Sunday, December 20
You are my refuge and my stronghold.
Think of the many occasions when God has safeguarded our brothers who were maintaining their Christian neutrality. For example, this was the case during the Nazi era in Germany and other countries in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Reading and reflecting on life stories and Yearbook accounts of God’s protection during times of persecution will strengthen our trust in Jehovah as our Refuge. Through Jehovah’s organization and its publications, we receive loving reminders for our protection. Consider how this has proved to be of benefit in recent times. As this world sinks further into the quagmire of debauchery and pornography, Jehovah has provided urgent reminders and practical help to alert us to moral dangers. For instance, we receive fatherly counsel to avoid bad associations through the misuse of social networking.
The 91st Psalm is actually speaking to the future, to the time when Jesus takes up his Reign and commences the judgment. The coming of Christ sets into motion a whole series of events upon the earth initiated by the overthrow of Satan and his angels. Among other things, Jesus foretold that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. The gospel writer Luke informs us that Jesus also said: “There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”
The opening of the seals of the Apocalypse reveal the same sequence of events; namely, war, food shortage and deadly plague. These horrors are said to be given authority over a quarter of mankind. Now consider more closely the 91st Psalm, which reads:
For he will rescue you from the trap of the birdcatcher,
From the destructive pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
And under his wings you will take refuge.
His faithfulness will be a large shield and a protective wall.
You will not fear the terrors of the night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day,
Nor the pestilence that stalks in the gloom,
Nor the destruction that ravages at midday.
A thousand will fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But to you it will not come near.
You will only see it with your eyes
As you witness the punishment of the wicked.
Because you said: “Jehovah is my refuge,”
You have made the Most High your dwelling;
No disaster will befall you,
And no plague will come near your tent.
Notice, please, that from verses 3 to 10 the word “pestilence” appears twice and “plague” once.
The Psalm is poetically speaking from the standpoint of one of Jehovah’s chosen ones during the time of the end. “The arrow that flies by day” may well describe the rockets and missiles that will be raining down from the skies, as Jesus alluded to when he foretold “there will be fearful sights from heaven.”
“Ten thousand” falling at your right hand is in keeping with the Disclosure that war and deadly plague will have authority over a quarter of mankind.
To be sure, the organization and its publications will NOT provide any sort of refuge then. On the contrary, the Organization has been set up as a phony place of refuge. By deluding Jehovah’s Witnesses into believing that the Organization is going to provide safe haven, the trap is set. But as the Psalm says: “he will rescue you from the trap of the birdcatcher.”
The opening words of the Psalm indicate that the faithful will procure a “dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.” Neither the Watchtower or their publications are “a secret place” of refuge.
No earthly institution will be able to provide refuge from the “punishment of the wicked” — “the wicked” includes both those within the organization and on the outside.