He watches over you
The LORD watches over you —
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. Psalm 121:5-6 NIV
We so often hear it said that the Lord watches over His people. The promise is real. He watches over us with loving kindness every moment of the day. What He did for His people in times past, He does for His people today. He acts on their behalf to protect them, to deliver them, to bring them through difficult times.
I was reminded of this by a newspaper article from Sunday November 21st 2004. The southern Israeli resort town of Eilat was inundated with millions of African locusts that devoured every blade of grass they could find. The full extent of the threat became evident when Israeli radar tracked a much larger swarm of locusts measuring about 10 kilometers wide, making its way at high altitude across the Sinai desert and the Red Sea towards the Gaza Strip and Israel. With the entire potato crop in the Negev region and hundreds of thousands of date palms at risk, people prepared to confront this first deadly attack of locust in half a century. They were expecting the worst.
Miraculously, however, most of the locusts were dead by Tuesday! What happened? How was this plague of biblical proportions averted? Listen to this: suddenly, a massive Siberian cold front that brought with it ferocious winds, hail and even some snow swept in. Most of the locusts were wiped out and those that survived were “literally blown back out across the Red Sea by southerly winds.”
When I read the article, I could not help thinking about this passage from Exodus 10:18-19 “Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.”
I have met many people, Christians no less, who think that all those accounts of the way the Lord delivered His people from Egypt are just fables. I remember one Christian trying to explain away the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea by quoting some article that suggested that the Red Sea at that time was really only a marsh or was very shallow in places. If that’s the case, an even bigger miracle must have taken place: the entire army of Pharaoh drowned in shallow water!
The truth is that God intervened supernaturally to save His people and He still moves. He still sends the east wind and the south wind to drive away the locusts. He still spreads His hand over His people to keep them from plague and pestilence. He is still a shield around them. As the Psalmist declared: “The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:7-8)
Plague and pestilence can come in many ways today. Locusts, after all, symbolized loss and destruction. We have an enemy that is always seeking to kill, steal and destroy but we also have a God who watches over us. He will command even the winds to rescue us and deliver us from every plague and pestilence that comes against us. He will rebuke the devourer for our sake (Malachi 3:11).
Whatever you are going through today, lift up your eyes to heaven and know that God of Israel still watches over you to deliver you.