Psalms for Troubled Times – Psalm 91a

The Blessing of Dwelling in God

This precious psalm follows delightfully from the last, where Moses encouraged us to dwell in God. 

In this, we are brought into the enjoyment of the blessings that flow from this place of rest.

A quick internet search will show much has already been said on this psalm in relation to dark days in which we live, and if you’re interested in delving deeper into these blessings, I’d suggest the short video series by Dan Rudge.

For ourselves here, let’s just consider eight verbs: four today, four tomorrow.

Four causative verbs

Simply, this verb form indicates that someone causes something to happen to another, which here indicate four acts by which the LORD God blesses those ‘dwelling in the hiding place of the Most High‘ (v1)

He shall deliver us (v3)

There are dangers that face every soul. There is divine judgement upon our own hard-hearted, self-willed sin – the ‘pestilence‘ that leads to destruction. And then there is the ‘snare of the devil’ (2 Tim 2:26), by which we are seduced to fall into bondage to his will. 

One of the greatest weapons at Satan’s disposal is wealth and riches.

‘But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Tim 6:9)

May this time of trouble shake us from our folly, and help us realise that wealth cannot deliver us. We need the Lord, and when we trust in Him ‘which raises the dead’, we are delivered from the prison and penalty of sin forever, not to mention ongoing deliverance from the power of sin, and eventual deliverance from the very presence of sin. Praise the Lord! Paul would write:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (2 Cor 1:9,10)

He shall cover us (v4) 

The picture being the bird who weathers the storm, while under her wings, the chicks are safe, secure and comforted. (Matt 23:37)

The word ‘cover’ is literally ‘shut-in’, and I’m reminded of Noah and his family, shut-in by the Lord (Gen 7:16). While the flood raged, Noah and his family could rest in peace. 

Do you know that peace in time of trouble?

He shall satisfy us (v16)

Is there anything in this world that truly satisfies? 

The Lord here promises to satisfy us ‘with long life’. To the Old Testament faithful, long life was a sign of God’s blessing (Ex 20:12), but I think there’s more going on here.

The word ‘long‘ is elsewhere translated ‘forever(Psa 93:5), and surely full satisfaction is found in the blessing of ‘eternal life‘ rather than a ‘long life(John 4:13,14).

Eternal life is a quality of life that can only be enjoyed by those who trust in the Lord and are dwelling in God, for He is the source of this life. 

But we can go further, for the word ‘life also means ‘dayAnd what joy it is to know that while we currently endure the trials of the night season, there is an eternal day awaiting usa day of eternal satisfaction (Rev 22:1-5).

He shall show us (v16)

The psalm ends with the greatest blessing of all.

Having reached to the heavenlies, either in faith or in fact, God wants to bless us by showing us His most precious treasure – ‘My Salvation’ (in Hebrew: ‘Yeshua‘) – ‘His Son Jesus‘, whom He hath glorified (Acts 3:13).

The New Testament writers take up this thought, and encourage us to be ‘Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebs 12:2).

Jesus, Lord, we know Thee present
At Thy table freshly spread,
Seated at Thy priceless banquet
With Thy banner overhead.
Precious moments at Thy table,
From all fear and doubt set free;
Here to rest, so sweetly able,
Occupied alone with Thee.

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