Encouraging words from our pastor, Norma, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For He will give his angels charge over you…Ps 91v11
I was thinking about Ps 91v11 recently when I saw something I had never noticed before. When someone gives you charge over someone else, particularly a child it is a very serious responsibility. I suddenly realised what a solemn and even sacred responsibility it must have felt for the angels to be given charge over the safety of those who trust in God and how seriously the angels would have taken it.
In sharp contrast I remembered an incident which took place when I was twelve and my sister Lyn was nine. Our parents took us to visit our Aunt and our eleven month old baby cousin. Like most girls of our age we were desperate to take the baby out for a walk but in 1967 we didn’t have the lightweight strollers that people have now, the ones which are so easy to manoeuvre and have that wonderful invention – the safety harness. Our family all had the traditional Silver Cross pram which was highly coveted but hardly a miracle of modern engineering. See above.
My Auntie was so laid back that she was perfectly happy for us to take the baby out on our own. I could see my Mum looked a little more cautious but off we went.
The journey out was uneventful but on the way back Lyn and I got into an argument about whose turn it was to push the pram and in the fight that ensued we managed to upend the pram and when it touched the ground our poor little cousin slipped slowly off the opened hood and onto the pavement. Because there was no fall, only a slow slide, the baby was completely unharmed but Lyn and I were horrified. We picked the baby up, fixed the pram and went straight back to our Aunt’s house.
When we got back our Dad came outside and happily asked us, “Well, how’s your charge then?” referring of course to the baby.
Well that was it! Lyn and I broke down in tears and confessed the whole story.
Thankfully the baby was completely fine and grew up to be a Professor of Chemical Engineering – no head injuries obviously – but Lyn and I felt awful about how careless we had been with “our charge.”
I am so glad that the Lord’s angels view their care of us as a sacred responsibility and that they have all the ability they need to do their job so well. They’re never going to let us “drop out of our pram” or come to any other harm while we trust God to have them on guard duty for us.
He will give his angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91v11
A couple of weeks ago in our online Zoom Church , Richard was encouraging us to remember our own history with God so that we would have confidence in him for the present and the future. I began to think about this and one incident really stood out.
Not long before Richard and I met I was involved in a road accident which could easily have been fatal. I was driving to work at Broxburn Academy from my home in East Craigs. The roads were icy and because of that I had decided not to use the country route but to go by way of the Gogar roundabout. For years I had begun my journey by declaring Psalm 91, the psalm of God’s protection and this was no different.
As I was driving in the outside lane, I suddenly realised that the traffic ahead of me had come to a halt. I hadn’t seen it in time because of a hidden summit. There was no option but to put on the brake, knowing that in the icy conditions I could easily still crash into the line of cars ahead but there was no space in the inside lane for me to use that as an escape. In that split second of panic I put my foot on the brake and cried out – Jesus! At that very moment I felt my hand and arm being pulled down and the car did a complete u-turn.
I had missed crashing into the line of cars but I was now in the inside lane facing the way I had come, facing towards the oncoming traffic. Heading straight towards me was a single-decker bus. It was so close I could see the driver’s shocked face and I remember it to this day.
Unbelievably the driver was able to pull into a small lay by off the dual carriageway and was able to keep going as if nothing had happened. I was then able to pull into that same lay by and get off the main road. Later I checked and discovered that this was the only lay by on that three mile stretch of road and I had come to a halt right beside it.
A few hours later at work I began to wonder how many angels must have been involved in preventing that accident, not just protecting me but all the people in the other vehicles. It was 8:30 during rush hour and yet after the bus went into the lay by there was no more traffic coming towards me.
Were there angels stopping the oncoming traffic in some way? There were certainly angels helping me and helping the bus driver.
Understandably I have prayed Psalm 91 over my family and myself almost every day of my life. I know if I forget, the Lord will still keep us safe but the best way to receive God’s blessings is to do what it says in v 2, “I will SAY of the Lord, he is my refuge, my God in whom I trust.” Speak God’s promises out loud. If this hasn’t been your practice before, I can’t think of a better time to start.
Intercession and Judgement
Hi everyone. I decided to start this page to encourage the Church and help foster a sense of connectedness. Today, I’m just starting with a question: CAN PRAYER STOP THE CORONOVIRUS?
A few days ago, a Bible verse kept coming into my head: “And Aaron stood between the living and the dead and the plague stopped.” This is the passage from Numbers 16 where the Israelites have angered God so much by their moaning and complaining that a plague has come upon them. Moses tells Aaron his brother who is the High Priest to run and fetch a censer from the altar and run towards the people and as Aaron stands with the censer and incense which represents prayer and intercession before God, the plague stops immediately.
First Peter 2v9 says that we as God’s people are now a royal priesthood, therefore we can come before God like Aaron did on behalf of our whole nation and ask for his mercy and the halting of the Coronovirus “plague.”
Maybe you are concerned that there might be an element of judgement in the Coronovirus outbreak, as there was in the story of Aaron. I’m afraid that comes into the category of what Psalm 139 calls “things too difficult for me to understand” but I do know that God’s mercy is more amazing than we could ever imagine.
Take the story in Genesis 18 of God’s decision whether or not to destroy Sodom. Here it is Abraham who is the intercessor. He asks God whether he will spare the city for the sake of the righteous people in it and God agrees that he will spare the city for the sake of ten. This is remarkable because the people of Sodom were professional sinners. Sadly when not even ten can be found, the city is destroyed but Lot’s family are still allowed to escape.
About a hundred years ago there was a striking example of prayer stopping a plague in a region of South Africa where John G Lake was living and preaching. A local Christian was sitting praying intensely outside one of the plague affected villages when Dr Lake asked him whether he was having any success. The local man said that he felt if he had some help he could get a breakthrough for the village, so Lake joined him in prayer. Soon afterwards Lake saw in a vision a herd of pigs racing away from the village and the two men concluded that this indicated the end of the plague. And it was.
I hope we can all be encouraged by these things as we continue to pray for our families and our country.