Psalm 91 My Refuge and My Fortress (1) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (3) For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (4) He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. (5) You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, (6) nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. (7) A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (8) You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (9) Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place- the Most High, who is my refuge- (10) no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (11) For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (12) On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. (13) You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. (14) "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. (15) When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (16) With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation." ESV
The NKJV titles this psalm: Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God. The NASB titles it: Security of One Who Trusts in the LORD. There are no other notes recorded for this psalm.
Some believe this psalm was written (and the few to follow) by Moses. Maybe because it has some of the same language as Psalm 90, which Jewish tradition attributes to Moses. Others believe it was written later and sounds like David’s writing. Some suggest that when no author is specified (as in the next few) the author can be assumed to be the last name written, in this case, Moses (Psalm 90).
However, no one knows for sure. God did not add an author’s name on this psalm and on many books in His Word. Why is that? Could it be so that we have to research and think about it and discuss it and struggle to understand it? Or could it be so that we are reminded that the Bible is filled solely with the words of God, not of man? Or could it be that when we assign a person or a date the piece can become less applicable to later generations? When we don’t know who or where or why a person wrote something, it can be easier to apply it to our own lives and the time that we live in.
Whatever the reason, praise be to God.
Charles Spurgeon had some interesting words on this psalm. These words hit home for our current times.
In the whole collection there is not a more cheering Psalm, its tone is elevated and sustained throughout, faith is at its best, and speaks nobly. A German physician was wont to speak of it as the best preservative in times of cholera, and in truth, it is a heavenly medicine against plague and pest. He who can live in its spirit will be fearless, even if once again London should become a lazar-house, and the grave be gorged with carcasses.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
(Lazar-house: another word for leper colony)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91:1-2 NKJV Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. Psalm 91:1-2 NLT
Such beautiful, peace-filled words.
What is this “secret place” in the shadow of the Almighty? This place of refuge, peace, and safety is nearness to God. One commentator said that one must walk really close to something to fall “under the shadow” of it. How close must we be to our Father to enter into this secret place and find rest within the shadow of His protection?
Not everyone who believes knows of this secret place, but it exists for anyone who draws near enough. Do you know this place? David knew this place; Moses knew this place, and Jesus certainly knew.
Those who commune with God are safe with Him, no evil can reach them, for the outstretched wings of His power and love cover them from all harm.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes and see how the wicked are punished. Psalm 91:3-8 NLT
God does not always rescue His children from disease or traps or bad things. What do these verses mean?
God doesn’t always rescue His children from these things. But He can. And He has.
God is our refuge and our mighty fortress; He is our strength and our protector. When we walk close to Him, we feel the power of His presence. We feel hope and strength that doesn’t exist when we stand alone, far away from our Creator. God is our hope. What is there to be afraid of when He is on our side? When He walks so close? When He is within an arm’s reach for help?
Not to be afraid is in itself an unspeakable blessing, since for every suffering which we endure from real injury we are tormented by a thousand griefs which arise from fear only.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
There is nothing to fear when we walk with God.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
There is nothing to fear when we are in the secret place of God, in the shadow of the Almighty. Not because nothing bad will never happen, but because we are never alone.
If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! Psalm 91:9-13 NLT
No evil will conquer us. He even sends His angels (not one, nor two, but an unspecified amount of angels) to watch over and protect us. When are suffering it may be good to remember that we are being protected from evil at all times.
Interestingly, Satan twisted these words in an attempt to deceive Jesus,
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Matthew 4:5-6
Jesus walked in the shadow of the Almighty. He knew the secret place of the Father. He could not be deceived. Even though the devil spewed his lies, Jesus knew already that He was covered by the shadow of the Lord.
Angels were with Jesus always. They were helping him, just not in the way that Satan taunted Him with.
Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. Matthew 4:11 NLT
The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation." Psalm 91:14-16 NLT
Oh, what a sweet promise. God’s promises are everlasting. What He says is true and will happen. He is our protector; He is our place of safety. How do we know this?
Because He says so, and what He says is Truth.
Father in heaven, you are faithful and you are Truth. Your promises bring us peace and joy. Even though we live in a time of plague and suffering, your words and your promises bring us comfort. You were faithful to your people then, and you are faithful now. Draw us near. Reveal yourself and your love to us. Amen.