With 2020 upon us, I can’t help but start to think about a new year. For me 2019 was a good year, but how can I ensure that 2020 will be a great year?
The passage that resonated with me this morning is in Ps. 91:14-15 which says,
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”
The writer of the Psalm is speaking for God at this point in the passage. God is saying, “because he holds fast to me in love…” What does that mean? One possible understanding is “because to me he is attracted.” In contrast to other deities, this person was attracted to God alone and living for him. Another way to understand this passage is “because he clings to me in love, even ‘hugs’ me.”
What a picture of intimacy with God! This person is described as running to dad and hugging him in the midst of danger. He is living life close to his Father. The result of this choice to “hug” God alone, is that God will protect him.
The second thing that stood out to me and compliments the first observation is the statement, “because he knows my name.” Knowing God’s name is the same as “knowing him.” It is describing a person who has an intimate relationship with God and has chosen to live the path of life that he knows would please God. It is the person who is walking in humble obedience to God’s direction.
The fruit of such a lifestyle will be that God will answer his prayer, protect him and rescue him.
So as you and I begin a New Year what do we need to make sure we do? The central theme is summarized well by Donald Williams and Lloyd Ogilvie when they say,
“If we long for and desire greatly to be intimate with God, He promises to be intimate with us.”
Father, thank you for this description of intimacy that is available to those who choose to hug and cling to you through faith and obedience. Help me in this New Year to make this description a reality of my daily living. May I stay close to you in 2020!
Following Jesus with you,
 John Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 90–150, ed. Tremper Longman III, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 48.