Psalm 91 Word on the Week 23rd January 2021.
A long time reader of this blog drew my attention this week to Psalm 91. It has a relevance to today that is unmissable. My correspondent said it brought him solace which indeed it must have done for Israel when it was first written. The first two verses read: – Whoever 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.” The Psalmist sees God as his dwelling-place, (as does Jesus; St John Chapter 14 verse 23) using four of his names to address Him. His security is in one who is high above all other gods and has the power to protect those who rest and trust in Him.
Verses 3 to 8 are addressed personally to those who sing or recite the psalm. They describe vividly disasters that we are familiar with today and again calls upon the people not to fear and assures them of his protection.
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Verses 5 to 8 (not qouted) possibly refer back to the plagues in Egypt. Verses 7 reads like the nightly news bulletins as the numbers of fatalities rise around the globe. Verses 11 to 13 (below) are quoted in the New Testament. If you say,
“The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways; (Words omitted by Satan in Matthew Chapter 4:6)
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
The Psalm ends
he loves me,” says the Lord, “I
will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” These are glorious promises to embrace as we enter 2021.