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9/23/2010

In Insurance We Trust?

Psalm 91

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

I rationalized this for years.  Granted, mortgage holders require homeowner's insurance, and automobile lien holders also require comprehensive auto insurance.  But usually  medications, health insurance, long-term  care insurance or life insurance are personal choices.  And some life insurance can be rationalized off as an investment or tax saving device.  But in my life, I had to admit I worried about loss and risks. I believe Psalms 91 is religious hyperbole and is wonderful source material for making beautiful recitations, sermons and songs. But Psalms 91 definitely does  not say to do all you can do and then trust God. When I was a Christian, I used the excuse that God expects us to do what we can for ourselves, and then he'll take it from there.  But I think an honest appraisal of Psalms 91 shows that its intent is that, if you trust God, he will protect you in all of your ways.


It is interesting, that in the story of Satan tempting Jesus, which I do not believe actually took place, Satan uses Psalms 91 to get him to jump.  Jesus allegedly retorts to Satan not to tempt the Lord God.  My take on this is that, when the letters of the New Testament were collected, collated, screened and finally assembled into a book, this made a nice story to help people deal with Jesus' death.  It was also pretty handy for future believers, because now they can say "Even Jesus' faith was tested, and mine has to be tested also.  I will trust in God and whatever happens to me happens."  So much for Psalms 91.

Psalms 91 is beautiful, I'll admit.  It was my favorite Psalm when I was a Christian.  But it did not work for me.  I know there are many who have something unusual happen in their lives that believe it was God looking out for them.  But there are many more who have trusted God and not seen the fruition of their prayers and seen terrible things happen in their lives.

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