Reflections Of The Psalms – Psalms 91

Posted on: October 1st, 2023

If one word can describe this psalm, that word is PROTECTION. People often ask, “Why should I become a Christian? How will it help me NOW?” One answer is that God provides protection for those who are joined to Him. Life is infinite variety. Some of what each person experiences is good and beautiful. However, there are also times of trials and hardship. When life’s problems or trials loom bigger and bigger, a person often feels alone and inadequate in dealing with such things.
Every person has experienced such feelings, but Psalm 91 is a beautiful assurance that God is able to care for His children daily. The psalmist wrote in verses 1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’” For the Christian, there should be a great sense of security and steadiness, because the power of God is working within each Christian. No matter what happens in this life, the REAL life and destiny of God’s children is safe.
Satan tries to trap a person through lies and deceit. The Psalmist described the Devil as one who traps birds in verse 2, “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare…” A bird can only be trapped when it is lured from the sky to the ground by some bait that “looks” inviting. In the same way, the Devil displays his bait and beckons to the naive, “Come down here. Leave your spiritual life with God for just a moment and sample my delights.” Tragically, if a person gives in to the Devil’s lies and the temptation of sin, the trap will suddenly spring shut and the person is caught.
That is the promise that God the Father offers to His children. When the cry for help is made, the Lord will provide a way of escape. Paul wrote that no Christian is tempted beyond what he can bear. James reminded Christians that trials lead to patience and maturity.
When a Christian truly submits to God’s direction, God will guide that Christian to the right decision. The Lord does not force a person to do the right thing. The power to choose still rests with each person; but if a Christian will remain receptive to the Lord’s words, the trap will remain empty. In verse 4, the Psalmist uses the idea of a bird to further describe the protection of God, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Chicks find refuge and safety under the mother hen. Regardless of the temperature or conditions, those protective wings provide dry warmth. When a child is frightened or hurt, that little one will want to crawl up into his, or her, mother’s lap. As those loving arms wrap around the child, you can see the look of comfort and security.
The message is plain – when the storms of life strike, each Christian has a place to go for help! No Christian is left alone or isolated in the face of problems, anytime, a Christian feels alone, forgotten or unprotected, those feelings are lies! They are simply Satan’s attempts to panic people so that they will flee from God. However, God’s power, and the Christian’s faith in the Lord provides a place of safety. Many Christians have said, “Times are tough, but I know that in the Lord I have an inheritance and a home. I know that God will help me now.”
The Psalmist described the same thing in this way, “You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.” One quality all Christians should always have is CONFIDENCE in God’s protection. A frightened, fearful Christian is a contradiction in terms!
In the last three verses, God Himself speaks, “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.”
God gave two conditions. A person must love and acknowledge the Lord. Love obviously means an active love that includes obedience. What did Jesus say was the first and great commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind!” Love and acknowledgement are demonstrated when a person becomes a Christian. Once a person is joined to the saving power of Jesus Christ, there is warmth, there is love, there is compassion – there is protection. As a Christian begins to grow and live the Christian life, the spiritual quality of that life will become deeper and richer. Then the final reward of that life will be realized in an eternal home that is so beautiful that it is beyond our ability to comprehend. That’s the promise! Thank you, Lord for the security we have in you.
Psalms 91—Jim Shelburn