Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High will remain in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “⌊You are⌋ my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
He is the one who will rescue you from hunters’ traps and from deadly plagues. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. His truth is your shield and armor. [vss 1-4]
You do not need to fear terrors of the night, arrows that fly during the day, plagues that roam the dark, epidemics that strike at noon.
They will not come near you, even though a thousand may fall dead beside you or ten thousand at your right side. You only have to look with your eyes to see the punishment of wicked people. [vss 5-8]
You, O Lord, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your home. No harm will come to you. No sickness will come near your house.
He will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways. They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock. You will step on lions and cobras. You will trample young lions and snakes. [vss 9-13]
Because you love me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name.
When you call to me, I will answer you. I will be with you when you are in trouble. I will save you and honor you. I will satisfy you with a long life. I will show you how I will save you. [vss 14-16]
(Psalms 91:1-16 GW)
Yesterday was somewhat of an African excursion for me. In the morning, I met with a young woman who spent seven months in the DR Congo. It's a nation mired in poverty and turmoil, not a comfortable place for a young white woman raised along the beaches of Southern California.
She's committed to going back there to work with children and young people, especially victims of rape and sexual abuse. I was impressed with the clarity of her vision and strength of her faith.
That same evening, my wife and I saw the film "Facing Darkness," A powerful and well-produced movie. It documents the Ebola outbreak and epidemic of 2014 in Liberia.
I was struck by the power of this incurable virus and the terror it struck in people's hearts. But I was more impressed by the courage and commitment of the missionary and national staff and their faith, as they cared for the people of Liberia and fought this powerful epidemic.
What does all this have to do with this psalm? Read on.
This is a favorite psalm of many and I've heard the promises of this psalm quoted many times yet out of context. These promises are based on God's mercy, grace, and faithfulness, not to mention His sovereignty.
But as with other biblical promises, they are conditional. The assurance of God's protection is contingent upon a person trusting in God. The first two verses make this very clear.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV)
Towards the end of the psalm, more clarity is given—
Because you love me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name. (vs 14)
The young woman who plans to return to Africa soon has a sober understanding of the danger she faces. Her confidence is in God who is her refuge and strength. He is her Lord.
The medical and support staff, who faced the overwhelming flood of Ebola victims and the hysteria of a fearful nation, trusted in God and His faithfulness as their shield and armor. Their faith strengthened and became more personal because of what they endured.
Is the Lord Almighty your Lord?
Do you trust in Him more than anything or anyone else?
God is faithful and His promises are true for those who trust in Him personally and remain under His powerful and gracious shadow.
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!