Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      Psalm - Chapter 91 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.
    2. Then you will say to the LORD, "You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you."
    3. The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps and deadly diseases.
    4. He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure. His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall.
    5. You won't need to worry about dangers at night or arrows during the day.
    6. And you won't fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon.
    7. You will not be harmed, though thousands fall all around you.
    8. And with your own eyes you will see the punishment of the wicked.
    9. The LORD Most High is your fortress. Run to him for safety,
    10. and no terrible disasters will strike you or your home.
    11. God will command his angels to protect you wherever you go.
    12. They will carry you in their arms, and you won't hurt your feet on the stones.
    13. You will overpower the strongest lions and the most deadly snakes.
    14. The Lord says, "If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe.
    15. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.
    16. You will live a long life and see my saving power."

Psalms - Chapter 91

Entered: February 25, 2009
The theme of psalm 91 is stated outright. It is about the protection that is ours when we live "in the shadow of the Almighty." It starts with a declaration on our part, along with the psalmist, to make God "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Verses 3-13 then tell of the Lord's protection against the plague for those who trust in Him. Does it sound like an insurance policy? If a person is motivated to "dwell in the shadow of the Almighty" out of a desire to receive His protection, I would hope that in time that person would continue to serve the Lord out of a relationship of love. In reality, that is the only way it will work. We cannot serve the Lord for long under an arrangement of convenience if our heart is not in it for what is in our hearts will come out and void the arrangement. Only if we determine to place our trust in God from a heart truly committed to Him will it work and then we receive His blessings and protection, not as a reason for trusting Him, but as a side benefit.

According to the psalmist those whose trust is in the Lord will not be touched by the plague. They will see its affect as others are struck by it, but no harm will come to them. This is because the Lord will send His angels for protection. Some suppose the psalm was written by David at the time the Lord sent a plague because of his disobedience in numbering the people (2 Samuel 24).

Entered: April 01, 2014

Psalms 91 is summarized in verse 1: "The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty." With this thought in mind, the unknown psalmist makes his commitment to the Lord in verse 2," I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'"

The Lord's protection is depicted in two ways. First, the Lord Himself will protect the one whose trust is in Him with His faithfulness as a protective shield around them, much as a bird covers its young with its wing. In other words, God's promise of protection serves as a shield of protection. The second way in which the Lord's protection is depicted is by sending His angels to our aid: "For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways." (91:11)

Examples are given of dangers from which the Lord protects the one who trusts in Him. They include delivery from "the hunter's net," "the terror of the night," "the arrow that flies by day," "the plague that stalks in darkness," "the pestilence that ravages at noon," "the young lion and the serpent." These may be representative of the types of dangers from which the Lord provides protection, or they may suggest the Lord's protection from all dangers. I lean toward the latter.

In the last three verses the psalmist writes as if the Lord is speaking to him, and the Lord said to him, "Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him; I will exalt him because he knows My name." (91:14) Furthermore, the Lord said to him, "When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor. I will satisfy him with a long life and show him My salvation." (91:15-16)

In verse two the psalmist declared his loving devotion to the Lord when he said to Him, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." These words convey more than a mental assent to the concept of trusting the Lord. They speak of a way of life that is lived in God's care. This does not mean that he lives life as he choses and trusts the Lord to protect him as he goes his way, but rather that he follows the Lord's instruction and guidance as the foundation of that protection.