January 28, 2016
A reader posed the following query:
“On the message from December I have a specific question that’s never made sense. In Psalm 91:7-8, why does it mention a thousand may fall at your side, 10 thousand at your right hand? What significance do the numbers & references have here?”
The numbers are not literal, specific numbers; it is not saying that you will see one thousand people die on your left side and ten thousand die on your right side. The number 1000 is often used in the Bible to mean any large number. Here, because the verse is written to millions of people who will be in hundreds of thousands of different events between them, all around the world, the numbers simply mean a whole lot, really a whole lot. Hundreds to hundreds of thousands or more kind of whole lot. So it’s talking about some pretty big disasters.
It all boils down to the fact that God is encouraging you not to be fearful. The phrase, “at your right hand,” means even if they’re very close to you.It may be that you will be at “ground zero” for some event or disaster, and you will see with your own eyes very, very many people dying “left and right” or all around you. But whatever is killing them—war, famine, pestilence (disease from animals/insects), whatever—it will not harm you, IF you are truly founded on the Rock. God will allow you to see the disaster, to see His judgment on the wicked, but it will not touch you. You will be kept supernaturally safe.
I have a good, real-life example of this level of protection in action:
The first video is less than 2 minutes, and gives essential info in this partial segment from the Discovery Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuRwXFzO1Yo. Notice the buildings to the left destroyed by the shock wave.
The second video is just over 10 minutes, and gives much more explanation. It consists of excerpts from a History Channel documentary:
Quite a few other videos are available on YouTube, including an excellent documentary from Germany. Wikipedia also has an entry about it.
On May 4, 1988, this chemical plant explosion was big news. PEPCON manufactured an explosive component (AP, or ammonium percholate) used as an oxidizer in solid rocket fuel for the space shuttles, which were not then in use because of the Challenger explosion. Almost 10.5 million pounds of this explosive were in storage at the facility, and it all went up in a series of 7 explosions, started by a fire from a welding spark.
The 2 largest explosions registered as 3.0 and 3.5 on the Richter scale, measured 300 or 600 miles away (conflicting reports). The visible shock wave covered a 10-mile radius. 2 killed, 300 injured, almost $100 million in damages ($200M in today’s dollars). A 15-foot-deep crater replaced the storage area, and a huge plume of hungry fire was fed by the broken gas main. Windows were broken up to 15 miles away from the plant. The closest buildings were demolished. Others, about a half-mile away, were knocked up to 2.5 feet off their foundations. Cars were heaved into houses.
Several Fire Department trucks responded to the 911 call placed by one of the two employees killed in the blasts. Ahead of them was the Fire Chief, who saw the huge plume of smoke and was already driving toward the fire before the call for help came in. After passing terrified employees running for their lives in the desert heat, one of the smaller explosions rocked his still-approaching car and pelted him with broken glass from its windows. He paused to reconsider, and just then a badly damaged vehicle approached from the plant and stopped long enough to warn him that there were probably going to be more —and larger— explosions coming.
The Fire Chief turned back, realizing that this thing had him and his force outgunned. Further up the road, he passed the approaching fire trucks, which had also pulled off to the side, deciding that they might be safer to let this thing burn itself out or at least stop exploding. He continued on to the nearest hospital for treatment of his glass cuts, and found literally hundreds of other victims there ahead of him.
My Rock-solid Christian friend lived near the chemical plant, like maybe 1.5 or 2.5 miles away from it. (She doesn’t know the exact distance, but it was close.) She was at work when the explosions happened at lunchtime. As she drove home that night, the scene got more and more serious the closer she got to home.
In her immediate neighborhood, every home had visible cracks in their walls, parked vehicles had been significantly moved, every house and vehicle window was blown out, every blade of grass was broken off at the dirt, every flower was flattened, every sapling or shrub with a trunk size of about 1.5-2 inches or smaller was broken off and flat on the ground. It looked like a steamroller had gone through. She wondered what her house would look like.
And then she finally made it to her own home.
My friend said you could see the damage zone split like a “V” beginning about 10 feet in front of her property line, separating around her property. Her shrubs, flowers, and grass were all fine and perky. None of her windows were broken. Everything inside her home untouched—unlike her neighbors, who had all kinds of broken ceramics, pictures off walls, shelves emptied, etc. No cracks in her walls. Not even any debris blown in her yard from the neighbors’ properties.
And that “V,” that line of demarcation separating normal from disaster? Yeah, well, it came together again on the far side of her property, forming another “V” pointing the other way, with the blast destruction continuing behind her home! Her completely undamaged property was an island in a sea of destruction. And she wasn’t even at home when it happened.PEPCON was insured for a mere $1 million, only 1% of what was needed to pay for the property damage alone. More than 50 law firms and dozens of insurance companies went to war in court against PEPCON. The outcome? A $71 million settlement divided among the attorneys, the victims, and their families. My friend was not one of them.
THAT is Psalm 91 at work! THAT is how well Jesus protects His bride!