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Read Psalm 91

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.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

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

14 “Because he loves 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.”

Go Deeper

Who God is will protect you: He is faithful. Remember God. The author of this psalm is unknown, but many people presume it is either written by Moses, due to its similar themes to Psalm 90, or that David wrote it, as it is similar to Psalms 27 and 31. Regardless of who the author is, the message of this chapter stays the same: it exists as an encouragement to continue on in faith and a reminder of who our God is.

The chapter opens by emphasizing that those who believe in the Lord will find protection with Him. Shelter, shadow, refuge, and fortress all create this idea of safety found in Christ. It then goes on to explain the trials this protection is from – the fowler’s snare and deadly pestilence – are the devil trying to separate us from who God is. But he is no match for who our God is. It is clearly stated here that our protection is not because we have a weak enemy, but a powerful God. The bold declaration of assurance that our God is our protector comes from having a clear understanding of who God is. He is able to remain confident because he knows who his God is.

So often our problem comes from where we think too little of God and too big of ourselves. When trials come we may lose sight of who God is and instead try to take matters into our own hands. But nearness to the Father expands our vision of who He is. Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to “trust in the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” When we spend time getting to know God – either through learning who Scripture says He is, by praying and seeking a relationship with Him, or by remembering who we have known God to be in the past – we begin to have a full understanding of the powerful protector whom we can call our friend.

Hebrews 10:23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” This psalm is meant to challenge us to expand our view of who our God is and to remain faithful. It’s a reminder for us to not stray because of fear when hardship comes, but to lean on God because we know who He is.

Questions

  1. How does this chapter describe God? Create a list of His names and attributes.
  2. What does it look like for God to be your refuge and for you to dwell in His shelter?
  3. What are fears or trials that you are going through that you can trust in God to help you with?

Did you Know?

In Matthew 4:1-11 when Jesus is tempted in the desert, the devil quotes Psalm 91:11-12 in an attempt to try to trick Jesus to jump. Not only does he take this passage out of context and twist it, but Jesus also in a way provides commentary on the passage saying we are not to test God (Deuteronomy 6:16).

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 91”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    I vividly remember my tiny Grammie sitting in her favorite chair with the family Bible open in her lap reading Scripture. Psalm 91 was one of her favorites that she could quote by heart. Reading it again this morning reminded me of how powerful and merciful God is. He is constantly watching over us; this doesn’t mean we won’t face difficulty, instead, it reminds us of His constant awareness and concern for us. Our security rests in choosing to dwell in right relationship with Him. Isaiah 43:1 says “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”

  2. Kathy Davidson

    The psalmist says to experience God’s refuge all we have to do is: to dwell w/ God, to call on Him, to hold fast to Him in love & to know His name. That’s it. We don’t have to rescue ourselves. We don’t have to be strong. We don’t have to fight the enemy on our own power. Our rescue, our strength, & our power comes from the One whose name we know. He does the saving. All we have to do is trust Him & rest in His presence. This passage is a relief to all of us who want to save ourselves. We cant do it- the enemy is too strong. We will always fail. But the one who can defeat the enemy is so near to us that He is our very own dwelling place. When we make our home in Him, we will experience the relief & joy that comes from a close relationship to Him.

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