeting with God. Samuel literally dwelled in the temple of God. David took delight to remain in the courts of the Lord. Jesus taught us, “Remain in me and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4)
What about you? Are you constantly living from edge-to-edge, rushing from appointment-to-appointment, from sunrise to sunset, that you neglect to dwell in God’s presence? We all live hectic lives, but in the midst of our busyness are we postured to dwell in His presence daily?
It does take intentionality, requiring setting aside time and making a deliberate choice to continually move in and dwell in His presence. If you have not moved in with God, then you are neglecting the need to posture under His covering.
Are you postured to dwell in the tent of meeting like Moses? We must learn to move in His presence daily!
- MOVE UP.
“…in the shelter of the most High” Psalm 91:1b
The word “shelter” in Hebrew is “say-ther,” literally meaning “hiding place” of the most High (el·yo·vn – the name of God). Psalm 32:7 says, “You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.”
In the hiding place or the high places where God is, you will encounter His hands of salvation. That is where you experience God’s provision and His songs of deliverance. “For He will give His angels charge concerning you. To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and cobra. The young lion and the dragon shall you trample under feet.” (Psalm 91:11-13)
When God’s shelter is your refuge and fortress, “no evil will befall you, nor any plague come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:10) The shelter is the promise of God’s provision.
As I think about the heater incident at home, I cannot thank God enough for His intervention and provision. God had provided his angels charge over the whole incident. Despite human carelessness, the faulty heater as it were, like the lion and cobra, cannot consume us. It is God’s provision of rescue and deliverance.
Are you moving up to the shelter of the most high place where God is? Are you postured to trust Him for divine provision? If not, I encourage you to move up to experience His provision!
- MOVE UNDER.
“…will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” Psalm 91:1c
To abide in the shadow of the Almighty is to be under the shade and defence of God where you are shielded from the harsh heat of the scorching sun. On many occasions, walking with my husband at the East Coast Park under the blazing sun, I would often take cover and get under God’s shadow for shade.
When you get under the shadow of God Almighty, He will cover you under His wings like a mother hen protecting her chicks from prey and stormy winds. There is ongoing protection when you remain under His wings. It is not something that the Lord will do once-and-for-all. It is something that He is continually doing.
Therefore, “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.” (Psalm 91:5-7) Hence, you can truly say, “He is my refuge and my fortress!” (Psalm 91:2), “His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” (Psalm 91:4b)
Are you moving under His divine protection? Are you postured to walk under the shadow of the Almighty?
My prayer is that you will continuously posture yourself under God’s covering. May you be encouraged to move in His presence daily, move up to the shelter of His unending provision and move under the shadow of His divine protection!
ONG GUEK JU
PRINCIPAL, TUNG LING BIBLE SCHOOL
DEAN, SCHOOL OF MINISTRY