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God’s Our Refuge-A Psalm of Trust

Psalm 91

Nathan House

  1. The Shelter of the Most High (v 1-2)- is impregnable – therefore we can trust in it/Him
    1. V 1- Shelter (secret shelter(ASV, NKJV, KJV, Young’s Literal))
      1. Ancient castles had specially fortified areas known as “keeps”. They were stronger and more secure that the rest of the castle. It contained many types of provisions, weapons, and often, even a place to worship. It was a place of security for close family and their protecting guards.
    2. V 1- The Most High’s “keep”- elyon: high above ever other power
    3. V 1- The Almighty’s “keep”- El Shaddai: is a Hebrew word emphasizing the power and greatness of God. The impregnable nature of God.
    4. It is His “keep” under consideration. It is as if the “keep” is the inner and fortified parts of God himself- perhaps indicating that those who are dwelling in a relationship with God.
    5. So as this Psalm begins we see immediately the intent of this Psalm is to build our trust in God as our refuge and fortress.
  2. The Benefits of God’s Protection (v 3-13)- are without limit, therefore we can live without fear
    1. He will deliver (v3)
      1. Snare- a trap. A device used to catch someone
    2. He will cover (v4)
      1. With his pinions
      2. Compare this with Matt 23:37
        “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
    3. As a result, you will not fear (v5-6)
      1. Terror of the night
      2. Arrow by day
      3. Pestilence that stalks in darkness
      4. Destruction that wastes at noonday
      5. Whether night or day, when we trust in God’s protection we will not fear!
    4. God will keep the dangers far from you (v7)
      1. The dangers listed in verses 3-6, will not come near to those who trust in God.
        1. I love the emphatic way that verse 7 reads
        2. NLT reads, “Though a thousand fall at your side,
          though ten thousand are dying around you,
          these evils
          will not touch you.”
      2. If the Psalm were describing every situation of danger, it would clearly be untrue: faithful people have fallen prey to these and other perils. It is better to allow Ps 91:8 to guide the interpretation, pointing to cases in which these events (plague/battle) are sent as God’s recompense on the wicked; in such cases, the faithful can be sure of God’s protection.” John Collins
      3. To this list of verses 3-6 he adds two more in verse 10.
      4. The reason they will be safe: because you have made the LORD Most High your dwelling place. (v9)
    5. He will protect you with his angels and cause you to trample on danger (v11-13)
      1. Satan quotes this verse to Christ to attempt to convince Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple. God did not promise us forgiveness so that we could just go on sinning. God did not promise us deliverance so that we could put ourselves in harm’s way. It is wrong to abuse the promises of God. Satan wanted Christ to do this.
      2. The verse is not daring us to put ourselves in dangerous situations, but it is a powerful promise of protection.
      3. God’s promise of protection is now expanded to include angelic deliverance as well.
        1. It says that God himself will command/instruct HIS angels concerning you! The great God Most High will himself give command to His angels concerning those who trust in man.
        2. What is man that you are mindful of him?” Ps 8:4
  3. God’s Promise of Protection (v 14-16)- Is conditional, therefore we need to yield to those conditions
    1. Change in view- The view is no longer from the one in need of protection, but from the one providing it.
    2. Again, we see the delivery is conditioned upon mankind’s relationship with God.
      1. Holds fast to God in love– therefore God delivers
      2. He knows God’s name– therefore God protects
      3. He calls to God– therefore God answers
        1. See Gen 35:1-3
          God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
          2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 
    3. Because of the trustworthy man’s relationship to God, God will (v15-16)
      1. Be with him in trouble
      2. Rescue him
      3. Honor him
      4. Satisfy him
      5. Show him His salvation
  4. Romans 8:31-39
    1. Note the wonderful promise of protection, deliverance is seen in the NT as well.
      31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?… 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    1. Notice how Paul asks a series of questions and answers them. His questions are meant to assure us that we can trust in God.
    2. Paul’s conclusion is powerful in verses 38-39… our relationship with God is secure because of our relationship with Jesus Christ.