Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thoughts on Psalm 91

I've been scraping around for new content to post here, so I went into my archives for this devotional I wrote on Psalm 91.

The theme of this Psalm is God’s protection of those who trust in Him, and it’s also an affirmation of the writer’s faith in God.

To me, this passage is a powerful reminder of God’s awesome power and faithfulness to us, His people, and also of our need to be faithful to Him.

What we have here a promise to the man (or woman) of faith, from our God, who we can trust and know intimately, that He will protect us in our time of need.

Let’s look at verse 1 and 2: Shelter, shadow, refuge, and fortress; these are all powerful images that describe places of security to be found in God.

Verses 3 and 4 compare God’s people to birds, whom He will save from the trap of the bird catcher, or like chicks sheltering under the wings of the mother bird. This is a place of refuge and protection. God’s faithfulness is like a shield. Compare the softness of the mother bird’s wing to the hardness of a shield. This is doubly comforting. It's also a good picture of the two aspects of God's character, namely His strength and tenderness, or His love and his justice.

Looking at verses 5 to 8, what is it that we need protection from? Not much has changed since this Psalm was written. Then, as now, God’s people need protection from the constant threats we see described here as war and disease. In our time, the reality is that most Christians around the world suffer for their faith. If you don’t suffer, then you’re in the minority. These things will bring devastation, but the one who trusts in God will be safe, while God’s enemies will get the justice they deserve. Doesn’t reading this make you thankful that you are God’s child?

In verses 9-13, we read that God will send His angels to protect His people. But this promise is conditional. “IF you make the Most High your dwelling...”

The promise here depends on us turning to God in times of trouble; and looking to Him as our refuge, and not elsewhere. What a comforting thought, and a reminder of God’s love for His people.

If we do this, then as we read in verses 14-16, in difficult times, God will comfort those who love Him. We can call upon Him, and He will answer. None of us can afford to neglect our Christian walk. In the midst of your daily routine, I’d encourage you spend time each day praying and growing in your faith in God. I speak from personal experience here when I say that in life, you don’t know what’s around the corner. Something could happen to turn your world upside down, if not to you personally, than perhaps to someone close to you. You want to be sure that you have the spiritual resources to get yourself or others through these times. This Psalm reminds us that we must look to God for protection and refuge in these times.


feeno said...

You did well on your commentary on this, I'm impressed. My problem is this: Although I know his word is true, I still stress out and can't ever seem to be totally dependent on God.

"The Lord is good a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who take refuge in him". Nahum 1:7

c u there, feeno

Ross said...

Thanks again for visiting, Feeno. Whenever I've given devotionals, I try to do a good job of expositing the text, and also to say things that I need to hear and be reminded of myself.