Psalm 91 is a psalm about the assurance we have in God when we trust in Him.
When we look at this Psalm the first thing we notice is that it doesn’t tell us who wrote it. We can presume all we want or even make many a comparison, but we don’t know exactly who it was that wrote it.
When I look at this Psalm (It is my favorite Psalm) I find that this particular Psalm gives me so much peace, comfort, and shows me of God’s great love for me and for you. We are living in a war zone until the return of the Lord Jesus, and this Psalm is one that can comfort us in the greatest of battles and storms of our life.
The assurance of God’s protection.
Psalm 91:1-2 The protection, comfort, and care of God almighty
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Think about this statement for a moment. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High. Secret place! He has a secret place of His own. Then it tells us that we get to abide there with Him. That is an awesome statement in this Psalm. Those who dwell there get to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. For what purpose? We get to know of His protection, and of His comfort. In other words, we get peace (in my opinion of this Psalm) no matter what is going on around me/us. That is such an awesome statement. God is a dwelling place. We can, and should, take comfort in this Psalm, and abiding in His secret place with Him. God is my security. He is my peace, and I can always trust Him. When I think about this Psalm I know that I can believe Him, that He is there for me, and I take great comfort in it.
Also when you think of the shadow of the Almighty it means that you are very close to Him. He walks with you. If you think on just these two verses you will find He is Most High, and you will find He is Almighty, that is the Shaddai, you will find He is Lord that is Yahweh. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. That is awesome. That means that He is our God! He is my refuge and my fortress. I can trust His protection, and so can you. However, that is a personal choice and no one can make it for you.
As you look around the world today you find so many people who try so hard to cast doubt and lies upon our God. God just isn’t real to them. They don’t know Him personally so they do all they can to testify against Him. They truly have no clue how great is our God!
Psalm 91:3-4 God is my care, my protection, and my comfort. No matter what I see in this world or must go through while here, I can come to this psalm and find peace in Him. Surely, He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
How does God protect us? Beginning with rescue from those who would trap God’s people as the fowler snares birds. What does this mean? God uses metaphors to show us that things in life try to entangle us and compromise us. He wants to rescue us from these things. God uses birds that can be lured away, or I guess He could have used fish that would be lured by the bait. The so-called fowler lures to trap his prey. He does this in many ways. God tells us in this Psalm that it is for each of us personally to stand against the whims of the devil and choose to do right. Right is not in the eye of the beholder, but right is in the word of God when we apply it to our life. How many times in our own life have we been lied to and deceived? It is time to look to the scriptures and find the truth and then apply that truth to our own life.
And from the perilous pestilence: As we look around the world today we see perilous times, plagues, sickness, disease, and so on. God also protects His people in times of plague and disease. However, this doesn’t mean that no sickness, disease, or plague will come close to us. The psalmist was not saying that each and every believer would be delivered from every snare or every pestilence, but that God is in this with us and that when we trust in Him if He doesn’t stop them, He will still walk through it with us. We live in a fallen world and many times bad things still happen to good people, but keep your eyes focused on Him. The enemy is always plotting against us, as Christian, but God is still here to go through life with us no matter what the enemy tosses our way.
“Children of God are not always immune from physical plague and pestilence; but they are ever guarded from destructive spiritual forces as they dwell in the secret place of the Most High.” (Morgan)
He shall cover you with His feathers: This is a metaphor, God is represented as a bird, sheltering young chicks under His wings — as David described in Psalm 61:4.
Have you ever watched a bird with its babies? They take them under their wings to protect them. To us, God is the one who watches over His kids.
His truth shall be your shield (protection, defense, guard) and buckler: The pictures of God’s protection continue with His truth represented as the smaller, often round shield and the larger, often rectangular shield, the buckler. God’s care is like having a warm blanket wrapped around you on a cold day. Since shield and bucker are armor, it is also like having a shield surround you. When God is the armor that surrounds us we no longer need to fear no matter what we are seeing around us.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
You shall not be afraid: When God is our shelter and refuge it is like having a safety net surrounding us. He becomes our shield and it should calm our very soul. It gives strength no matter what is going on around us. If only we would all trust God fully. He really does want to watch over us. This does not mean that the stuff of life we won’t go through, but that when we do go through something God is there with and for us.
Our life on this earth, when we are God’s children, have many blessings that we don’t even see. The thing is how much we are going to suffer needlessly because we don’t trust God to carry us through, and that we fear things that might not even happen. Nothing is out of God’s control or used by God in some good way even later.
Of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day: All different kinds of circumstances are mentioned. It could come by night or by day, in darkness or at noonday. It could come as terror or by arrow, as a pestilence or as destruction. That is a very scary thought, but whatever and whenever something arises know that God is there with you. These things in this world are assaults by the enemy in some form, but to us who love God and trust Him no matter what happens to us God doesn’t leave His kids. There are times in life we go through things.
(Psalm 91:7-8) Assurance for the believer.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
A thousand may fall at your side: Our God is so great that He can protect even the one in ten thousand. Let us strive to be that one in ten thousand. However no matter what happens…trust God to carry you through the circumstance. Death comes to all at some point if Jesus has not come to carry us home first. We all face this at some point. Do we fear death? Death carries us home in whatever way God so has planned. Death is not the end but the beginning for us, when we became a Christian and live as God wants us too. Isn’t death then a gain? However, people don’t always fear death, but fear leaving their loved ones here. The thing is we come into this world alone, and we leave it alone as well. (That does not mean others are not there, but that it is our journey through life. It is the dash between our birth date, and our dying date. That dash in between is where we learn, grow, share, care, and even suffer loss. Our dash is important to God. Some on this earth will face more calamities than others, but spiritually we can live our life victoriously.
See the reward of the wicked: In contrast to the protection of His chosen, God has also appointed a reward for the wicked. God’s people are encouraged to look at this truth and carefully consider it.
The assurance repeated twice over.
(Psalm 91:9-13) Repeating the promise of deliverance and assurance of victory.
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
Because you have made the LORD…your dwelling place: When we trust God in every area of our life He becomes our dwelling place. We can rest in that.
No evil shall befall you: The previous promises of security, protection and safety even in a time of plague. Yet again, this is not deemed as an outright promise for every believer in every circumstance. Why? Because we live in a fallen world until Jesus returns for His bride/the church. Godly people have and will, at times, go through things. But, we can still find peace in Him no matter what circumstance we go through while upon this earth. To those that think that you can go through life with no problems are misguided. For Jesus suffered, and His apostles suffered, and He said in this world we would go through things. God is never sleeping, and He walks through the tough times with us. There is also a difference between afflictions and evil. Keep trusting Jesus to carry you through to the finish line.
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling
Life can be difficult, but we can still feel God around us and in that feel secure. I
For He shall give His angels charge over you: This describes another way God may send His protection and care unto His people — through His angels. Do you ever wonder just how many times in your life that an angel carried you through something or protected you from something? When 9/11 happened there were several people, for whatever reason that didn’t go to work that day, some were stuck in traffic, or something came up. For those, was their angel there to keep them from that horrible day? Maybe some took a different route to work and didn’t even ever realize that they were not going to meet the fate so many did meet. That doesn’t mean God was not with the others who did die that day, and their life was not in vain. People came together in unity for a season. People prayed, and many seeked God and got peace. We don’t have all the details to anything. To every family member, friend, co-worker, and person in any way that has gone through the pain of their loss…God didn’t leave them that day. We don’t live in their shoes who mourned so deeply, but we all in unity felt their pain and wanted justice for all that happened. Very few people who lived at that time can’t recall where they were when they saw or heard of this horrendous act of terror. Never forget that day, but never forget either that as horrible as it was, Christ Jesus knows of our pain, and one day we will see 100% justice to those that caused it no matter who they are. God’s justice is perfect. God gives angels charge to go and do certain things.
“How angels keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the subtler physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us.” (Spurgeon)
For He shall give His angels charge over you:
Know this that the devil always takes God’s word out of context and twists it. He loves to falsely quote God’s word to deceive people. God doesn’t change His mind and whatever God calls sin is still sin. When God disapproves of something and man thinks somehow God changed His mind and it is now okay are listening to the devil, and they are being deceived. Examples: abortion, same sex marriages, transgender, changing their body by adding to or taking away from it, living together and not married, and a million other things.
keep you in all your ways. In a bizarre way, we can be thankful for Satan’s attempt in Matthew 4, because it helps us better understand Psalm 91. God did not give us a definite promise that we would in no way suffer or face circumstances, or loss, or sickness. Again, we live in a fallen world and must navigate this earth until the return of Jesus. Just as the angels were there to help Jesus in His temptation, they are there for us as well, but many times just not in the way the devil suggests.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra: The protection of God to His people extends beyond the general deliverance from harm; it also speaks of a general granting of victory to His people, even over opponents as strong as the young lion and the cobra. Jesus, while upon this earth trusted His Father in heaven. That did not mean that Jesus would not suffer for He came here to take our place upon that cross. Because of what Jesus did we know the end of the Bible and that the devil, at the right time God has chosen, will be forever defeated.
(Psalm 91:14-16) God’s promise to and blessing over the one who loves Him.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
Because he has set his love upon Me: These verses are set in the first person as God speaks promise and blessing over His people. He speaks specifically over those who set their love upon Him. It has been wonderfully noted that the last words of this psalm are not spoken by God’s people, but to God’s people.
He has set his love upon Me:
To set one’s love upon God means to do it by choice. You can’t be forced to love God. No one can accept Jesus into their life for you. Love is a choice. Spending time with God. Do you choose God? Do you listen to God? Do you spend time with God? Do you pray? Love is a choice and when we love someone we want the best for them, we want them know Jesus and we want them to make it to heaven. Do you share the love of Jesus with others? Not all are meant to go out into the world like a Billy Graham, but we can all reach someone.
Our present culture often thinks of love as something that happens to people, not something chosen.
Therefore I will deliver Him: God will protect His beloved in ways that we might not ever know. When we are His and have a relationship with Him He knows us personally and watches over us. We don’t see all the enemies around us, but God sees them. I wonder how many times in my life He has steered me out of harms way? God knows our name, but do we know His?
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: God promises to answer the prayer of the one who loves Him, and the one who genuinely knows Him.
I will be with him. He does answer prayer but not always what we think we want, but it will always be the right answer.
The blessing of His presence: I will be with him in trouble.
The blessing of His protection: I will deliver him.
The blessing of His promotion: I will…honor him.
The blessing of His prosperity: With long life I will satisfy him.
The blessing of His preservation: And show him My salvation.
Our God is amazing. This Psalm is my favorite and has brought me much peace even in the most difficult of times. I know that no matter what I go through upon this earth God is a prayer away and walks my troubles on this earth with me. He fixes some of them, but out of all of them we can learn things to help another with. Trust Him for He loves us is what we should take away from this Psalm.