Psalm 91 is a powerful and comforting passage in the Bible. It provides reassurance and encouragement for those who seek refuge in God’s presence. Especially during times of danger and difficulty. It speaks of the protection, provision, and faithfulness of God to those who trust in Him. Let’s explore the key themes and messages found in this psalm:
Abiding in God: Dwelling and Resting in His Presence
1. Dwelling in the Shelter of the Most High: The psalm begins by emphasizing the importance of dwelling in the shelter of the Most High and resting in the shadow of the Almighty. This imagery suggests seeking close communion with God and finding safety, security, and peace in His presence.
2. God’s Deliverance and Protection: The psalm highlights God’s faithfulness in delivering and protecting His people. It speaks of God being a refuge and a fortress, shielding His people from harm, pestilence, and destruction. It portrays God as a trustworthy shield who guards and defends His beloved ones.
3. Confidence in God’s Promises: The psalmist expresses unwavering confidence in God’s promises. They proclaim that no evil or disaster will befall those who trust in the Lord. The psalmist acknowledges that God’s faithfulness is a shield and a buckler, providing an assurance of divine protection.
4. God’s Angels and Divine Intervention: Psalm 91 mentions God’s angels, emphasizing their role in guarding and protecting God’s people. The psalm assures that God will command His angels to watch over His faithful ones, ensuring their safety and preventing them from stumbling.
5. Security in God’s Presence: The psalmist declares whoever set their love upon God will be rescued and honoured by Him. They can call upon God, and He will answer them, being with them in times of trouble. The psalm portrays a deep intimacy and communion with God, where His presence becomes a place of safety and security.
6. Victory Over Enemies: The psalm assures that God’s faithful ones will triumph over their enemies. It speaks of trampling upon snakes and scorpions, symbolizing victory over evil forces. The psalmist affirms that God will enable His people to overcome and conquer any adversity that comes their way.
Psalm 91 as the “Soldier’s Prayer” and its distribution to US troops
Overall, Psalm 91 offers comfort and encouragement to those who seek refuge in God. It reminds us of the powerful protection and provision available to us when we abide in God’s presence. It is a reminder to place our trust in Him and find solace in His unfailing love, especially during times of danger and uncertainty.
Psalm 91, is an apotropaic psalm that offers protection against evil. It mentions the historical use of amulets inscribed with words from the psalm for protection. Psalm 91 is also known as the “Soldier’s Prayer” and has been distributed to US troops, with stories of its recitation during World War I by the 91st Brigade.
However, the passage emphasizes the importance of understanding the fine line between relying on God’s Word and treating it as a magical or push-button solution. Jesus decisively rejected Satan’s attempt to misuse words from Psalm 91. The Bible is portrayed as a supernatural book. It contains God’s promises. Abiding in God does not guarantee protection from difficult situations. It preserves believers in the midst of them.
Dwell in the secret place of God Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty: “Yoshev” and “Yitlonan”
There are two Hebrew words used in Psalm 91: “Yoshev,” meaning “to dwell,” and “Yitlonan,” meaning “to abide.” These words convey the security and permanence found in God and the ongoing commitment to rest in Him. The psalmist calls believers to dwell in the secret place of God Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty, highlighting His transcendence and nearness.
The protective nature of God is symbolized by His feathers and wings, likened to a hen sheltering her chicks. There is a story of a farmer’s hen sacrificing her life to protect her chicks from a fire, illustrating God’s nurturing and sacrificial care. It emphasizes the importance of finding the secret place and shadow of God’s wings for true and lasting protection.
Jesus’ words about praying to the Father who is in the secret place, state that it is through Jesus that believers can come to God and abide with Him. The passage encourages sharing the secret place with others who seek protection in the troubled world and expresses gratitude for inviting Jewish people to find shelter under God’s wings.