Bi-Weekly Article Blog
Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email. During the pandemic, the Blog will be bi-weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Psalm 91 - Part 1
Note: Beginning this week, and for the remainder of the pandemic, I’ll have a Pastor’s Article on both Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Psalm 91 is a wonderful psalm to read and ponder during our present crisis. For myself, it’s been part of my “quiet time” for the past week.
Structurally, the psalm contains both a wisdom psalm (verses 1-13) and a divine oracle (verses 14-16). In this article, we’ll focus on the wisdom psalm.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
This is an invitation to enjoy the protection of God. Notice the four names for God: Most High, the Almighty, the LORD, and my God. Each is intended to evoke confidence in him.
Who may enjoy the protection of God? The answer is whoever makes this confession: “My God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
Most of these dangers are of a kind which strike unseen, against which the strong are as helpless as the weak. As for God’s care, it combines the warm protectiveness of a parent bird with the hard, unyielding strength of armor.
If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the LORD, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
This psalm doesn’t guarantee or promise that nothing bad will ever happen to those who trust him. That would be a misreading of the psalm and Scripture generally. Instead, the guarantee or promise is that, if/when something bad occurs, God will be our refuge, our sanctuary of rest.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Here the psalmist depicts God’s people not merely as survivors, but as victors!