Living with God’s Loving Assurance Adult 1 Sunday School Class Psalm 91:1-8, 11-16 February 24, 2019
Theme: People often live in fear that misfortune will befall them. Where can we find protection from danger? The psalmist looks to God for protection in the midst of life’s calamities. Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verses in regular print.
Psalm 91:1 and 2, “He that dwellest in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” This Psalm describes the overall divine protection how God gives his children shelter from the natural and human elements of danger. “Shelter of the Most High” is that secret place or refuge where God will hide you from dangers in life, for those who have an intimate relationship with Him. “Under the Shadow of the Almighty” is a metaphor for the shelter He would provide in an arid land from the heat of the sun. Desert sun is punishing and anyone or thing that can provide shelter from the burning sun feels relief from that situation. Like shade desired by one in the desert, God is the desired shade or shelter from the harsh elements that one might encounter in life’s journey.
* vs .3 and 4, “Surely He would deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4.He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings He shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Here the Psalmist points out that He will protect you from the hunter (fowler) who seeks to entrap you in his snare causing death and destruction, or from pestilence (i.e. natural disaster or plagues). The 4th verse employs the metaphor of a bird who uses her feathers to shield her little ones from external dangers. One could also imagine a soldier in battle using his shield for protection against an enemy. Both examples illustrate the length that God will go to, to protect His children. “His truth shall be thy shield and buckler”, demonstrating that we are protected from what whatever our foes may try to subdue us with. We will know the truth, and the truth shall set us free.
* vs 5 and 6, “Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6. Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” When we believe in the power of a sovereign God, it will put our fears aside which could destroy our ability to live a normal, productive, and spiritual life. When we allow fear to invade our being, it hampers our fundamental foundation for our relationship with God, then we lose confidence in His ability to provide for our spiritual salvation. These verses tell us that terror by others can come to us day or night, or by natural causes or destruction; but our God is faithful to protect us under any circumstances and at any time.
vs 7 and 8, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” The righteous will be protected by God in their secret place and away from the dangers of the enemy, or pestilence, and/ or warfare. It is divine protection that will vanquish their enemies by the hand of God. Those who believe and have faith will go untouched during the battles of good over evil. “…see the reward of the wicked” is God’s revenge on those who have mistreated His people and will be seen by God’s children.” “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold,”, means the righteous are safe in the disaster around them, that they are only spectators to the carnage before them.
* v’s 11,12, and 13, “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13. Thou shall tread upon the lion and the adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under thy feet.” The Lord’s angels serve as the messengers and agents of His power outside of the sanctuary (God’s secret place of protection for His people). These divine beings have superior power, involving the ability to protect the Lord’s people from harm. Satan misquoted the Scripture (Matt 4:6). The Lord has the power to keep us from all suffering and can deploy angels to save us from falling. We must trust and have faith that it is for the best, and that our suffering serves a purpose for Him, if only to make us some day long for eternal life with Him. The lion in Scripture represents Jesus (Lion of Judea) or Satan the enemy of the Israelites. In the 13th verse, the Psalmist uses this metaphor for God’s protection from all deadly attacks when he infers the lion is the enemy and the snake (adder) represents the demonic enemy of God’s people and must be trampled underfoot.
*v’s 14,15, and 16, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name. 15. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” In this verse God is speaking, and those who know His name are in a covenant relationship with Him; who love Him and are obedient to His Word. Long Life was a specific promise to the OT saints, and to God’s prophets in the future messianic kingdom (Isaiah 65:17-23). In verse 14, God migrates from protection to deliverance; showing that He doesn’t leave us the way that He found us for those who trust Him.
He answers prayers for those who trust in Him. God is with us at the beginning, middle, and end (deliverance) of our troubles. Those who trust in Him through faith will receive an answer, maybe not today or tomorrow, but He is still with us. A prayer delayed is not a prayer denied. OUR GOAL IS TO SEE THE SALVATION IN THIS LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST, AND IN THE ETERNAL LIFE TO COME.