Exposition of Psalm 91
Besides how this applied to people during the time of its writing, it also has application to us. The people under the protection of God, where His children of that time, and all times. We of course fit into the latter category. The application of this promise then follows, this protection does not apply to the unrepentant sinners. It applies to those who are in Christ, by grace, through faith. In the time of its writing, faith in the one true God, and His promise of a Messiah, was the determining factor. This Psalm is about the triune God, His relationship with the Psalmist, and the audience of the Psalmist. It explains God’s protection of His children.
[Psalms 91:1 NAS77]
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
The Most High is the one, true, Triune God. His shelter is His providential, eternal protection, that can be trusted regardless of mortal fears. To “abide in the shadow of the Almighty” is a metaphor. It expresses His immensity, and power, that overshadows our weakness. If we are in Him, we are under His eternal protection. Nothing can remove us from strength of God’s grasp.
[Psalms 91:2 NAS77]
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
The child of God, is the person who can declare that God is his sanctuary and protection, and in God’s sovereign rule, they can trust.
[Psalms 91:3 NAS77]
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence.
God delivers us from the unseen traps that are set for us by satan.
[Psalms 91:4 NAS77]
He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
God in His love shelters us. The metaphor of a mother hen is used in Matt 23:37. Unlike the fragile wings and feathers of a hen, God’s shelter is explained with the metaphor of a shield and bulwark. This implies His strength and the fortification of His protection.
[Psalms 91:5 NAS77]
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Darkness is often a metaphor for evil and it is the cover under which the evil do their deeds. Under God’s protection we need not fear the unseen evil deeds of men or the evil deeds done in the sight of all during the day.
[Psalms 91:6 NAS77]
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
We need not fear sickness or death. God will preserve us through this mortal life through to the immortal life in the glory of His eternal presence.
[Psalms 91:7 NAS77]
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not approach you.
Even in the midst of horrific death and violence we need not fear or pause. We keep pushing on in confidence of His goodness and surety of His sovereign strength.
[Psalms 91:8 NAS77]
You will only look on with your eyes, And see the recompense of the wicked.
We can trust in His just and right judgment against the workers of evil in this world. They will be punished and all the wrongs will be righted.
[Psalms 91:9 NAS77]
For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
The Psalmist is telling us that the individual referenced here has also trusted God and made Him his dwelling place.
[Psalms 91:10 NAS77]
No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.
[Psalms 91:11 NAS77]
For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
Because of the individual’s trust in God he has no reason for worry. God will protect all who are His and send angels to protect them. We are His if we are in Him and dwell in Him.
[Psalms 91:12 NAS77]
They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
This was misused by satan in his attempts to tempt Jesus in the desert. Satan always tries to pervert God’s word.
[Psalms 91:13 NAS77]
You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
The devil has been referred to as a lion roaming around looking for people to devour. He has also been called a serpent, and a dragon. This seems to point forward to the promise of Romans 16:20 where we will be used by God to trample the devil under our feet.
[Psalms 91:14 NAS77]
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
The psalmist here brings in God to speak for Himself. God declares that He will deliver the person who has loved Him and He will secure him, because he has known Him by name. Those of us in Christ have had the Father revealed to us by Him. We know and are known by God. We have a relationship with Him as adopted Sons.
[Psalms 91:15 NAS77]
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.
God promises to answer His children. When we come to Him with our prayers, even prayers of trouble, God will rescue us and honor us with His Lordship over us.
[Psalms 91:16 NAS77]
“With a long life I will satisfy him, And let him behold My salvation.”
He will give us the length of days to accomplish that which He has foreordained for us to accomplish. We will die in His time after completing all that He has set forth for us to do. We can trust in Him and His goodness.