Posted by: missionventureministries | September 11, 2011


This is a Psalm that speaks directly to every person’s fears and need for protection and security. It is clear that God’s protection of those who draw near to Him was primarily on the author’s mind. In verses 1 and 2, we find a description of the ultimate place for shelter and refuge. 

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

In the first verse, the visual picture painted is of one being sheltered in the safest place of God, His shadow and thus protected by His Presence. We must focus on the one who “dwells” or lives in God’s secret place will be protected by His Almighty Presence. It is not the one who claims to dwell in God’s presence that will be protected, but the one who truly lives there. The clear teaching in all this is that for believers to appropriate any of God’s promises they must live in unbroken fellowship with God, never acting in self-will but doing only what God directs in His word. They must be totally consecrated to the service of God and completely yielded to the authority of Jesus. 

Verse two tells us that we need to trust and acknowledge Him as our refuge and fortress. We are not to trust in our own strength and intellect to save us from danger, and need to recognize where our real protection lies. This entails faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” 

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

Here the Psalmist wants to makes us aware that God will save us from being entrapped or entangled by an enemy, seen or unseen (Satan and his fallen angels). God will also save us from the “deadly pestilence”. Pestilence refers to deadly plagues, dreaded disease, epidemics, etc. We can be assured that when we live in God’s secret place, He will deliver us from our enemies, visible or invisible. 

4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

God covers and shelters those who are His. Here again the author uses figurative language to describe God’s love, faithfulness and divine protection for those who trust in Him. 

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

In these verses the writer shifts his focus to the beneficiary. The believer will be without fear because he is living in the internal sanctuary of the Omnipotent God. Today’s terror may be the unknown threat of the terrorist or the weapons of destruction they unleash. Whatever the threat, they cannot penetrate the defense of the Almighty. Pestilence and plagues in today’s definition could be such as anthrax, AIDS, Ebola, Small Pox and others. However in verse 7 we see that though thousands may fall at our side, those in God’s care will remain untouched. 

 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 

The second result is that we will only observe God’s punishment of the wicked, not experience it. We are to be deeply grateful for the grace of God and His indescribable mercy. 

What we learn from Psalm 91:3-8 is that God protects those who are His. He will not allow any danger or threat into their lives except those filtered through His sovereign hand. But concerning the ultimate disease of sin, those who believe are eternally delivered from its inevitable end. There is no death in the secret place of the Most High. Yes, there are deadly threats confronting us daily. But these can only destroy our mortal bodies. Physical death for the believer is simply an open door to life everlasting in the Presence of God. 

9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

God makes an incredible promise in verses 9 and 10. It starts with a condition and ends with a result. In a conditional statement, we must always fulfill the condition before we can claim the promise. If we are not experiencing God’s divine protection, we must always ask, “Am I living my life in God’s Presence and in light of His Nature and Attributes?” Then, having fulfilled the condition, we can expect to experience the promise. 

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

In these verses God reveals the method by which He protects His children. These are specific angels God puts in charge to watch over all the ways of those who choose to live within His shelter and their involvement is personal as lifting you up in their hand. 

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

Here we see a picture of the victory that is ours when we stand in the shadow of our Heavenly Father. By God’s Power, we will be able to “tread” and “trample” upon the lion and cobra … the “great lion” and the “serpent”. God is speaking here about our spiritual adversary, Satan, who is described in Scripture as both a lion and a serpent. When you stand close to God, His might stands behind you and not even Satan will be able to defeat you. 

14 “Because heloves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my    name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

In the last three verses, God Himself pronounces eight blessings for those who have consecrated themselves to His service. Love in verse14 in this context means delight in, cling to. This teaches that God has only obligated Himself to deliver those who truly delight in Him from all their troubles, and He will honor them. God will satisfy those who qualify for the blessings with long life and show him My salvation. The full sight of divine grace shall be the believers closing vision. 

It should be noted that the conditions of salvation are the same in both the Old and New Testaments. God has laid down the conditions and they must be complied with in order to be saved. Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:21-23




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