Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. - Psalm 91: 3 The vivid imagery of Psalm 91 continues in verse three, with a picture of the protection we can expect from God. Verse three contains three important points. First is the absoluteness with which the Psalmist speaks about the second two parts. There is no doubt in the voice of the writer. The word “surely” should provide assurance to the believer in what God is saying in this verse. There is no wavering. One of the saddest sights is an uncertain Christian. Uncertain in trial. Uncertain in the face of trouble. Uncertain with fears and doubt. The reality is that you can take the man out of the world but it is harder to take the world out of the man. It is the world that sells uncertainty and fear. It is the world that insists that things are beyond our control. But as believers in Jesus Christ we serve a God that spoke the entire universe into existence and yet we can doubt Him when it comes to our finances, our career or our kids. Something comes against us and instead of reflecting to what we believe in the Word of God, we listen to the whisperings of the enemy about how we should feel. Psalm 91 is a Psalm of certainty. And what does the Psalmist say in verse three that is so sure? Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare. A fowler is a hunter of birds and the snare is the trap he sets for his prey. In this imagery, the fowler is Satan, the enemy to our souls. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” - 1Peter 5:8 (NIV) Peter is warning us about what the enemy seeks to do. He also teaches us how to defeat his plans. Be self-controlled and alert. By being self-controlled, we avoid giving in to the temptation of sin, which the enemy will try to use against us. By being alert to the schemes of the enemy, we can more easily spot them. These tactics assist us in our walk. But unfortunately in modern churchianity the devil is shuffled off into obscurity – which is just what he wants. The less we think about the enemy and his plans the more susceptible we are to them. The devil is not some caricature or cartoon with a pointy tail and pitchfork. While a believer should not be afraid of him because greater is He that is inside of us than he who is in the world, we should also not be ignorant of him. Ignorance leads to unpreparedness and that leads to defeat. Surely God will save us from the traps of the devil but we have a role to play as well. He is able to save us because we are vigilant in Him. The snares the enemy uses against us are the very things that tempt us and draw us away from God. They are pride, anger, lust and jealousy. They are the sin issues that separate us from God and allow the enemy to speak lies into our lives as he accuses us. The popular phrase, “the devil made me do it” is quite overused and inaccurate. The devil cannot make you do anything. All he can do is present you with a choice, and allow you to make it. That is his snare. He knows the snare you will respond best to. He knows just what buttons to push and sometimes we forget our standing with God and the power we have in our life. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. - James 4:7 (NIV) What buttons does the enemy push in you today? What snare does he set before you that you need to resist? Resist the fowler, submit yourself to God, and render powerless the snares set against you. But the part that no one talks about is the fact that all of this is predicated on submitting yourself to God! Remember the context here. It is the life that is lived in the secret place of God that abides under the shadow of the Almighty. It is our submission to God that ensures the schemes and snares of the enemy will not work. The second promise of sure deliverance in verse three refers to the “deadly pestilence.” Pestilence often refers to a lethal disease, but the dictionary also contains this definition: - Something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil. Both definitions are applicable for believers but we need to see into the imagery. The deadly pestilence can certainly be a “lethal disease” but we need to expand our view and realize that sin is the lethal disease to our souls. It is all-encompassing. Jesus Himself said that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Sometimes we marginalize sin, lessen it so that we can feel more comfortable about the things we know we should not do. This was especially true when we were in the world. The world does a good job of convincing us that we are not that bad by comparing ourselves to other humans. The sad thing is that now the worldliness of this futile thinking is invading the church as well. We see new theologies that downplay sin, refuse to address sin, or pretend that the work on the cross means we don’t have to worry about sin anymore. Nonsense! We need to treat sin as the lethal disease it is to our souls. As the deadly pestilence the Psalmist refers to in verse three of Psalm 91. Pestilence can also be more generalized. It can be anything that is considered harmful, destructive or evil. Even as believers we allow harmful, destructive or evil things into our lives. The world infects our being and it is easy to again fall into the snare of the fowler. One cigarette leads to two, one drink leads to three. One sin often leads to another. The effect can be devastating for us as we continue to wrestle with the things of the world that God wants us to turn over to Him. The battle often rages within ourselves as we fight against the pestilence in our lives. But we have assurance beloved! We do not have to walk around in doubt when we serve God Almighty. We just have to submit ourselves to Him. We have to abide in the secret place of His presence. If we were to be honest we would admit that we all want the protection but would prefer to have it without the commitment. It doesn’t work that way. We have the assurances because of who we are in Christ. Because of the relationship we have – He will surely save us! Rev. Anthony.