Observe: Psalm 91 is all about dwelling in safety and security. Verses 1-8 give us assurance of God’s protection and this assurance is repeated in verses 9-13. The psalmist ends with God’s promises (verses 14-16).
Interpretation and Application: We dwell in God’s protection. What does dwell mean, anyway? It means a permanent residence. We have a permanent residence in the Lord’s protection (shelter). We can rest in His shadow. Shadows (or shade) provide a place of protection. How often in summer do we seek out shade to get away from intense heat? Imagine now that we can run to God and rest in His shadow for protection. He is our refuge – our place of safety and protection. There is a similar word in Psalm 32:7 in which the psalmist declares God as his “hiding place”. Did you ever as a child have a hiding place – your own secret little place where no one could find you and you felt safe and secure? Just the other day my husband David was describing to our granddaughter of such a place he had when he was growing up on the farm so he wouldn’t be found and have to do more chores! (He would rather read his book.) Imagine God letting us use Him as our hiding place. We have total rest there. I’m sure we all know stories of fire consuming barnyards or nests and afterwards finding live chicks under the dead mother’s wings. The same is true for us. God protects us from the harshness that the world might throw us – He is covering us with His wings. He did so ultimately by Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. No matter what comes, He is our refuge. It’s interesting to note that verses 11 and 12 were quoted by Satan (Matthew 4:6) when he was trying to tempt Jesus. He knew the Scriptures! But Jesus answered back by quoting His own verse from Deuteronomy 6:16. (“Do not put the Lord your God to the test”.)We need not fear anything when we flee to God and make Him our hiding place. Paul affirms this in Romans 8:35-39. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God (and His protection). The psalm ends with 8 (yes, count them, 8!) promises for us as believers. God will: 1. Rescue us, 2. Protect us, 3. Answer us, 4. Be with us in trouble, 5. Deliver us, 6. Honour us (I find that one quite mind-blowing!), 7. Satisfy us with long life and 8. Show us His salvation (He will see our deliverance and victory). We need not fear…God has us under His protecting wings!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your presence…your Almighty Shadow. Thank you that you go before us and cover us with your wings. Thank you for your protection and security. Help us to always remember that nothing can come between us when we seek your refuge. Amen.
Song: On Eagle’s Wings (Kitty Cleveland)
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.