A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 91

Psalm 91 deals with God’s protection from everything that could harm us.  This psalm contains 16 verses that encourage us in our faith and challenge us to not fear or fret in spite of the trials that come our way.  Psalm 91 addresses the believer’s promises of safety while abiding in and under the very presence of God Almighty; even if we are taken in death, we are ushered into God’s presence as the ultimate fulfillment of His promise to us; that is, everlasting life with Christ in Heaven.

In this blog we will take a closer look at Psalm 91 in an expository study of this sacred text of scripture.

Psalm 91 was written without a title, and we have no means of ascertaining either the name of its writer or the date of its composition with certainty. Jewish scholars consider that when the author’s name is not mentioned, we may assign the psalm to the last named writer. If this is the case, this would be a psalm of Moses. Many expressions used are similar to those of Moses in Deuteronomy.  The internal evidence, like the peculiar idioms, would point to Moses as the composer. We begin this blog on Psalm 91 with a statement of security for the believer when they are abiding under God’s Almighty’s shadow.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”                 – (vs.1)

If we dwell in the secret place of God, we are hidden in Christ and will abide in Him as we remain under His mighty covering. God is our protector, our shelter, a safe place of refuge in an unsafe world.  If we fail to daily abide under God’s protection, we expose ourselves to attack from the enemy’s many devices and temptations.

Walking in the protection of the Almighty means keeping under God’s covering; we do this by reading God’s Word, praying, and generally clinging to the Lord throughout our day.  ‘Dwelling in the secret place’ infers keeping our focus on the Lord and not on our circumstances. For the believer, it means to be hidden in Christ.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”            – Colossians 3:2-4

  • The concept of being ‘hidden with Christ in God’ infers the safety and security of our salvation and the many benefits we gain from this in the natural realm.  ‘Hidden’ infers securely fashioned with God.

“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”                 – (vs.2)

God has placed a hedge of protection around us. He has erected a fortress to keep us safe from attacks and the result of attacks.  We will be attacked, it’s inferred in the Word, but God is with us, in us, and around us, securing our person as we traverse through difficult times and seasons in our lives. An example of this would be Job himself, one of the most godly men who ever lived:

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”                                               – Job 1:1

Right at the beginning of this book, which many scholars believe is the oldest book in the Bible; we learn four characteristics of Job:

  1. Blameless – which means when someone tried to blame him, as the devil did, it was unwarranted.
  2. Upright – this speaks of his walk and manner of person. Job was upright because he walked with God.
  3. One who feared God – which speaks of Job’s godly fear and reverence of the Lord God Almighty.
  4. One who shunned evil – which speaks of Job’s detest for evil things; things forbidden by God Himself.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”                                                                              – (vs.6-8)

God Himself identifies Job as a ‘one of a kind’ man.

“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.                                                                           – (vs.9,10)

The devil identified several things about Job: God had placed a ‘hedge’ of protection around him, around his household, around his possessions on ‘every side’ and God blessed his work and possessions with increase.

Job was a blessed and protected man because he abided under God’s covering and lived his life in a way that reflected his love for the Lord. The story of Job continues with persecution and attack from the enemy; but the Lord protected Job’s life.  When it was all over (many scholars believe the trial was about 30 days) God richly blessed Job’s life for his faithfulness to the Lord in spite of his temporary affliction. 

The Apostle Paul said it this way: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”                             – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The message for us is clear, even when we are under God’s covering, we are not exempt from the enemy’s attacks, but God is faithful and will sustain us and protect us as we traverse through our trial. If we continue to be faithful to God, He will bless us for it just as He did Job. The stressor point right at the beginning of this passage moves the reader to understand that we are NOT exempt from experiencing the effects of the enemy’s attack on our life; even if we remain under God’s protection.  If this were the case, many believers who have suffered to the death would question God’s purpose in what happened to them. Foxes Book of Martyrs is chalked full of testimonials of Christians who were persecuted, tortured, and killed for their faith in God. The statement to us as believers is that we are to remain under God’s covering and trust Him enough to get us through our trial by standing on His Word, by praying, and by believing God for a victorious outcome in spite of the enemy’s attacks that are waged against us.

The Prophet Isaiah said it this way: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”            – Isaiah 59:19b

One of the tricks of the enemy is to get believers to question God’s Word when something bad happens to them.  The devil attempts to get afflicted and weak believers to denounce their faith because of their misunderstanding of what God is doing or has allowed to happen. The devil tried to do this with Jesus when he tempted the Christ three times; the devil even used a portion of this very psalm to do it.

“Then the devil took Him (Jesus) up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ (Psalm 91:11) and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”                                        – Matthew 4:5-7

The devil will always twist scripture to try and get you to believe a scripture means one thing when it really means something else; he has been doing this since the Garden of Eden.  The devil will try and get you to believe that nothing bad can happen to you as a Christian and that everything in your life should be perfect.  He will say that you should not have any troubles in this life; this is the devil’s lie.

Jesus said it this way, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”                                                                                – John 16:33

Sometimes bad things happen in life because life happens to us as we traverse through this sin-filled world.  God is still with us, covering us, protecting us, and keeping us.  It’s not that He is incapable of totally protecting us; it’s that He uses trials and tribulations to grow our faith and mature us as we learn to totally trust in Him.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”                                                                                     – 1 Peter 4:12,13

Most Christians don’t really understand that the restraining power of the Holy Spirit contained within the body of Christ keeps evil at bay.  The Holy Spirit empowered Church’s is still present in the earth and as long as we are here, we are engaged in spiritual warfare and all that it entails.  The power of the Holy Spirit that is working within us is greater than the forces of darkness wreaking havoc within this world.  Because we’re still here; evil is restrained, until we leave.  The Holy Spirit empowered Church of Jesus Christ is the active restrainer of evil in the earth today; when we’re removed at the Rapture, all heck will break loose.

“And now you know what is restraining, that he (the anti-Christ) may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”                                                                               – 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

Because we are engaged in a spiritual war, sometimes we experience setbacks where we need to be reminded of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.  These setbacks (trials) invoke a kind of spiritual growth that would never occur unless we endure and persevere; keeping our focus on our hope in Christ.                  

Paul said it this way, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”          – Romans 8:24,25

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”          – Romans 8:26 

These groanings are utterances of the Holy Spirit experienced by believers who pray in tongues and travail in intercessory prayer for things needed and fought for.   Praying in tongues is a powerful resource of prayer. As the spiritual battle goes, so goes our experience of both victories and setbacks.  It is a process that we must accept and embrace if we are to fully understand God’s purpose for us in this life.

NEWSFLASH: Your life is NOT supposed to be perfect.  It’s supposed to be real and in the process of being real we need to place our faith and trust in God Almighty who will empower us as we mature in our faith.

“Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.”                    – (vs.3)

The phrase, ‘the snare of the fowler’ infers ‘the traps of a pursuing enemy.’ The phrase, ‘the perilous pestilence’ infers ‘a deadly pestilence or disease.’  Some would ask about the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed over 700,000 Americans in the past 18 months; where was God in all of that?  This verse, like a lot of passages in scripture, is both literal and figurative; it speaks of God literal covering grace and power to protect His people from the onslaught of oppressive forces, both seen and unseen.

However, it also reminds us that in a fallen world bad things still happen to good people, even good Spirit-filled people. God is still faithful and will continue to be with us and for us, protecting us, and seeing us through.  While many good people, even Christians have died in this pandemic and other tragedies, God is faithful, taking them into His loving arms at the moment they pass from this life.  While it is appointed unto men, by God, to die once, that appointment is made by God and He is faithful to receive His own at their appointed time. 

The Apostle Paul said it this way:  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”                                                                                                   – Romans 8:35-39

“…unless the facts of the immediate context indicate otherwise. The literal method of interpretation should be applied to (scripture).”                                  – Tim LaHaye

We can literally believe God’s Word and expect God to protect us, provide for us, and to see us through a given experience or trial; but if or when that doesn’t happen, we must still have the faith and believe that God is working something in us for His greater purpose. Remember Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were told by King Nebuchadnezzar that they were going to be tossed into the fiery furnace for NOT worshipping his idols; their response to him was clear:

“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”                                                                                      – Daniel 3:17,18

The statement in this passage is clear, God can literally deliver us form this fiery furnace and from the king’s evil hand (which by the way, He literally did!); ‘BUT IF NOT, we still have faith in God and we will not bow down to your false idols!’  So it is with every promise in God’s Word; we trust Him to deliver us and heal us and to answer all our prayers. Psalm 91 still applies; God can heal, BUT IF NOT, we will place our faith and trust in Him.  This is not a conditional relationship; we love Jesus because He first loved us, not for His goodies.

Job said it this way: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. 16 He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite could not come before Him.”                                                 – Job 13:15,16

This Christian life is NOT for lightweights, it’s not for pretender Christians (hypocrites). We trust in God and have understand that His ways are above our ways. His thoughts are above our thoughts, and His promises in His Word are for us just as much as they are for all believers living elsewhere and ‘else when.’

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”                                                                 – (vs.4)

Does God Almighty really have wings and feathers like a bird?  Most likely not, since we are created in God’s image and we don’t have wings and feathers.  However, the concept of covering is made clear in the language of the psalmist, that God Almighty is covering and protecting us. Suffering and death is not an uncommon thing for the NT church and it certainly wasn’t uncommon for the OT Jews either. It’s as if persecution is part of the package if you want to live for the Lord in this life.  No suffering is without purpose.

Paul said it this way: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”                                       – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

The faith of a believer might be shaken in hard times, so we look at the claims of scripture, including Psalm 91, in context to the reality of our plight. Does God intervene on our behalf because of the claims of Psalm 91? Absolutely! More often than we probably even could know. Do bad things still happen to good people?  Yes they do. Even Spirit filled pastors and believers experience trials at times. Does this discredit the claims of God’s divine protection over our lives? No it doesn’t. God is till God. His sovereignty and grace prevail.

Paul said it this way: “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”                                                 – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

For the Apostle Paul, God allowed a demonic spirit to buffet (harass) him.  He prayed three times for God to take this evil spirit from him and to leave him alone. God’s response was, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’ How many believers have ever prayed to God to keep the devil off their back so they can live their life with some peace and quiet? It doesn’t always happen. God uses the afflictions of this world to temper our faith and to draw near to the Lord; otherwise we would just walk in our own insolence and laziness.  We’re human, we want a peaceful road with no problems. We want smooth sailing and creature comforts. We want total security and relational bliss.  However, God says to us, not on your life or in this life – My grace is sufficient for you just as much as it was for the Apostle Paul.

Jesus said it this way: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”                                                                – John 16:33

We can have peace, but the peace we have can only be found in the Prince of Peace; the only One who can provide true peace. Believers in Jesus have this inner peace that comes from Him; even in the midst of a storm.

“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.”                                        – (vs.5,6)

What this passage tells us is that ‘terror by night’ will sometimes occur. Arrows (missiles) will sometimes fly by day. Pestilence (like Covid-19) will sometimes manifest in darkness. Destruction will sometimes lay waste at high noon (like on 911 in NYC, WADC and Shanksville, PN). Bad things will sometimes happen to good people.  They will sometimes happen to us or someone we know. Even though we are Christians who are abiding under God’s covering, bad things can sometimes still happen to us; but God is still with us, covering us and keeping us secure under His mighty hand. Psalm 91 is not the ‘cure-all’ passage that prevents any ill will from happening, but it (and many other passages of scripture) does provide another layer of faith building promises that cover us as we walk in step with Jesus. Someone might ask, ‘Where was God’s protection when bad things happen?’ The answer, God is there and is working in and through the situation, showing Himself strong in spite of the crisis or tragedy. When we abide under the shadow of the Almighty God, He doesn’t forsake us in the trial, he goes through it with us.  The truth is, God has prevented much more calamity that we could have ever endured that we have never even seen.  He protects us even when we don’t see it.  God is always watching over us and as we place our trust in Him, He will show Himself strong in every situation. 

For the believer, if we are killed an accident or a tragedy, we are immediately ushered into God’s very presence. 

“For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”                          – 2 Corinthians 5:7,8

It’s not that God was not with us in our unexpected ending; rather, it was our appointed time to be with Jesus.

“…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”         – Hebrews 9:27

Who sets that appointment? God does, the same God whom we abide under. This causes us to ask some hard questions of the Lord: Why God?  Why this person?  They were a good person. Why now?  They have small children and people who need them. How could You allow this to happen?  I am reminded of a middle-aged man in East San Diego County, who a few years ago, was engaged to be married. He stopped to help a stranded motorist in the pouring rain on a bridge on I-8 that extended over a deep chasm. Another car careened into the stranded car and this man, in an effort to get out of the way, jumped over the rails of the bridge, thinking he would be safe, only to experience a 15 second drop to his death.  What did he think on the way down?  Did he call out to God? Was he angry or disappointed? Did he think about his fiancé?  Did he say, why God, why now?    

The Prophet Isaiah sums it up this way: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”       – Isaiah 55:8,9

But it still takes faith to believe that God Almighty who created us and loves us also knows what’s best for us.  He doesn’t design tragedy around us; rather, life happens and God goes through it with us and He promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

God told Moses in the wilderness: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”                                             – Deuteronomy 31:6

Back to Psalm 91,

“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”                             – (vs. 8)

Later God told Joshua… “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”                                                                        – Joshua 1:5

Later in the NT God speaks to us all as He did in the OT through the writer of Hebrews:

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”                        – Hebrews 13:5

This same God who never leaves us or forsakes us is the same God who promises, like the Apostle Paul said… “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”                                                                                                     – Romans 8:35-39

As men, we need to purpose in our life that our faith in God is NOT going to be shaken if we are that someone who suffers on the battlefield of this life; even though we are still under God’s protection.  My faith is strengthened each day because God Almighty has kept me and my family these many years because we have abided under His sacred covering.  I thank God for the many years of God’s faithfulness and I have faith for many more years of His faithfulness to come, should He tarry.

“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.” -(vs.7,8)

This passage is speaking directly about the ‘reward’ of the unbeliever (‘the wicked’).  As Christians we have a tendency to look at the ‘reward of the wicked’ and feel vulnerable, assuming that what happened to them could or will also happen to us. This is where the promise of this psalm really applies. God reminds us that we can trust Him regardless of the fact that others fall around us.  Just because something bad happens to someone else doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen to you also.

Flashback to the early morning hours at Normandy Beach in northern France on June 6, 1944.  Boat loads of US and Allied soldiers were being launched into the fray of German machine gun fire, land mines, and heavy artillery.  I am sure more than one of those soldiers believed and confessed Psalm 91 while they were running on to the beach toward the cover of the cliffs. I am sure many of them, as they were running were seeing men all around them being cut down.  I am sure that some of those soldiers were Psalm 91 confessing Christian soldiers who were cut down in the process of their run to cover.  When a Christian solider who is fighting for freedom, yet who dies on the battlefield of war, they will immediately be ushered into God presence.  Their race was over, right then, right there.  On that fateful day in June, 1944 the Christian soldiers who ran the gauntlet and actually made it to the cliffs, Psalm 91 became their reality, a literal and supernatural protection from God promised to them in this passage of scripture.  Their survival meant that our way of life was preserved, not just for America, but for Europe as well. Why could one Christian soldier be cut down and another make it?  Does this apply to me or not?  The answer here is that God is faithful and promises to usher us home when our life ends and our appointment for eternity begins.  This may happen by machine gun fire, terrorist attacks, illness, car accident, or slipping on a banana peel.  For the believer, when our number is up, it’s up and we go home; plain and simple, but too many believers still want to hang on.  Psalm 91 applies to each of us because God’s Word applies to each of us.  God’s truth is just as real for us today as it was when the Spirit-filled scribe wrote these very words of the Lord.

As far as the question, why does God miraculously intervene in one life or situation, but seeming not in another?  The truth, God is intervening; He’s just doing it in His way and not ours. For the non-believer who is cut down in battle, Psalm 91 also became their reality, except they were not ushered into God’s presence from that bloody beach; they went straight to Hell. For the non-believing soldiers who made it to the cliffs, their journey would continue, perhaps long enough for them to eventually receive Christ later in life. No matter how you unpack Psalm 91, the benefits it offers the believer provide a surest perspective of hope in uncertainty. We cannot and must not remove the sacred truth that God is still sovereign over every situation and circumstance. The truth is, God was there on the beaches of Normandy and Omaha in June, 1944. He was in the twin towers and at the Pentagon on 911. He is with us now, watching over us and protecting us from a fallen government, faltering economy, and a desperately vulnerable nation. Our confession of faith in this and other passages in God’s Word are part of our Christian life experience.  Someday when we die or are taken in the Rapture; our life journey will end and we will arrive in our heavenly home, not unscathed, but definitely covered by God’s grace and assurance that when we see Jesus, we will be like Him; perfect.

God gives us His Word, His promises and His covering… “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;”                                           – (vs.9,10)

Sometimes evil does befall a believer and plagues do consume them in life.  The inference here is that God is covering and protecting us and as a result, we are protected and covered.  Even when bad thing happens to us, God is still with us, working in us to cause His ultimate outcome to work together for our good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”                                            – Romans 8:28

God gives us the promise of His Word and the resources of His angels who are constantly working on our behalf.  The Psalmist goes on to proclaim…

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”                      – (vs.11,12)

I am convinced that God’s holy angels are constantly working on our behalf at such a frequent rate that if we really knew how often we were spared from a certain calamity by their intervention, we would fully understand this promise for us as believers who are abiding under God’s Almighty covering.  No doubt, some of need the benefit of their intervention more than others.

This passage infers both spiritual and physical dominion over other species of animals and reptiles, both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm because the Lord Himself is covering us.

Story: Of a missionary team who picked up a couple of local tribesmen in their jeep while on the Savanah, while heading to a small village in Africa. About a quarter mile down the road after picking them up, the team came upon a pack of female lionesses who were also walking on that same road in the opposite direction.

The tribesmen were so grateful because they told the team leader that had they not come and picked them up when they did, they would have been killed and eaten by the lions a few minutes later. We have dominion over animals in the natural realm. Our expertise in hunting, fashioning weapons, or strategy gives us an advantage that speaks to this fact. However, up against them in the wild, we’re lunch.

“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.”                                                       – (vs.14)

The ‘he’ in this passage is the one who is abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. God is telling him (us) that because we love the Lord, God will deliver us, establish us, and see us through because we have known (are in relationship with) the Lord’s 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.”      – (vs.15)

This psalm reminds us that we will get in trouble from time to time, but God will be with us and He will deliver us and honor us.

“With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”            – (vs.16)

When I think of this passage I think of the many elderly saints who have passed on late in their life or who are elderly and still enjoying what’s left of their life on this side of the veil. These people who have been faithful to the Lord for decades are now reaping the benefits of their labors.  God has graced them with a long, healthy life. The phrase, ‘with long life I will satisfy him’ infers not just a long life, but a good life, inferring God’s blessings.  The Lord wants us to enjoy our lives and even though bad things do happen in life from time to time, God is still with us; empowering us, growing us, and keeping us safe under His mighty shadow.

This psalm is a prayer that contains God’s promise to us that He hears us and will answer our prayer. A promise that He is with us in this life and will rescue us and even honor us when we are in a place of duress. Psalm 91 exclaims to the reader that we need to totally trust in the Lord and call upon His name. The word ‘trust’ means ‘to cling’ to God like never before, especially in times and seasons of trouble. Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a difficult season or trial that you draw closer to the Lord than when things are relatively normal?

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”- Matthew 5:3  

He is inferring that if you are ‘poor in spirit’ than you are trusting in the Lord. Being ‘poor’ in anything infers being in need or dependent upon someone or something; in our case, that’s God! While it is true that God will sometimes allow us to fall in a given situation as a result of our own fleshly choices, He does this to break us in order to bring us into a fuller, richer, and more dependent experience with Him.  As a result, our relationship with the Lord is much closer, more real, and working together for our good in the end.

What about a seemingly untimely death; either for an unborn baby, an infant, a child, or young person who is cut down early in life?  Our what about an elderly person who may have had a few more years left on their life.

“The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.”             – Isaiah 57:1,2

Every unborn baby, regardless of how it died, is a life in heaven that will live throughout eternity. There are a lot of broken hearted mothers who have lost unborn babies, either by miscarriage, accident, or by abortion who, if the mother dies in Christ, will one day be reunited with their baby that they never knew in this life. They will spend eternity with their baby, as an mature person, because of God’s great love. This is God fulfillment and promise to us to love and restore both lives, the mother and her baby. This also applies for infants, toddlers, and young children who have been tragically cut down in life for whatever reason. When a youth, young adult, adult, middle aged, or even elderly person pass before their time, it’s a sad thing.  What we view as before their time; God says, it was there time. We are not guaranteed a rich, full life.  We may only get a few days or years, God only knows. When I am asked the question, ‘why did this happen?’ I often rely on this passage in Isaiah to remind me that God sees the bigger picture.  Psalm 91 doesn’t guarantee us a perfect life; it just empowers us in this life and it promises us that God loves us will always be with us through it all.

David said it best: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.”                  – Psalm 131

Although this Psalm has been confessed and quoted many times over by believing Christians who are distraught over various life issues; it has also brought much comfort to believers who have placed their trust in the Lord and have called upon His name for their deliverance and empowerment. I want to encourage you in your faith man of God to be strong in the Lord and to keep your eyes on the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; we’re almost home.  Keep the faith, stay the course, get your house in order, and keep her steady as she goes!

Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Central Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: