Summary: God's promise to protect us from the enemy & bless faithful followers with a long life & salvation
Cross My Heart
The Psalms are filled with songs of praise for God. Promises of what we have in our Heavenly Father. We are going to be looking at the 91st Psalm. It is one of the most beautiful & uplifting in the book. Psalm 91 can be broken down into 2 messages. The first 15 verses are descriptions of how God protects us. Things He will do to make sure we are safe & the enemy will not harm us. The last verse is a promise of blessings the Lord will give to those who follow Him faithfully.
This Psalm tells believers that when we have a strong relationship with God He will protect us. We live “in the shadow” of Almighty God & He covers us with His protection. This is what the writer is referring to when he tells us we are “in the shadow of the Almighty”. Almighty God is watching over us. We are always in the presence of God. When we want to feel safe the place we always want to be is home; a place of refuge. God tells us in verse 2 that He will be our refuge & fortress of protection. Verses 3 & 4 give the image of a bird providing shelter with its wings. They will be our shield.
He says that we will be protected from dangers that are seen & unseen. Verse 5 talks about the terror of the night & the arrow that flies by day. The night hides dangers that try to creep up on you. We have no reason to fear enemies who are covered by the night or those who hit during the day. God will protect us regardless of the scheme they have. He goes on to say we should not fear plagues like famine, natural disaster, or anything that will threaten people or livestock. He is our shield. Verse 6 also mentions “pestilence that ravages at noon.” The pestilence in this verse refers to demons. Here the psalmist is telling us that in Him we have safe haven from thieves, wild animals, persecutors, & sicknesses. God is our refuge!
Verses 7-10 make references to disasters of epic proportion. Even though thousands will fall at our sides to catastrophe they will not harm those who seek refuge in God. We will only “see it with your eyes”. They will not harm us. God knows man cannot defend himself without help so He gives His angels the job of coming to watch over us. Verses 11-13 describe how He gives angels charge over us protecting us in all our ways. Angels are mighty in power & care. They are gentle & support us with their hands. They will not let harm come to us. They also give us power over fierce animals such as the lion & the cobra. The devil is depicted as both a lion & a serpent in the Bible (1 Peter 5:8, Genesis 3:1). In protecting followers, God gives us power to overcome the great deceiver. Verse 13 states that we have the power to tread on the lion and the cobra & trample them. By the strength of the Lord we will completely defeat Satan in his trials to bring us down. The devil will NOT prevail!
Verse 14 uses the phrases, “Because he has his heart set on me.” and “...because he knows my name.” When we have a close relationship with someone we know their name & their characteristics. God wants us to have that close of a relationship with Him as well. When we have our heart set on Him & truly know what's in His heart he will deliver us from evil of all types. When we call out for help God will hear us. He or His angels will be there in this time of need. Verse 15 says when we call out to Him He will answer & be with us in times of trouble. He will give us honor. Think about that. The most powerful Being in existence will give honor to men & women who call on Him. That is awe-inspiring.
In the final verse of this Psalm God tells us that He will bless His followers with long life & salvation. When we faithfully follow God's will in our lives we will complete the mission He has for us. God will not call His children home until our job is done.
Safety is something we all seek in life. We want to be protected from different things from the start. When we're young we fear things like darkness, thunderstorms, being alone, animals, or our big brother. When these fears arise we want the protection of our parents. As we learned in this Psalm enemies are out to get us. But our Almighty Parent, our Heavenly Father, is ALWAYS there to protect us. We just have to run to Him!
Because every Word of God is true this is a sweet promise from Him. He tells His children these things & says “These are the things I will do for you. Cross My Heart!”