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July 2020 Message

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

(Psalm 91:2-4)

Greetings to you in Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Amen.

We know the familiar story of the three little pigs. Two lazy little pigs build houses out of straw and sticks. When the wolf comes along with his threat to huff and puff and blow the houses down, that is exactly what happens. The poorly crafted homes comes crashing down. Only the third home, constructed of sturdy bricks by the more industrious third pig is able to withstand the huffing and puffing of the wolf. In line with the wisdom demonstrated by at least one little pig, many great castles and fortresses were built out of stone. Constructed centuries ago, many such strongholds are still standing, having withstood long years of struggle and bombardment far more deadly than a wolf’s huffing and puffing.

Psalm 91 celebrates a fortress of immense and enduring strength, a refuge for us in every time of need. Nothing can bring it down. This stronghold is not built of brick or stone, or even of straw and sticks. We live in a fortress of feathers. To human reason, such a fortress does not appear to be very substantial. But our sturdy shelter is the God in whom we trust. He covers us “with His pinions” and hides us “under His wings.” He is a place to hide when fears and doubts threaten to overcome us, when we are threatened by “the snare of the fowler,” “deadly pestilence,” and every other trick and trap of the devil.

God is our fortress, a stronghold that no foe can conquer. We are safe because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for a time, stepped purposefully into the snares of His enemies. For the sake of our salvation, Jesus allowed Himself to be overcome by the powers of darkness. In helpless weakness He was nailed to a cross, where He suffered the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins. His body was sealed in a tomb, a stronghold of stone guarded by soldiers. Then, on the first Easter morning, the stone door of that fortress of death was rolled back to reveal an empty tomb. Jesus had risen from the dead! His victory over sin, death, and Satan is our victory, and when our Lord returns, the stronghold of death will not be able to hold us in. We will be raised from death as our Savior was raised!

Until that great day, we have an unfailing shelter. The world may not think that our God is a strong refuge. They consider us foolish to trust in Him to shelter us. But we know better, and we rejoice within the sure and certain safety of our feathered fortress:

“You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy”

Psalm 63:7b

Prayer: Heavenly Father, shelter us with Your love. Be our refuge in every time of trouble and keep us safe from the snares of the devil. Hear our prayer in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Your servant and fellow brother in Christ,
Pastor Bacic
*Adapted from the devotion by Lutheran Hour Ministries for June 15, 2020 “A Refuge and Fortress”. Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM).