Summary: A Psalm of Confidence expresses trust in God’s goodness and power because we have an intimate awareness of God’s presence. Psalm 91 is an example off this.
Introduction:- Psalms of Confidence
We are considering the Psalms and how to use the Psalms to help us respond to God. There are 150 Psalms ... but we don’t have to look at each Psalm to learn how they apply. The Psalms are grouped into seven types ... or the technical term is genres.
The seven genres are as follows:-
This morning we are going to focus on the Psalms of Confidence.
The main feature of a Psalm of Confidence is that it expresses trust in God’s goodness and power because we have an intimate awareness of God’s presence.
Many Psalms express confidence in some way. However there are nine Psalms which express confidence right throughout the whole Psalm.
No matter what we are going through, and even despite our circumstances, when we know that God is with us ... that God is present ... we can have confidence. That is what these Psalms are all about. And Psalm 91 is the one we are going to focus on this morning.
Series: Responding to God
Expressing Confidence and Trust
A sermon on Psalm 91.
Read straight away.
When trouble comes there are usually two ways to respond. The perfect example of this is found in the book of Job. Job looses everything. Oxen and Donkeys. Sheep and Camels. Sons and Daughters. He was then inflicted with sores that covered his who body. It was a terrible time.
In response to all this Job’s wife says:-
"Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!"
But Job says:-
"You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?"
Same situation. Two different responses. And those choices make all the difference when it comes to how we move forward.
When trouble and distress happen we have the power to choose how we will respond. Each one of us has gone, and will go, through hardship and difficulty.
Some of us will be overwhelmed by the hardship and difficulty.
Some of us will be able to keep singing, “It is well, it is well, with my soul”.
Sometimes will be overwhelmed by some situations that others manage really well.
Other times we will manage our difficulties while others fall apart.
The question that is being asked of us in Psalm 91 is: How do you respond when trouble hits your life?
Do you cope?
Do you go to pieces?
Or do you go to God?
Let’s see what our response can be by having a closer look at this Psalm.
Know God’s Protection (verses 1-4)
Think about the sort of protection people use on a work site. They fall into two main categories.
Soft protection ... like knee pads.
Hard protection ... like a hard hat.
The combined effect of that protection keeps the worker safe.
In this Psalm we are being told about the combined effect of God’s protection.
Verse 1 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Most High is the soft protection. A God who is Most High is a God who is in possession of heavens and the earth. He can provide a soft landing. He can pick us up when we fall. He comes alongside to give us a home. It is God wrapping His arms around us.
Almighty is the hard protection. He is powerful. He can protect us. He can organise our world to help us stop from being knocked over.
From both angles God has got it covered.
When we need a soft landing.
When we need a power to stand behind.
It is in God’s character to do this. And it is in God’s character to give us confidence as He goes about protecting us. We can be the ones who dwell in His shelter and rest in His shadow.
Keep in mind that the land of Israel was a land of searing heat. As they worked through the day the sun bore down upon them. To alleviate the heat they would build shelters which would create a shadow. But these shelters where only useful if the people went into them. It is the same with knowing the character of God. All the knowledge in the world is not going to help until we place ourselves under His care.
And we have every reason to put ourselves under His care because God’s protection is a protection which will never fail.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge says verse 4. Think about a small eagle being protected by its parents. No predator comes near the nest because the father eagle is standing in the nest next to his young so that his shadow falls over them. It is a picture of God’s extreme tenderness. But God is not only tender.