Dr. Wayne Williams
FCCCA National Presbyter

Psalm 91-God's Answer to Terror Attacks

In this present age of terror attacks, there is good news from the Word of God. God provides protection for his covenant children.

For many years Grandma, my paternal grandmother, would talk about Psalm 91. She exhorted us to believe the truth of that psalm. Grandma understood that God had provided protection for us, if we would dare to believe his word.

Grandma is in heaven now, far from the current war of terror. But the truth she believed from Psalm 91 is still living and powerful in this present day. Here is Psalm 91 from the NIV.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I will trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling-even the Lord, who is my refuge-then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

He is our refuge. He is our fortress, our place of protection. His angels are charged to protect us from the pestilence, from the plagues, and from all terror. People may fall at our right and at our left, but God has provided protection for us.

In the mid 80's my wife and I experienced an attack of terror. This attack had nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalists. This Satanic attack came through a neighbor who was mentally disturbed.

After the initial attack I remember a friend telling me that God's divine protection was more real than the walls of our home in which we were sitting. God's protection is much more powerful than any biological or chemical weapons. His protection is more real than any suicide bomber.

Yes, we now in live with the reality of possible attacks of terror with the intent to kill and destroy. But the reality of God's word is greater. Dare to believe Psalm 91. Dare to live free of fear and full of faith and love in this present age.

Oh, by the way, we lived close to that mentally disturbed neighbor for several more years. It was a battle, but we chose to resist fear, and even though he manifested dangerous and bizarre behavior at times, he never harmed us in any way. We found that Grandma was right. Psalm 91 is true.

A Devotional Article

Proverbs 1:10: My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.

In this life the goal is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. A committed believer wants to please God, and to become more like him.

To become more like Jesus requires that we choose a path of purity and holiness. God is holy, so we must be holy.

One day I was praying for an entertainer. As I thought about the world of entertainment, I made the observation that the natural pull of the entertainment world is down. The pressure is there to be more worldly, sexier, cruder.

I believe that is a valid observation about the entertainment world, but the more I thought about it, I realized the natural pull of life is downward for all of us. To please God and to walk holy require desire, discipline and determination. We must resist the natural drift of life, which is away from God.

There is something vital that a believer can do to help achieve success in walking the highway of holiness. A believer should be surrounded by other believers who also desire to please God. In this context believers encourage one another in God, and provide strength for everyone in the group. The Word of God instructs us "to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together." In other words don't forget church. In the properly functioning church the believer finds strength for the journey.

Our text gives instruction to a person to prepare him for those who would entice him to sin. Especially among young people, much is said about peer presssure. Peer pressure is something that can affect a person of any age, but is a major factor among young people who are seeking acceptance.

So the writer is saying to his son, when your peers come to you and try to entice you to do evil, don't give in to them. Their way is flawed.

Satan is skilled in presenting sin as appealing. Satan will hype the temporary pleasure of sin, but he won't show you the consequences of sin. It is important to understand that sin never builds character. Sin never helps a person come closer to God. While obedience to God looses the life of God to work in us, sin looses the power of death to work in us.

We moved to Atlanta in 1992 when my children were 10 and 11. God led us to a small church. I had pastored small churches for years, and I wanted to join a big church. But I couldn't deny that the Holy Spirit was leading us to the smaller church.

After a couple of years my children became involved in the youth group of the church. Then the youth group joined together with several other churches to sponsor a youth camp each summer at a state park in Mississippi. Each year this camp provided a spiritual shot in the arm for the participants.

The youth group became like a family for my children. And the young people they met at camp each year became like an extended family to them.

Each year when the youth group returned from the camp, the pastor asked them to lead the Sunday morning service. They lead worship, and then they share about the workings of God in their lives during the week at camp. Over the years this particular service has become the highlight of the church year.

Over these years I began to notice a wonderful truth regarding my children's participation in the youth group and in the summer camp. The youth group provided a degree of peer pressure, but it was positive peer pressure. My children were faithful to the youth group, and God blessed them with friends who wanted to do right. Friends, who exerted a positive pressure to please God, not a negative pressure to do evil

Whether you are young or old, in this life we must deal with the enticement of sin. Wisdom dictates that we join ourselves to a group that will exert positive pressure on us to do the will of God.

Dr. Wayne L. Williams