Why do we use Psalm 91 as the basis for this ministry? Following is a commentary of the verses to help you in understanding the value of this chapter in handling day to day challenges.
I want to share with you some of the thoughts God has allowed us to learn from this beautiful chapter. We’ll take a couple of verses (from The Passion Translation) at a time followed by a brief commentary.
1 When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai,
you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.
2 He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me,
the only God for me, and my great confidence.
So, for these first two verses:
Why it is hard to go to God and find our safety, security, comfort, direction, understanding, and help? Could it be we want things the easiest possible way? Since God knows my thoughts, attitudes and intentions, He should just give me what I want without any involvement on my part to get it. Right? Sorry, wrong.
God wants a relationship with us, and not just be our personal service provider. In fact, He desperately wants a relationship like we can see with Moses from Psalms 103:7, “He (God) revealed His character to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel.” What do you want from your relationship with God: to understand why He does what He does or, just watch what He does?
Then, the scripture says I need to remain under the protection of God. What does that mean? To be protected you need to be in the presence of a person otherwise they cannot protect you. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
Follow the logic here: if I intentionally have a relationship with God and I seek to stay around Him, I can know with a certainty that He IS my defender and protector. I won’t doubt it, I will know it!
So, here is the best part: the conclusion is I can (will) say, God is my God! Not just the God of my parents, the pastor at my church, famous minister, singer, but MY God. AND, I can put trust in Him without doubt or fear. That’s a pretty good deal.
3 He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy,
and he will protect you from false accusation
and any deadly curse.
4 His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.
You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
I am writing after my back surgery where God is rescuing me from the effects of the surgery.
Which brings up a good point to notice from these two verses. This verse does not say He will keep us from getting caught in all traps, but He WILL rescue us from the hurt, pain, hopelessness of being trapped.
Rescue means to free someone from entanglements of danger, hurt; deliver; redeem; to save from. To the Hebrews, it would mean a person who frees a bird from a trap that was intentionally placed there to catch them.
Who is regularly preparing traps for us? The devil-1 Peter 5:8, Eph 6:11-12, 1 Cor 10:13. BUT, God will rescue us from the intended purpose of those traps because He is our fortress and protection. All of us will get trapped, but we have a choice as to how long we stay trapped. Turn to God when you are trapped by hurt, pain, disappointment, disillusionment, anger, fears and God will deliver from us and bring us into His peace, love and joy.
God protects from deadly disease. Again, the Hebrews regularly faced such things from plagues, leper’s, bites of insects and animals, many of the same illnesses we face today. One of the important words of advice my uncle gave me early in ministry was to always wash your hands before and after you see someone in the hospital. Simple, but wise advice. As I was wise to do what I can, God protects where I cannot.
As a mother eagle covers the eaglet with it’s feathers and wings, so God will do the same for us. Are there areas in our life where we may tell God, “I got this, I don’t need Your help with this situation?” I believe when we say that or act that way, God is disappointed that we do not allow Him the opportunity to reveal what He could be doing for us, but He still waits patiently for us to finally turn to Him.
What would you point to as your armor and protection? I want to suggest, the faithful promises of God. Faithful means it is NOT going to change. The promises written in the Bible are able to be believed because God guarantees it 100%.
Since that is true we have the ability to be protected, sheltered and rescued from traps set for us, diseases that are sent to destroy us and attacks sent to prove God is not capable of protecting us.
Therefore, we can say:
➡️ God is our rescue
➡️ God is our protection
➡️ God is our cover
➡️ God is our shelter
➡️ God is our armor and protection
I will trust in my God.
5 You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.
6 Don’t fear a thing!
Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you,
nor will the powers of evil launched against you.
Based in what we have already seen in this chapter (God IS our refuge and help; a shelter to be covered by), we come to these verses that raise some questions when we examine how life is lived. If you are reading this, you may or may not agree with me when I say there is a real devil. Not the halloween picture we have of him-red suit, pitch-fork, tail, horns on his head-in fact the Bible says he comes as an angel of light. His costume is to fit in with people around.
BUT, these verses speak of a planned attack on our lives. What is the purpose? To develop a seed of worry and fear in us that will grow. The sound you hear, thought you have that seems to connect with other thoughts. Something is wrong in the house. I wonder if someone got into the house, what will I do? Someone said something to me and I begin worrying about it, because I don’t know how I will deal with them. On and on it can go.
BUT, though it does not seem to be inspired by the devil, you can know it is by how troubled you become inside. The gut-wrenching “feeling” something is wrong or going to happen does not come from God.
Going back to the two verses, even though we will have attacks come to us, God will prevent the attacks from overcoming us. David understood this from when a lion and bear each tried to attack the sheep who were resting and God enabled David to kill each. Based in those experiences, David knew God would defeat Goliath when he faced him.
David learned how to prove the reality of these attacks and the ability of God to protect him.
One other point to bring in here, if you have ongoing troubles at night, ask God to give you a song of victory. Ps 32:7-For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
Listen to the Psalms being read to you. Replace the thoughts invading your minds with the truths of God. Jesus defeated satan on the cross and we can live in victory in the night or day. Praise God!
7 Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed,
you will remain unscathed and unharmed.
8 you will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment,
for they will be paid back for what they have done!
This is a place in scripture that I approach like a speed bump; cautiously and carefully.
One thought could be: while I am safe, the wicked, who do bad stuff, are going to get what they deserve. Praise God. But, does that accurately describe the heart of God?
Surely we can make a case for God wiping out groups of people in scripture. It is there.
But, what is God’s motivation, is He is ticked off with people? Does God ever warn people before judgment is handed out? If the book of Revelation is any indication, the answer would have to be yes. Or, remember why God sent Jonah to Nineveh? And, remember why Jonah was mad with God? Jonah said to God; “Didn’t I say before I left home that You would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.”
Why did God withhold judgment to Nineveh? Because the king and people sincerely repented of their sin.
At the time of this writing, in CA, we have 12 active fires covering about 60,000 acres, per Cal Fire website.
The question for me is how can I be a source of blessing and help to those that have lost homes, cherished valuables that are irreplaceable, feel depressed, alone, and uncertain about their future.
Here are a couple of thoughts:
1. Pray for provision, Christians to come alongside people and offer love and support.
2. Find a place to give that will provide the help these people need.
(Check agencies out first, before you give)
3. If you live nearby, could you find people in need, and give out of your abundance to help, as you can?
I definitely don’t have all answers, but I want to continue to grow like Moses, in knowing why God does or doesn’t do what He does vs judging God only by what I see as the people of Israel did (Ps 103:7)
So, what will I do? I will earnestly thank God for His mercy and grace shown in anyway at anytime. But, I will not question God when bad things happen to good people. I will say, God, how do You want me to help?
9-10 When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High,
our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm.
How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?
11 God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go,
defending you from all harm.
12I f you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you
and keep you from stumbling.
13 You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness,
trampling every one of them beneath your feet!
Let me substitute the word shadow with influence. Now, let’s read it. When we live our lives within the influence of God Most High. Within that statement is an implied choice-when we live. We have to daily, and at least for me several times a day, intentionally be in line where God’s influence will touch my heart and direct how I will live.
So, how do we live under God’s influence? Let me break it down simply.
1. Read God’s Word. It’s the guidebook, manual to show you how to live under God’s guidance. If you have not been reading the Bible, let me encourage you to start with the Gospel of Mark, 3 times. Mark gives a very good overview of Jesus. Then, go to Matthew and read through the New Testament.
2. Pray. Prayer is simply talking with God none stop throughout the day. God cares about YOU and me. He wants to have an intimate relationship with us. Prayer will give you the arena to develop that relationship.
3. Serve. There are 2 aspects to this. One is acts of service-teaching a class, doing things to help at a church, helping in the community in many ways. The second is an attitude of service, which can broaden the scope where you serve. For example, you may work at a job. You can approach it with an attitude of service. Start your day by asking God, how and who would you have me serve today by showing Your heart and character. “Lord, I will endeavor to be the best expression of Jesus to people I work around even ones that seem to make it hard to do so, by depending on You for strength, courage and wisdom, in Jesus name.”
4. Intentionally Grow. For me, the best example of this is the Apostle Paul. He had a man that believed God was at work in Paul to the extent he invested time to mentor Paul in how to walk with God. His name was Barnabas. Eventually, Paul had Timothy, Titus, Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos, and many more who he mentored in how to live in a God centered way. So, what am I trying to say. Who is your mentor and/or who are you mentoring? You go to a mentor to ensure you are living life in a God-centered way. When you mentor others, you find how God will open up more to you which will cause you to grow and want to be an example of His character.
Now, notice the benefits of staying in a place where God is constantly influencing who you are and how you live.
1. You will have a safe and secure hiding place where you can be refreshed, encouraged and strengthened.
2. God will create a shield around you that protects you from harmful effects of pain, hurt and problems. It’s like the purpose of suntan lotion which serves to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. The sun is still there, but we are not harmed by the sun.
3. Evil will not be able to prevail against you. Notice, it does not say, evil will not try to prevail, but it WILL NOT succeed in overcoming.
4. God will commission angels to go before you. Let me ask a question for which you cannot answer. How many times in your life have you missed harm from touching you? If God is commissioning angels to protect, then there has likely been many times you missed being in the car accident or being hit by a car walking or riding a bike; you get the idea. We do not know, but when I remain under the daily influence of Almighty God, He WILL protect.
5. Even when we do get tripped up, there will be angels to lessen the severity of it.
6. God will even take you through the times when it appears evil darkness is all around, BUT, you will trample the darkness under your feet. Wow, God is great. It reminders me of what Paul writes in Romans 16:20 (TPT)-“And the God of peace will swiftly pound satan to a pulp under your feet! And the wonderful favor of our Lord Jesus will surround you.”
Can you see how stayiiinnnggg under the cover of God will protect you, help you grow and release displays of the power of God into and through your life? I want more of that, how about you?
14 For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
“Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
I will greatly protect you.
I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.
15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.
16 You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you.
For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”
As we come to the end of this chapter, we can read God’s response to David’s worship and surrender.
As we delight in God by worshipping God with abandonment, surrendering our all to God, spending time in His Word and prayer, God views that as an expression of our love to Him.
In response God says:
• He will greatly protect us. David might have been reminded of how he had protected the sheep from a bear and lion by God’s power. How God had protected him and Israel from Goliath or many other times where God protected from harm.
• He will set us in a high place, safe and secure. In Israel’s time, a high location meant a natural defense from enemy attack. Let me suggest when we give in to our fears, hurts, negativity, pains only, we are not going to enjoy a high place. But, when we are in the high place where we read/listen to God’s Word, pray, worship God, fellowship with people that testify of God’s goodness to them. Remembering, faith is built, strengthened, by the Word of God. When I focus on God and Who He is, I will be in the high place.
• He will answer our prayers. Who does not want that? And, God will enable us to find and feel His presence even when we are going through hard things. (Going through hard things does not indicate God’s presence is not with us)
• He will be our super hero as we see Who He is and see what He does. Plus, God is going to give us a feast. In thinking about what He will serve, I wonder if it includes all of the things David has talked about before in this chapter.
• God’s promise is we will be satisfied. Our heart will swell with the awareness of His presence, enjoy His peace, joy, comfort, encouragement, guidance, wisdom, knowledge and more than I can say. He promises a full life, ready for us to experience.
• God will reveal the fullness of our salvation. We ain’t seen nothing yet. It is interesting how we think we know it all because we have experienced some of the goodness of God, but there is more, more, and more for us to understand, apply and experience of what God has for us.
This is exciting to me. Allow God to give you the revelation of what He wants to give you that you may not know. Here at P91 Ministries, we want you to have the fullness of this chapter at work in your life. We will do our best to help you enjoy what God has for you.