Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Refuge and Fortress

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.  You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.  Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place--the Most High, who is my refuge--no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.  Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."  Psalm 91

Explanation for Psalm 91:1-16 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 815-816.
91:1-16  This Psalm describes God's ongoing sovereign protection of his people from the ever-present dangers and terrors that surround humanity.  The original setting may be that of an army about to go to battle.  Most of the terrors mentioned in this psalm are left undefined, no doubt intentionally, so that no kind of danger is omitted from application.  Believers in every age can read this psalm to learn that nothing can harm a child of God unless the Lord permits it.  However, in light of the many references in the Psalms to the future messianic kingdom (cf. especially Ps. 96-100), this psalm must be read as being literally fulfilled then.
I. The Lord's Protection (91:1-13)
    A. The Confidence (91:1-2)
    B.  The Dangers (91:3-6)
    C.  The Examples (91:7-13)
II. The Lord's Pledge (91:14-16)
91:1  shelter of the Most High.  An intimate place of divine protection.  The use of "Most High" for God emphasizes that no threat can ever overpower him.  shadow of the Almighty.  In a land where the sun can be oppressive and dangerous, a "shadow" was understood as a metaphor for care and protection.
91:3  snare of the fowler.  This metaphor represents any plots against the believer intended to endanger his life.  deadly pestilence.  The reference here and in v. 6 is specifically to dreaded diseases, plagues, and epidemics (cf. Jer. 14:12; Ezek. 5:12; 14:19).
91:4 under his wings.  Pictures the protection of a parent bird (see note on Ps. 57:1).
91:8  only. . .with your eyes.  The righteous are so safe in disaster all around them, that they are only spectators.
91:11-12  This promise of angelic protection was misquoted by Satan in his temptation of the Messiah (see Matt. 4:6).
91:13  tread. . .lion and the adder.  In general, a metaphor for God's protection from all deadly attacks (see notes on Ps. 58:4ff).
91:14  he holds fast to me in love.  God himself is the speaker in this section (vv. 14-16) and he describes the blessing he gives to those who know and love him.  The word for "love" means a "deep longing" for God, or a "clinging" to God.
91:16  long life.  Long life was a specific promise to the OT saint for obedience to the law (e.g., Ex. 20:12; Prov. 3:2).  The prophets also promise it to God's people in the future messianic kingdom (cf. Isa. 65:17-23).

I have been praying Psalm 91 over my family and household.  As a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ that He alone is my fortress and refuge--I have faith that the Lord is always protecting me and my family.  Even when we go through rough roads--because the Lord is with us--we always come through safe and sound.  This is only because of the Lord.

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those who are reading Your Word and I pray Psalm 91 over my household and also to those who believe in Jesus--those who know and love Jesus.  I pray for those who do not yet really know Jesus. I pray that You will show them the truth.  I pray for the gift of faith. I pray for their salvation so that they too may enjoy the assurance of eternal life and Your loving protection.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.