Psalm 91- A Covenant Promise

Psalm 91 is God’s covenant promise with all those who will agree to make their dwelling place in the shelter of the Most High. This covenant comes with promises of deliverance, protection, victory over Satan and his demons, answers to prayer, His presence in times of trouble,  honor, long and satisfied life. Our covenant is to dwell in His shelter, acknowledge Him Lord, our refuge, our fortress and our God. As a place of refuge He is our High Tower, our secure place where no one can harm us; we can resort to Him in any time of trouble. As our Fortress, He is our fortified place; the enemy cannot withstand His strength. He is our God, we believe He is the only true God; we render to Him worship and our trust in every situation. He is Lord of all that we are – our thoughts, decisions and desires. The moment we signed the contract with Him, our life was crucified with Him; we no longer live to satisfy self; we now live to please our Lord!  This is our part of the contract.

Although we are often found in the terror of the enemies arrows, we are also delivered from them. Psalm 91 is not a covenant promise to keep us away from trouble, but of deliverance from trouble. Storms, diseases, pestilence, destruction sudden death will come our way sometimes, but there is a fortress where we can find refuge, if we believe and trust in God enough to apply this principle of the covenant. He will deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence (vs.3). A snare is an instrument used to tempt. Satan in his craftiness has deceived many with his snares. We will be able to understand a snare for what it is only if we are abiding in God’s shelter. He will give us eyes to see and understanding to flee from it. Satan used a tree from the garden as a snare to tempt our first parents. Tragically they fell to it. God has given us all the meanings of escape from Satan’s snares, but it will only work if we apply them. United with God’s strength in His fortress, we will be victorious, because our struggles are not with men, although they come through them, but with Satan and his demons.

Pestilence is a disease that spread through the entire community. It is a fatal epidemic. God’s covenant promise however, is that it will not touch us, even if we are in the midst of it. Although we will face the darkness of terror, and the arrow that flies by day, and any type of pestilence that comes in any hour of the day, we will not be alarmed with fear, for He has given us the spirit of power. We will only witness the destruction of those who are trying to destroy us, from our left and from our right we will see many falling, but we will be saved and secured in the Secret Place of the Most High. He will cover us with His pinions and under His wings shall we find refuge. His truth and faithfulness are to us a buckler or a shield of protection. When YAHSHUA saw the spiritual condition of Israel, He desired to gather them as a hen gathers her young under her wings for their protection and deliverance of what was to happen, but because they refused Him they faced destruction. It is not God’s desire that we perish, but that we might have everlasting life.

Verses 9 and 10 summarize the condition of God’s covenant and promises: the absence of all evils and plague or calamity in our tent, the protection and defense of God’s angels (Vs.11). Angels are God’s messengers; they are His servants sent out in the service of those who are to inherit salvation (Heb. 1: 14).  Angels are not to be worshiped. Their services are not of their own will, but God’s. They are only instruments to fulfill God’s covenant promises to us. The Lord commands them to protect, defend and preserve us. God makes sure that we are secured high enough in their hands so that we will “not fall into sin, or into any calamity and distress; lest the least hurt or mischief befall us, or the least injury be done us;” Proverbs 3:23: “Then you will walk in your way securely and in confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble.” The Targum interprets it of the evil concupiscence, or corruption of nature, which is like a stone; see Ezekiel 36:26  (From Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible).  Targum is an ancient Aramaic paraphrase or interpretation of the Hebrew Bible.

In the Secret Place of the Almighty, we are given power to tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. YAHSHUA has already trampled on the serpent’s head, when He was hung on the cross, fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. To the seventy disciples YAHSHUA gave them power and authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 9:1;10: 19). Here in Psalm 91 God gives the believer authority and power to tread on the lion; the adder; the young lion and the serpent (vs. 13). The natural qualities of a lion are fierceness and fury. Satan, as an enemy of the believer, comes to us in the fierceness and fury of a lion and in the craftiness and subtlety of a serpent. Peter warned us of his schemes by saying: Be well balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood throughout the world (I Peter 5:8-9). When God said, You will not fear the terror of the night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday, a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you, He was confirming His power over the enemy of our soul. When we do exercise the power God has given us over Satan and his demons, we will be spectators witnessing their destruction. Paul said to Timothy, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7). Fear without reason for its ground comes from the devil. If we are secured under the shelter of the Almighty in relationship with Him, then fear will not have power over us, but will be trampled underfoot our foot.

There are two “becauses” in this psalm. The first one if found in verse 9: Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place; and the second one on verse 14 which reads: Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name; he shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him; with long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation (vs. 14-16). The first “because” reinforces His promises of verses 1-8 to those who have made the Lord their dwelling place and refuge; the second “because” is for those who have a relationship with God. It is true that when we are dwelling in God we will have a relationship with Him. Paul said, [As far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).In our devotion and love for Him, He will bless us with all the promises found in His covenant. The Lord is waiting to fulfill all the blessings of this psalm in our life. When we are ready to say, The Lord is our Refuge, our Fortress, and our God, He will say, Because you have made the Lord your refuge and the Most High your dwelling place, I will fulfill all the covenant promises I have with you.


Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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