Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angela Ruth Schum wrote stimulating stories to complement their verse by verse analysis of Psalm 91 in their book Psalm 91 God’s Shield of Protection. They also compiled a stirring collection of stories from people who experienced, first-hand God’s protection as a result of claiming passages in Psalm 91—by faith.
Psalm 91 is subtitled in my Bible “The Protection of the Most High.” How do we avail ourselves of this protection? The psalmist gives two answers. First, we discover in verses two and nine our need to make God our refuge. Verse two states, “I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
I think of a house as an example of a place of refuge. When the weather is bad it provides me a shelter and keeps me safe through each season. It is a place of comfort and security. When we make God our shelter (entrust ourselves to Him), He promises to do several things.
· He delivers us from “the hunter’s net” (those who have intent to harm us) (vs. 3)
· He delivers us from harm and destructive plagues (vss. 3,6,10)
· He provides us a covering of protection (vs. 4), “His faithfulness will be a protective shield
· He gives us courage so that we are not afraid of night terrors, enemy attackers, plagues or pestilences (vss. 5,6)
· Though the wicked in large numbers are punished (vs. 7), we will be spared (vs. 8)
· He gives His angels orders to protect us in all our ways (vss. 11,12)
· We are given power to overcome natural threats (vs. 12)
Second, “Because he is lovingly devoted to Me,” God again emphasizes that:
· He will deliver us and protect us because we know His name (vs. 14)
· He will answer us when we call out to Him and be with us through our trouble (vs. 15
· He will honor us (vs. 15)
· He will satisfy us with long life and salvation (vs. 16)
So, questions naturally arise, “How come I suffered ________?” or, “Why, then did God let _______ die?” or “Why did my house get robbed or burn down?” These are fair and appropriate to ask. Jesus fully entrusted Himself to His Father and was lovingly devoted to Him. Before He was crucified, He prayed, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). We may feel led to ask for God’s protection, as many soldiers, and their families, and even communities did, before going to war. In the book Psalm 91, God often miraculously kept them alive, when by all accounts, they should have perished. Other soldiers, with faith in God, were at peace with the possibility of dying, and were killed. Following Jesus’ example, we place ourselves under God’s sovereign will. He knows not just what is best for us, and all those around us, He also has a timeless viewpoint. So ask for protection but ask in such a way that is submissive to God’s higher plan.
There are times when God chose not to answer my prayers, to teach me things I would not have learned, or, to accomplish unimaginable things. Yet again, He also provided safety, protection, or deliverance in response to prayer, that resulted in preserving life or work He wanted to continue for His glory. So claim His promises in faith, but claim them wisely, with an open heart. Philip Yancy, in his book Prayer Does It Make Any Difference?, notes, “Faith during affliction matters more than healing from affliction.” Skye Jethani, in with, reminds us that “Faith is the opposite of seeking control. It is surrendering control.”
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)