Today we are going to present to you the meaning of Psalm 91 in a way we hope will be fresh and hopeful. Remember, the Holy Bible is a supernatural book inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. It is full of layers of meaning which fulfill a purpose to every person who has ever lived but those meanings never contradict each other. I believe my friend Joanne has a special gift from the Lord to understand and explain Old Testament writings through the lens of the new covenant, (the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ). You know the Old Testament. It’s that section of the bible most often associated with a vengeful, wrathful God hell-bent upon cracking down on innocent humans…… and while we know that nothing could be further from the truth, we’ve got some explaining to do!
Psalm 91 is a beautiful song (yes the psalms were written to be sung and loudly proclaimed) about God’s heavenly protection. While I personally, fully believe in God’s help in this world, I was raised to have the mind of a skeptic. It’s one reason why Joanne and I work so well together to glean God’s truth. I’m the pepper to her salt, the yin to her yang and the sour to her sweet. Having said that I bet that many of you out there have had thoughts such as, “I’ve tried that Christianity stuff and it didn’t work for me.” OR maybe you are a believer but your thinking is more along the line of: “I believe God’s word but I know I don’t deserve His promises. I’ve just plain sinned more than He is willing to forgive.” Either way, the hope you CAN find in Psalm 91 is real… and it is for YOU.
In the next section we will present Psalm 91 in the New King James version. The explanations in the brackets are provided by Joanne. We will also provide the Message version of Psalm 91 to further clarify its relevance to YOU in TODAY’S world. We sincerely hope you will be blessed.
Psalm 91 (NKJV)
1Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High (God)
[‘El’Elyon = The Exalted One (Gen. 14:18, 19)]
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
[‘El Shaddai = God Almighty, All Sufficient, All Powerful (Gen. 17:1)]
2 I will say of the LORD, [Yahweh, YHWH= The personal, most intimate name God assigned to himself (Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4)]
“He is my refuge and my fortress
My God, [Elohim = the Godhead, plural = the Creator (Gen. 1:1)]
in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler. [rampart = an embankment of earth; a wall used to screen troops from frontal enemy fire; a bulwark or earthen defensive wall]
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day, [gun fire; or words spoken against you]
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, [diseases, viruses, plagues]
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. [terrorist attacks, etc.]
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
[Hebrews 1:7, 14 angels are ministering spirits]
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
[Luke 10:19 (AMP) “Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on [a]serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.” a = demonic spirits]
14 “Because he [she] has set his [her] love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him [her]; [put your name in these brackets!]
I will set him [her] on high, because he [she] has known My name.
15 He [She] shall call upon Me, and I will answer him [her];
I will be with him [her] in trouble;
I will deliver him [her] and honor him [her].
16 With long life I will satisfy him [her],
And show him [her] My salvation.”
Notice there are two things for you as a believer to do with this Psalm: Abide in His presence and declare this psalm. If you know Jesus is your Savior then abiding in His presence is not difficult to do. His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) already dwells inside of you. To abide in Jesus means to have a personal relationship with Him. How do you treat other humans with whom you have personal relationships? You talk with them, laugh with them, care for them and most of all, make time for them in your lives. To have a relationship with Jesus means the same thing. Talk to Him, listen to Him, think about Him and make Him your number one priority. Next, believe His promises and say them out loud. The bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. It really is that simple.
We encourage you to read Psalm 91 out loud every day
. Saying and hearing the words will build your faith. Why not put Psalm 91 on your cell phone and set it to remind you to look at it each day. There are several excellent Bible apps and web pages which can help to put God’s words at your fingertips no matter where you may be including Bible app, Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible.
Lastly, if you prefer a modern language version to read and say out loud then here is Psalm 91 from The Message Bible. Remember, the Lord can be your very best friend. Abide in Him and get His promises in your heart. That is how you will find safety in His presence.
Psalm 91 The Message (MSG)
1-13 You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “GOD, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because GOD’s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
14-16 “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”