Tag Archives: Shelter

Wild Angels

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone….

(Psalm 91:9-12)

Nobodyʼs leaving this World tonight
The way Iʼm feeling weʼll be alright
So many people going nowhere
The poor forsaken nobody cares

I wonder what youʼre thinking
I donʼt know where you are
Canʼt stop my heart from sinking
Before it gets too far

Wild angels in the sky…
Diamonds fall like rain
Nobody told you why…
Isn’t that a shame?

Wild angels in the sky…
Thunder in the air
Donʼt let it make you cry….
You wonʼt have a prayer

The room is empty, the city sleeps
We pass by gently and shadows creep
But come tomorrow thereʼs no relief
And Iʼm still looking in disbelief

I wonder what youʼre thinking
I donʼt know where you are
Canʼt stop my heart from sinking
Before it gets too far

Something out of nothing
Tell me if Iʼm right
Stranded here forever
Take me home tonight

Maybe let it happen
Keep it in your mind
Maybe thereʼs no answer
Donʼt get left behind

(“Wild Angels” by Tony Clarkin; from the new Magnum album “The Visitation”…)

Psalm 91:11 is the verse featured on my daily calendar this morning. I love thinking about angels – what they are, and what they do…

Since 1988 I have listened a great deal to music by an English band by the (unfortunate some may say) name of Magnum. I have always been intrigued by their lyrics, which with very very few exceptions have all been written by one man. I have no real idea what his motivations are, and he usually refuses to talk about what his songs ‘mean’. But Wild Angels (and other songs) from their new album (released here in America next Tuesday) does nothing to lessen my interest in what he is wanting to get across.

I have no wish to impose my faith on this band, and they have never marketed themselves as “Christian”. I DO, however, know that one of the members at least professes Christian faith. So I don’t think I’m doing too much harm to them by taking these lyrics and examining them through the lens of a Christian worldview….

The first thing some people may ask me is why are you looking at “secular” music lyrics when you have all that you need in the Bible? Well, because they are there, they appeal to me, and I love listening to the music that goes with them! But, as with EVERYTHING else in this life, it is vital that a Christian looks at “secular” things THROUGH the Bible. In other words, Bible first, everything else a distant second.

If you’re like me, though, the things of this world often initially seem more “exciting” than simply opening up the Bible and reading it. I’m afraid I sometimes need a trigger to get me fired up again about digging in to the mind of God as EXCLUSIVELY (yes, I do believe that) revealed in His Word.

For the last few weeks I have been preoccupied with stuff, and haven’t been focused on the right things – or perhaps I haven’t been focused on things in the right way. So Psalm 91:11 suddenly leaped out of the page to me, and my mind (full of lyrics to an album I haven’t even heard yet) took the verse and ran with it…..

The first thing you MUST do when looking at a verse from the Bible is examine its context! Psalm 91:11 is an excellent example of this. Taken by itself (For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go) it could be understood to mean that everyone has this incredible ‘security detail’ with them at all times.

Nope.

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone…. [Psalm 91:9-12]

Looking at a few more verses quickly tells us that this protective force is conditionally, rather than universally, available. Taken in its context, the awesome fact that angels are available and able to protect us wherever we go pales into insignificance compared to the truth revealed in verse 9. These are very, very BIG ‘IFS’ we’re given here! Let’s look at the first one:

IF you make the Lord your refuge…

I have to assume some prior understanding and belief here. For instance, if you don’t believe in God as revealed in the Bible, then you need to dig a lot deeper than we’re going here. Please feel free to contact me if you like – I would be happy to help you dig! For now, we’ll simply say that these 7 words tell us that we have a CHOICE. Without exception, human beings crave a “safe place” from the storms of life. Even the most extrovert, adventurous person realizes that he or she needs a place to retreat to. This verse, of course, is talking of a spiritual refuge perhaps more than it is a physical refuge. And we for sure all need that! So, the Almighty Creator God of the universe and everything in it is available to be your refuge. Your choice.

Then:

IF you make the Most High your shelter….

If the idea of a refuge (safety, but quite possibly uncomfortable) isn’t enough, we are told that God will also SHELTER us. A refuge is a passive idea. It is somewhere we can go, but it doesn’t necessarily convey the idea of our needs being met and our comfort being addressed. When we truly grasp the fact that GOD wants to SHELTER us…..

Wow.

Your choice.

…Evening has come
Flickered in candle light
There must be some
Spirit in here tonight

…And do you know
Someone looks out for you
But they will show
Patience in getting through

The visitation yeah
Will bring you nearer
And give you comfort so
Youʼll see things clearer

No conversation will
Explain the feeling
But when the moment comes
Thereʼs no concealing

(excerpt from “The Visitation” by Tony Clarkin; from the new Magnum album “The Visitation”…)

Again, I must stress that I do not know what the writer of these words is wanting to convey through them. But to me, the message (when placed in context with the other lyrics on the album) is very clear.

In order to make it through this life to ‘the other side’, we need the help and guidance of someone greater, more powerful, more loving, more knowing than we are. When the shadows fall in our life, and we are looking at things through the dim flickering of our own understanding, we will get lost. There MUST be some Spirit in us if we want to understand what is going on! Now, there is only one GOOD Spirit out there, and that is God’s own Spirit. Anything else is counterfeit, evil, and deadly. But if we are filled with God’s Spirit, then we indeed know that Someone is looking out for us! And if we don’t yet have that, let me tell you that God is incredibly patient in His attempts to get through to you.

When we yield our life to God – admitting that there is nothing WE can do to reach Him therefore we have only one choice; allow Him to reach us – we will receive comfort and understanding. We will see things clearer. We will be sheltered in a refuge that can NEVER be breached.

There is nothing I can write that will explain that feeling.

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