Psalm 91:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 91:1

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1  

This is a very encouraging verse, for it describes, in figurative language, the idea of sitting with the almighty.  The word translated ‘shelter’, which in the King James version is ‘secret place’ is a place where we are sheltered and protected.  Just as a bomb shelter is a place some have in their homes which few people see, but where we can take shelter in difficult time, so is the Most High a shelter for His people.

We see this is several other verses describing a hiding place for safety.  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold ” Psalm 18:2.  Also, “You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 31:20. And finally, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7.

When we abide in the Most High, we will be under His protection, as a chick is under the protection of a female bird’s wings.  He will shelter us from all our trials.  The psalmist tells the Lord as such when he says, “I will say to the LORD, ‘”My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’” Psalm 91:2.  He says this for God delivers us from the enemies.  “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. “Psalm 91:3-7.  He delivers us from those who attempt to trap us, and from illnesses that could cause death.  He says God will cover us with His pinions, essentially feathers, and here we can seek refuge.  The fact that He is faithful is a shield from what comes after us.  We have no need to fear anything in the night or the day.

Does this picture look familiar?  Remember Jesus just before entering Jerusalem prior to His arrest.  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” Luke 13:34. Jesus wanted to gather the Jews under His feathers; He wanted them to be saved.  He wanted to have them dwell in the shelter of the Most High.  He wanted them to abide in the shadow of the almighty, but they would have nothing to do with Him.

This is something we, as Christians, must focus on and take comfort in.  He is here to protect us, and we should go to Him and take refuge.  He will shelter us, and we will abide in His glorious shadow.  What a wonderful promise.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Revelation 1:8

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8  

This verse in the beginning of the Book of Revelation describes an attribute that is only found with God. “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” This is a powerful statement that describes a being who never was not, and never will not be. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last.  In the Jewish alphabet, the first is Aleph, with Tau the last. Among the Jewish rabbis, it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. Jesus as the beginning/first and end/last of all things is a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternality could apply only to Him.

One of the meanings of Jesus being the “Alpha and Omega” is that He was at the beginning of all things and will be at the close for all eternity. It is equivalent to saying He always existed and always will exist. It was Christ, as the second person of the Trinity, who brought about the creation of all things. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3. This denotes that everything that came into existence is here because the “Word” or “Logos” which is the Greek term meaning Word made it happen. So, all things came into existence by way of the Logos, or Word. We know the Word refers to Christ, for it says later on, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. And in the end, we will live in a new heaven and earth, with Jesus who is the Word, for we will abide in Him and the Father. “As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” 1 john 2:24.

This idea is not just found in the New Testament. “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.” Isaiah 44:6. And again, “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He; I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together.” Isaiah 48:12-13.

The verses in this devotion show that the Christ created everything, therefore He was around before anything else existed. He worked throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament and is still with us now. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. And all this points to eternally, with no end. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10.

In closing, Christ, as the Alpha and Omega, is the first and last in so many ways. He is the author and finisher of our faith. “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. Thus, signifying that He began it and carries it through to completion. He is the totality, the sum and substance of the Scriptures, both of the Law and of the Gospel. He is the fulfilling end of the Law, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. He is found in the first verse of Genesis and in the last verse of Revelation. He is the first and last, the all-in-all of salvation, from the justification before God to the final sanctification of His people. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end. Only God incarnate could make such a statement. Only Jesus Christ is God incarnate.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Job 34:12

Verse of the Day Devotion: Job 34:12 

“Surely, God will not act wickedly, And the Almighty will not pervert justice.” – Job 34:12    

This is an interesting verse which is just as true today as it was back then.  This was said by Elihu, who was not one of the three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite,  who came to be with Job during his troubles.  This verse brings forth a great truth that we need to always remember: God does not do anything evil and He does not act unjustly.

Elihu was terribly angry when it came for his time to speak.  He had listened to Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar speaking to Job, followed by Job’s responses and it appears that Job began to imply that God may have done wrong in all that had happened to him.  Here are Elihu’s comments.  “Let us choose for ourselves what is right; Let us know among ourselves what is good. For Job has said, ‘I am righteous, But God has taken away my right;” Job 34:4-5.  The idea here is that Job declared himself righteous, and God knew he was righteous, but would not declare his innocence.  In this, Elihu seems to claim Job said God perverted justice.  And if He perverted justice, than there could be a claim of wrongdoing.

However, Elihu states in our focus verse, with no question, that God will not act wickedly or pervert justice.  The apostle John puts it this way.  “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.  Just as Elihu stated that God will not act wickedly or pervert justice, John goes even farther by saying that God is light with no darkness at all.  There is not even one small speck of darkness in God.  He is good, He is loving, and He is perfect.  God will not act with evil intentions but will only act in our good.   

We must understand with no question that God will not act in any way that is evil.  Even though we may go through hard times, we must not look at it as God bringing evil upon you.  On the contrary, what we may look at as bad and evil is actually a good, and we must trust in this truth.  As I have quoted in other devotions.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  Everything He does is for our good, or for the good of someone else.  We do not always understand the why, but there is always a good reason. Even with what Job went through, God took that situation and revealed who He was.  “Then Job answered the LORD and said, I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6.

God had a good reason for allowing everything that happened to Him, and Job finally understood that and repented.  Let us also, understand this incredible truth and know that, as Paul said, ‘all things work together for good, for those who love God’. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.