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Wisdom Psalms: Psalm 91

At the end of the united monarchy of Israel, I am detouring the story to read some of David and Solomon's other books. I am reading the psalms by theme ion order to be able to place them in context and add more meaning. First up are the wisdom psalms and today is 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 fid refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will need fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day, not 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, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

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

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

Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.

He will call on Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him, with long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation."

Psalm 91, NIV

I never quote that much scripture, let alone a whole psalm; but I wanted to capture the first few lines and I couldn't find a place I wanted to stop. It's all soooo good. As someone who has struggled with fear my whole life (as many of us have), this set of promises are so beautiful.

I know that wisdom psalms and proverbs are not meant to be magical incantations. they are supposed to tell a general truth, not a specific promise to every reader; but it clearly shows the heart of God and the outline of the promise He DOES have for each of us. How it plays out this side of heaven varies GREATLY, but is no less true in the fullness of time.

My church women's group is doing a 40-Minute Precepts study on Breaking Free from Fear and last night's topic was the fear of the Lord. In short, if you fear the Lord, you won't fear anything else. If you know Him well enough to be truly awed by His power, authority, history, and character, then nothing else in the world can stir up fear in you.

This psalm, 91, seems to share that same message. If you acknowledge His name, which contains all of His character, you will love Him and He will keep you.

Notice, however, that it does not promise a life of sunshine and roses. Quite the opposite. "I will be with him in trouble."

It promises that there will be trouble. Times in need of rescue. That's the promise. Not that there would be no trouble.

But that's enough. That's what we need. Immanuel, God WITH us.

With Him with me, it is well with my soul.

This is the proper response to the Lord in times of trouble.

Wiersbe Commentary

  • Wiersbe states that many scholars think this anonomous author was Moses.
  • He also dilineates between suffering that comes in the will of God and suffering that comes from our ridiculous, destructive choices. He can protect from needless suffering, even if He does allow other suffering for His own reasons.
  • Both Wiersbe and the NASB Ryrie Study Bible reference the multiple names of God used in the Pslam:
    • Most High = El Elyon (higher than all other gods and powers)
    • The Almighty= El Shaddai (all-sufficient, alkways adequate)
    • Lord = Jehovah (covenant-making God of the universe, who is faithful to HIs promises)
    • God= Elohim (creator, powerful)

God's servants are immortal unitl their work is done.

Warran Wiersbe, Be Exultant, pg 27

It's hard to imagine a life with no fear. But I am getting closer. This God I serve, and am learning to know and love better over time, wants to be my refuge. He wants to bless me. He wants to save me. The enemy of my soul never really had a chance. Amen.

Defender

Last winter I heard a song that just gutted me. It left me sobbing in a way that made me wonder what it touched inside me at such a profound level. And I go to it often as a reminder that life with the Lord is SO MUCH BETTER than before. Even though I have been a believer most of my life, it's not the same as seeking and walking with Him daily in an intentional manner. Psalm 91 captures the difference in life with God and without.

Here are the lyrics to the song and the video follows.

Defender Lyrics

Steffany GretzingerFrancesca Battistelli

You go before I know
That You've even gone to win my war
You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory, oh-ooh

You go before I know
That You've even gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

And all I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down, oh
All I did was stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way

You know before I do
Where my heart can seek to find Your truth
Your mercy is the shade I'm living in
And You restore my faith and hope again

And all I did was praise, ohhh, oh-ooh
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down, oh
All I did was stay still, stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way

When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better this way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
So much better Your way
(I know it's so much better)
So much better Your way
(I know it, I know it)

And all I did was praise
All I need to do is worship
Lord, I will just bow down
I'm just gonna stay still

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Rita Springer / Steffany Gretzinger / John-paul Gentile

Defender YouTube Video

Amen.

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