EVIL – CAN IT BEFALL THE LORD’S PEOPLE?
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Psalm 91: 10 reads, “There shall no evil befall thee.” Does this passage mean that no evil will befall the Lord’s consecrated people?
Answer: This verse clearly does not refer to earthly evils. When we look at the experiences of Jesus, Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus and every other one of God’s faithful people, we recognize that they all suffered various earthly evils. This verse must refer to spiritual evils. If we have consecrated our lives to God and are seeking to carry out our consecration vows to the best of our ability, we may have full confidence that no spiritual evil can befall us. Things may interfere with our earthly interests, comfort or course of affairs; we may lose the esteem of our friends and neighbors, but no outside influence can interfere with our real interests, our spiritual interests, nor hinder our attaining to the Kingdom which the Lord has promised to His faithful ones. Let us remember that the Lord is not working with our fallen flesh, but with the new heart, mind and will which we received as a result of our consecration to Him. God protects His own from spiritual evils, and makes all things work together for our good (Romans 8: 28).
Our Lord Himself, through suffering, learned obedience to the perfect will of God (Hebrews 5: 8); and God permitted it to be so, because such proving was necessary, both for the development and manifestation of that perfection of character which would be worthy of the high exaltation to which He was called. Our trials, sufferings and persecutions are also permitted because the Lord sees that they are necessary for the development of our new hearts, minds and wills, and are preparing us for our place in His coming Kingdom. Character cannot be developed wholly without trial. It is like a plant; at first it is very tender; it needs an abundance of the sunshine of God’s love; frequent watering with the showers of His grace; much cultivating through the applied knowledge of His character, as a foundation for faith and an inspiration to obedience. Then, when thus developed under these favorable conditions, it is ready for the pruning hand of discipline, and is able to endure some hardness. And little by little, as strength of character is developed, the tests applied to it serve only to develop more strength, more beauty, more grace. Only our loss of confidence in the Lord and our unfaithfulness to Him could separate us from His love and His promises.