Psalm 91: 9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, 10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
So how does one make the Lord one’s refuge? In my understanding this refers to persons who abide by the will and ways of God including the commandments, ordinances, sacrifices, and so on. Doing these things translates to protection (as described here), provision (wealth), and progeny (abundant offspring). This is the promise of the first covenant of the law. God gave to Moses the 10 commandments which was extrapolated into hundreds of rules and regulations involving all of life. Faithfully following these rules would lead to a good life. Failing to do so would lead to ruin. This arrangement never really worked because of sinful humanity.
The second covenant of grace through Jesus does not promise protection, provision, or progeny in the same ways. To the contrary, many of the disciples of Jesus struggled with hardship, persecution, poverty, even death. Yet by grace they were received into the family of God and given the promise of eternal life. This is an interesting shift in my mind. What concerns me is when Christian leaders effectively promise first covenant outcomes from a second covenant relationship with God through Jesus. This kind of message is often referred to as “prosperity gospel”. It’s very attractive and sells well in a consumer culture, but I’m afraid it’s not biblical. One could even refer to it as a false gospel.
Lord teach us to recognize the truth, rejecting the attractive but deceptive promises of prosperity gospel. Amen.