When I took the dog out yesterday morning, I stood for a while near the little fig tree I planted last summer and simply enjoyed the quiet and briskness in the air. That solace was suddenly broken though, by the shrill call of an unseen raven perched somewhere in the trees that line two sides of our backyard. Then an answering call came through the air from another direction. I stood still for a few more moments but finally surrendered to the thought of the warm house as the thermometer on our deck read about 40 degrees and I was only wearing my shorts and a light t-shirt!
Upon my retreat into our home, I proceeded to feed the dog and pour myself a nice hot cup of coffee. Then I made myself comfortable at the dining room table and dug into my morning Bible study time. I was happily surprised when I turned to Psalm 91 and personalized verses fourteen and fifteen saying:
“Because you love me Jim and Piper,
I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name.
When you call to me, I will answer you.
I will be with you when you are in trouble.
I will save you and honor you.” (God’s Word ©)
Those two verses just seem to smooth off any of the rough edges of some of the difficult emotions that I had been dealing with. Turning my attention to His love and His promise to rescue and protect me and mine was like the fragrance and first taste of that delicious hot, fresh brewed coffee after coming in from the cool temperatures outside.
As is one of my regular habits when studying the Word, I began to look up the original meanings of some of the key words in these verses. The word translated “love” in most Bibles is not the typical word the Old and New Testament writers used. According to Strong’s it is used here to describe one who “joins with or delights in something or someone.” The Greek translation uses the word “hoped” which Strong’s more accurately defines as “to expect or confide in.” So the writer of this Psalm was trying to convey the subject of these verses as the one who has placed their expectation or confidence in the Lord!
But wait, it gets better and even connects with my earlier-in-the-morning experience… The next verse speaks of our “call” to the Lord. And guess what that “call” is likened to… you’re right… The Greek translation of this verse describes it as the loud, “distinctive croak of a raven!” Isn’t it something how Papa God can take a personal event in the backyard of 410 Sherman Road in the countryside two miles south of the town of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, USA in 2017 and connect it to a verse in the Bible written a few thousand years ago? AMAZING!
Then He capped it off for me when I discovered that the word “know” a little further into that same verse, actually describes an individual who has a very close, intimate, experiential and personal knowing of Papa God… Kind of like the relationship I have with my wife Piper (and hopefully all married couples do as well…)!
So this verse isn’t just talking about someone who “calls” out to God in times of need, but one who is SO close to Him that he can loudly shout out with joyful expectancy and confidence in faith, with the voice of delight, love and a oneness that only two people in an ever-increasing intimate relationship can understand… And like those two birds somewhere in the forest next to our home, talk back and forth to each other until the conversation is satisfied by both parties involved!
Isn’t God something! I love it when He confirms His love, His compassion and His faithfulness to me… wouldn’t you agree when it comes to your communications with Him? Praise The Lord!
Have a great rest of the week and I would encourage you to keep a sensitive ear out to the voice of the Lord throughout your busy day… and as you do… keep asking yourself… “What ‘call’ am I expecting to send and receive from Papa God today?”