In previous sections of Psalm 91 the teacher or psalmist instructed and encouraged us using his teaching points. Our lesson plan included comparing the protection of the Lord to a mother bird and the Lord’s security to a fortress. We were recently reminded that, if needed, the Lord will even send his angels to our aid. Now at verse 14, we see a change in the narration with the use of “I” or the phrase “Lord says”. It is as if our teacher has stepped aside to invite the Lord to continue our lesson. And like a classroom filled with restless students that suddenly quiet when the principal walks in, the reader is beckoned to pay attention.
The Master and Scholar has personally come to emphasize our lesson. Like the red-letter print in the New Testament used to signify the words of Jesus, these are personal words of Yahweh. The lesson has changed from a group discourse to an intimate moment from the Almighty. He is reaching out to us individually, in love and patience, to emphasize his truth needed for our lives. A quick reader can miss this interruption. So let’s take time and wait to see what our Master has to say.
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:14
Reflect: What red letter words is the Lord saying to you specifically today? If recent life events has quieted the Lord’s voice, then turn to the book of John and start reading Jesus personal words.
Prayer: Jesus, you promise as your precious children we can hear your voice as you speak to us. Open our hearts and minds to hear your voice amidst the noisiness of our world. Amen. (Luke 24:45; John 10:27)
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up. lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
We have explored the many dangers we can experience and the Lord’s promise of protection and strength. One way the Lord miraculously can choose to intervene with us is through angels. The foremost witness of the work of the angels is seen in the life and ministry of Jesus. From conception, through childhood, emerging during his temptation and then reappearing during his suffering and resurrection, we see angels appearing in Jesus’ life to assist in the unfolding plan of God. The Lord also sent angels to assist Peter in prison in Acts 12:7-10, protect Paul during his shipwreck in Acts 27:23 and to guide Cornelius to salvation in Acts 10:7.
As believers, the Lord can send angels to protect, strengthen and guide us (Hebrews 1:14). Our faith rests securely in the Lord God Almighty who governs all created beings in heaven and earth. And intimately sends heavenly beings to encourage our journey.
At times we may be tempted to inquire about “Did angels do this?” or “Was that a miracle?” Our response to the Lord’s hand in our lives is to praise and thank him while leaving the details up to him (Revelation 22:7-8).
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:11-13
Reflect:Read Acts 12:7-10 and reflect on how you would think and feel if you were Peter? How does the prospect of God sending angels for guidance and protection encourage your faith?
Prayer: Father God, know you can command an entire army of angels to guide and protect me, your child. Help me to always look to you for strength and security. Amen
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9-10)
Our testimony is more than a way to bring the lost into the saving grace of Christ. It is also more than our “salvation” story. It is a constantly changing expression of how the Lord is working in our lives. Our testimony is a continuous narrative of our faith journey filled with valleys of sadness and peaks of joys. These times can be Godly intercessions for us personally and professionally, and may also include family, colleagues and/or patients. Whether our family is protected from an accident, our patients are healed from an illness and/or a colleague finds cancer in the early stages. The Lord’s will intersecting in our day-to-day events is opportunities to share. When we tell others the mighty deeds of the Almighty we build up their faith and encourage their spiritual growth (Psalm 145:4; 1 Corinthians 1:4).
I encourage you to take time and reflect on these most recent events and how the Lord has strengthened and/or encouraged you as a Christian nurse. Next, pray for the opportunity to share with a colleague how “my Shelter, the Sovereign One” has worked in your nursing practice. Like the writer of the 91st Psalm, we can use our life journey of living in the refuge of the Lord as a teaching tool for our patients and colleagues.
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:9-10
Reflect: Who will you shared your experience with this week?
Prayer:Oh, Lord, I will praise You for all your wonderous deeds and tell others of Your great salvation and mighty works for those who love You! Amen
Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns You Tube Video
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (Psalm 91:7-8)
The Psalmist continues his description of the immeasurable protection our Magnificent Lord provides. The use of “thousand, ten thousand or multitude” implies an infinite number of ways the Lord intercedes for us. Our greatest danger is from Satan, who prowls around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Our salvation and faithfulness is of supreme importance to the Lord. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus prays specifically for Peter to return to his faith after being sifted like wheat. Also, in John 17:15, Jesus prays to the Father to keep the disciples and us from the evil one.
Working in tandem with the evil of Satan is the Lord’s judgment. How this occurs is more than we can fathom; for God’s judgments and conduct is beyond our understanding (Romans 11:33-34/Isaiah 55:9). It also is part of the redemptive plan (Revelation).
W.A. VanGermeren, Professor of Old Testament writes, “Seeing God’s salvation with the eye of faith will further encourage the godly, whom the Lord has promised his protection and blessing. The godly will witness the righteousness, justice, and fidelity of the Lord as well as the punishment of the wicked. No power in heaven or earth is greater than that of Yahweh, the Divine Warrior!”
So, in the middle of a song of praise and protection, we are encouraged that redemption from the Lord is faithful to secure us while condemning the wicked.
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:7-8
Reflect: Can you recall a time when the Lord kept you faithful to Him when your confidence was wavering?
Prayer: Father God, you have secured my redemption through your Son, Jesus Christ. Protect me from the evil one; keep me faithful to your truth and will when I waiver in fear and doubt. Amen.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. (Psalm 91:5-6)
The previous devotions we have explored how the Lord demonstrates security as a fortress, rescuer and as our wise guardian. We even discussed how our faith walk can be disrupted by doubts, fears, insecurities, and disturb your sleep.
In the next section of verses, the psalmist used symbolic language to define the vastness of dread and destruction that can come into our lives. The writer understood that we live on a planet with chaos and death. We are helpless against dangerous volcanoes, vicious earthquakes, and damaging tsunamis and share communities with evil men and women who purposefully cause pain and suffering. And these are just a few of the terrors and dread that encompasses our life.
When we read all that the Lord protects us from, we may be tempted to assume nothing bad will happen to us. Instead, we are assured that nothing is beyond the reach of God (Psalm 139:7-12). No sin or evil will prevent the faithful hand of our Lord guiding us through the calamities. There may come a time in each of our lives when we quake in fear, run in panic, and hide in terror. The Most High and Almighty will be there with us. We have a 24/7 security system. The Lord ensures international and eternal coverage through the “terrors at night”, the “arrows in the day” and amidst the “disasters at midday.” This coverage is mediated and delivered through the promises of our glorious Savior, ensuring that even death should not cause us to worry (1 Corinthians 15:26, 55; Romans 6:8).
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:6
Reflect: What causes you the most fear? How can the passage in Romans be an antidote for your personal fear(s)?
Prayer:Oh, LORD Most High, what then shall we say to these devastations we encounter? If You are for us, who is against us? Will anyone or anything, seen or unseen, separate me from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”But in all these things I am an overwhelmingly conqueror through Christ who love me. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nordepth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen (Romans 8:31,35-39).
*Excerpts were taken from the devotion with the same name 24/7 Protection in CARES: Reflections for Nurses.
You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day (Psalm 91:5)
In our previous devotions, we explored the security found in God of the Most High. How his refuge and shelter provide a strong secure dwelling place. Beginning in verse 5, the psalmist shares various scenarios, which builds our confidence in security of dwelling of the Almighty.
When I read the verse: You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day, I thought of Satan and the different terrors he can inflict.
Imagine the following scenario:
Your day has been one of love and trust for God. No matter what concerns may have arisen; you have stayed faithful and strong. Let us take our current pandemic. Yes, you have worries—economic worries for your job as your hours have been cut; concern for your family’s health as your relative begins to cough and run a fever; emotional concerns as you notice an increase in anxiety and depression. Yet, through each one of the worries and throughout the day, your faith has not wavered. You have stayed connected with the Lord through prayer, worship and fellowship. The Lord’s shield protected you and you feel comforted under his wings. Until nighttime–You wake up in the middle-of-the night and your anxious mind has taken over. You begin thinking about all the worries you have and they are suddenly insurmountable. Your daytime calmness and resolve, has somehow changed to doubts and panic. Questions run through your mind: What if my wife has the virus, will I get the virus? My boss says my cut in hours in only temporary, but what if I lose my job? How will I feed my children? The security of the day is gone and your nighttime has become a terror. Satan has not only thrown arrows at your faith, he is also terrorizing your nighttime.
Thankfully, the psalmist reminds us that the Lord’s protection is 24/7. We can be reminded of this protection through prayer and scripture. Just like we combat the enemy during the day, we can combat him during the night (Ephesians 6:16). If you are disturbed by doubts, fears, insecurities, or your past haunts you during the night—pray against this. Your nighttime (RX) or prescription includes the following:
Every night at HS or ½ hour before bed do the following:
Read a passage of scripture
Listen to soothing worship song
Pray to the Lord to provide a protective covering over your mind while you sleep.
Mediate on Psalm 91:1-2 or comforting verse as you doze off to sleep.
May the Lord’s peace and comfort bring you rest.
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:5
Reflect: What worries/stresses can disturb your nighttime rest? Write them out and then use the RX for Sleep to invite the Lord’s peace into your night.
Prayer: O Lord, my protector at night, may I rest under your strong wings of protection secure against the terrors of night and the arrows of the evil one. Amen
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
Have you ever seen an adult bird tuck a baby bird under their wings? The adult bird has the strength of being larger and more mature; has acquired life-learning wisdom; and is alert to the surrounding dangers. The baby chick rests securely, for it is weak and vulnerable dependent on its parent for sustenance. The chick possesses no knowledge of anything beyond the warmth and security of the parent. I always think that is true protection and reliance
In the simple, yet intimate life of a bird, we are given another source of God’s protection—his faithfulness. Some Bibles use “truth” meaning stability, firmness and reliability. At first we may be confused to think that the word “truth” is interchangeable with the word “faithfulness.” Yet, isn’t that where the strength and security of our Lord comes from? His truth. The divine instruction of the Bible and the authenticity of Jesus Christ are truth and define the faithfulness of God.
Romans 3:3 reminds us of the indescribable law at work with God’s faithfulness—it isn’t dependent upon the believer. For whether we believe or not, God’s faithfulness does not change. We are to be the baby bird. The difference for us is how we rest…are we secure and content like a baby bird under its mother’s wings? Or are we panicking constantly peeking between the feathers to make sure all is okay?
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:4
Reflect: Reflect on this past week and how you have been like a baby bird—tucked comfortably under the refuge of God. Or, have you been filled with doubt and worry peeking through the comforting wings of our loving Father in Heaven.
Prayer: Oh, Lord You are my guardian and stronghold caring for me as a helpless chick. Help me to live out Your faithful promise that not even a hair on my head goes beyond your notice or caring hand (Matthew 10:29-31) Amen.
Worship Song: Promises Never Fail by Bethel Music & Emmy Rose
The two scenarios found in Psalm 91:3 are enough to cause fear and panic. And, once again we are reminded where our security rests. We have the shock-and-awe of an animal snare. A snare is a trap hidden in the forest or jungle. Because it cannot be seen or detected it traps an animal unaware. Another fear is the unseen panic of a deadly pestilence, which we are currently living through the corona virus.
“For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from deadly pestilence.” (Psalm 91:3)
This week as I met with my women’s prayer/fellowship group, we were amazed at the how quickly the corona virus has invaded our lives. In a matter of weeks or months, many of us went from knowing about the virus in China, to a few cases popping up in our area, then to shelter-in-place to stop transmission. Suddenly we have a whole new existence with remote working or unemployment, homeschooling our children, and no face-to-face contact with our neighbors, friends, and church family. For some of you the virus has infected your family, friends and/or neighbors; or you have already lost loved ones to the respiratory illness. And since most of us our nurses or midwives, we are on the front lines caring for patients who are severely sick and dying, while trying to keep our own family from becoming infected.
Through the “shock-and-awe” scenarios of a snare and pestilence found in Psalm 91:3, we are reminded where our security rests. In our Rescuer–Jesus Christ! We are protected in his hand. Not immune to disasters or viruses, but secure in his ever present providence (Hebrews 13:5/Psalm 118:6; 1 Chronicles 29:11). God knew about the corona virus, including the who, what, where, when, and how. He even knows the why!
Even though we are vulnerable to the tragedies of this world, we have a secured eternal place with him.
Reflect: Use an online Bible tool (BlueLetter Bible) to look up the topic “God’s Providence”. Write down the verses and explore how your beliefs about the “hand” of the Lord line up with scripture (Psalm 118:6/Exodus 15:6)
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:3
Pray/Praise: Father God, You are my rescuer and nothing in my life is outside of Your knowledge. For just as You know when a sparrow falls from a tree, so you know every cell in my body and moment in my life (Matthew 10:29-31). Thank You and praise You, for from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! (Romans 11:36). Amen
I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. (Psalm 91:2)
A military wall or high strong fence is a means of protection. It prevents enemies or vicious animals from coming inside the protected area. Those inside the protected area are secure from whatever is on the other side of the wall or fence. If the wall or fence has holes or is weak, the people inside the protected area are vulnerable. We know in our minds that the Lord is a refuge and fortress. Yet, at times we have doubts. Or, we allow fear to break into our fortress. These can be our own natural tendencies or fleshly worries, concerns or stresses.
One way we can remind ourselves of the strength of the Lord, is to say it out loud. “I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress…” (Ps 91:2)
There is strength and guidance when we speak to the Lord and recognize his protection. It is not as if the Lord provides a sudden barrier, like in action movies. The writer of the psalm or song used 4 different titles for the Lord: Most High, Almighty, the Lord, and God–these names represent the power of our Creator God and the endearing Love of our Covenant God. God’s name and character is the fortress and our refuge.
Through our spoken words, our heart grabs onto that which our mind already knows—The Almighty, the Most High is our sanctuary. Notice the confidence of the writer.., I will say to my My God in whom I trust” And as we say to our nursing students, you build confidence by saying it, doing it and believing in the confidence. We don’t wait to feel secure or “positive”. We say it out loud knowing the power rests in the God to bring it forth (Isaiah 55:11; March 11:22-24). Like the Psalmist, proclaim with confidence, “I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust. ”
Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:1 & 2
Reflect: Spend time this week exploring ways you need the Lord’s refuge and fortress. They can be physically (from the coronavirus) and spiritually (fear, stress, etc.). Then, confidently proclaim “My refuge and My fortress, my God, in whom I trust” over every concern you listed.
Pray/Praise: Almighty, Most High God, we have found refuge in You as a strong encouragement to hold fast to and a hope set before us through your Son, Jesus. He is our hope, an anchor for our soul that is sure and steadfast. Amen. (Hebrews 6:18-19)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I published a series exploring Psalm 91 after the death of my sister. The Lord led me to Psalm 91 as a lifeline to Him. His strength, comfort and hope held me up during my grief and despair. Even today, 7 years later with a seemingly life-time of challenges behind me, the Lord continues to follow through with his promise: When he calls to me, I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble (Psalm 91:15).
Join me in exploring the promises found in Psalm 91. I have updated each devotion for today’s crisis, along with relevant reading and reflections.
Psalm 91 is a song of trust and hope that guides us in understanding our God and the protection He provides. It is not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen to you and me, nor to our families and friends. Instead, as one Bible scholar states it is promise of “no fear and no fall”. This spiritual covering is a protection from the elements outside or beyond the Lord’s hand. We do not have to be afraid of what comes our way in this life, nor the next. As the coronavirus pandemic causes illness and death to our family and friends, sends us into social isolation and stretches our personal reserves to the max, we can rest in confidence. God is still in control! The Lord was not surprised by the COVID-19, nor the impact to our society.
Our God is the Almighty, the Supreme Being and Ruler of everything on earth and in heaven (1 Chronicles 29:11-13). And we have a choice to dwell with Him. This is not just a onetime choice at salvation, but a daily surrender to the Most High. This choice brings the assurance of abiding with the Lord (1 John 4:15). Yes, pain and suffering may befall us, but we rest in the confidence that our Lord is in control and we can rest in the shadow of His presence. We make that choice for right now–this moment and for tomorrow’s known and unknown moments. We choose where we want to dwell and abide.
Normally, in my devotions, I don’t ask personal questions about your relationship with Jesus. With the current global crisis, I think it is important to ask questions about faith. Do you know Jesus Christ?” “Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?”
In order to abide in the shadow of the Almighty and dwell under the protective shelter of the Most High we need Jesus (John 14:6). He provides the way to the Almighty. Only through the one and only Son of God, do we have assurances of the Almighty. Click on the link if you have questions and want to know more. https://peacewithgod.net/.
Included with the series is supplemental activities so you can eat, digest and live on the nutrients of our daily bread.
Read: Psalm 91
Reflect: In your prayer journal write out the entire Psalm 91.
So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)
Memorize: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1)
Link to Psalm 91 Scripture Song “My God in Whom I will Trust” (Esther Mui)