1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- What do you think it means to take shelter under God?
- God makes some incredible promises to protect from all kinds of difficulties. Does this Bible passage mean that you will never have any difficulties if you follow God?
- Satan quotes this very passage to tempt Jesus to evade his life of suffering. How can we be more confident that we are interpreting and understanding God’s word correctly?
- How does this passage help us better understand the saving work of God in Christ?
Safe in God
*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.
All right. If you can locate a Bible and we have them in the book racks in front of you, we’re going to be in Psalm 91, which is on page 512 in the Bibles that we have here. We’re in Psalm 91. Again, I apologize. I got sick and my voice is strained, and so I’m praying that God would sustain it through the morning. But I’m grateful that in my weakness and in my limitations, God’s strength can be made perfect. So we’re going to read Psalm 91, verses one to 16. Then I’ll pray, and we’ll get to work.
Psalm 91, starting in verse one, reads like this whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, 10,000 at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, The Lord is my refuge and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you. No disaster will come near your tent, for he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra. You will trample the great lion and the serpent. Because he loves me, says the Lord. I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him with long life. I will satisfy Him and show Him my salvation.
Let’s pray. Lord, as we’ve opened Your word together, we’re praying that by Your word, you would speak to us. That you, by Your spirit, would take these words on a page and that you would make them come to life for us. And you would help us to hear from you in such a way that we would understand the promises that you have offered to us. So we pray that everyone in here and everyone who can hear My voice watching online, watching later, that every single individual hearing this sermon would hear the invitation to believe in Jesus Christ and experience the saving work that you have performed through Him. We thank you for Him, and we pray in his precious name. Amen. Amen.
We’ll look at this under three different headings because that’s how the psalm itself breaks down. If you notice, there are directions of communication in this passage. In the first case, you’ve got that personal pronoun. You’ve got somebody saying, here’s what I confess, here’s what I will say of the Lord. There’s this individual who’s articulating their faith. So that’s the first part, confession of faith in verses one and two. And then we’ll look at the second heading, which is the assurance of the person who confesses faith. So the direction of communication goes from, I will say of the Lord. And now the psalmist is speaking to that person saying, this will happen for you. You will experience the goodness of God. And then finally at the end, God speaks up and he says, that’s right. Here’s my voice. I’ll lend my voice to this conversation of the one who loves me. They will experience what I’m doing for them. So those are our three headings the confession of faith, the assurance of faith, and the outcome of faith as said by God. Let’s get to work.
CONFESSION OF FAITH
Verses one and two, the confession of faith. Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Here’s the imagery that’s being used. It’s the imagery of needing to find shelter. Now this is something that reminded me of a time when I was doing a sports ministry and we were wakeboarding, which means we had a boat and we were out on a lake. I think we were in North Carolina. And this storm came out of nowhere. It just kind of overtook the whole region and we were on a boat. And so we tried to figure out, okay, how do we get this boat secured? And this was a sponsorship boat. It belonged to a company, and it was our responsibility to take care of it. And here’s this huge storm that’s going to potentially capsize this thing. We had to secure it, and then we had to swim from where the boat was anchored at the bottom of the lake to a dock. And I remember feeling so frightened in that moment because the wind was just raging like trees were folding over and lightning was just flashing through the sky. And I watched Saturday cartoons and I saw the transformer thing. You’re not supposed to be in the water when lightning is happening. That was the public service announcement. So I’m like, I got to get out of here. So we get out of the water and we head for shelter, and we find this it’s like a boathouse kind of thing. And we get under there. And the feeling of that, of getting under even just a provisional shelter like that was a relief, right? You recognize I’m in danger, but now I’ve found a way to be under something that can protect me. And then obviously to go into a house or into a basement. From there, even better. But that’s what it’s saying here. When somebody goes to God, recognizing the dangers that are around them, the storms of life and all those things, but they dwell in the shelter of the Most High God. When they seek refuge there, they will rest. In the shadow of the Almighty, they will experience rest. And what this is inviting us to do then, is to confess our faith in this God and experience that provision. It’s an invitation. Notice that the first word is whoever, whoever dwells with God. It’s invitational. We know that from all of scripture that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, whosoever believes in him will be saved. So I encourage you to hear this message with that invitational direction. You can leave here today knowing that God is saying, would you please, would you consider coming to Him and finding Him to be your place of rest? Now, the Lord, if you remember, he said something similar. Jesus said in Matthew chapter eleven, all who are weary and heavy laden, come to me and I will give you rest. That’s the invitation this morning that God is saying, would you find shelter in me and experience my rest? A beautiful invitation, almost too good to be true. But look at the principle here. Principle shows up in these verses. In verse one, it’s really, as one commentator says, the motto of the psalm, whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will experience rest with God. So that’s the motto, that’s the principle, and it will be worked out along the way. But it is personalized. In verse two, notice that the psalmist says, I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust. This person is saying, this is my gig, this is my God. He is my refuge and my fortress, the one in whom I trust. We need to be willing to confess with that personal dimension that this is my relationship to God. This is what I’m declaring about, how I think about God. Now, Christianity is a confessional faith. It’s something that we have to articulate. We confess with our lips, we believe in our hearts, confess with our lips and we are saved. But we have to be willing to declare that truth, to be able to say, this is where I stand, this is my belief system. I have God and he is my refuge and my fortress, the one in whom I trust. Now, that feature, the feature of confession was a big deal at the start of my church ministry for a couple of different reasons. When I first started into church ministry, I was a youth pastor. I did that for eight years. And so there were a couple of different groups that were on my mind all the time. I wanted young believers to personalize their faith, to go from saying, I’m a Christian, because mom and dad say, I am. Like, they took me to church, they made me come here. I’m a Christian because of them. And my encouragement for young people was, no, that’s not good enough. You have to own it. You have to be willing to say, this is your thing, this is your God, you’re trusting in Him. And so I worked very hard over those eight years to try to help young people who grew up in the church confess faith on their own for themselves with their own conviction and buy in. And then the other group that really was on my heart and mind was a lot of the believers that I was observing. Because prior to becoming a youth pastor, I got to travel all over the place and I was noticing the disconnect between American Christianity and Christianity and places abroad. And I began to think, why is it that American Christians can be so flippant about their faith, so nonchalant about it? And I began to realize a lot of people just kind of assume it and they have a superficial relationship with God, but they’ve never confessed their faith in these sorts of terms. And so I wanted to help people move toward God in the way that they relate to Him so that they would begin to articulate their faith as, this is my refuge, this is my fortress, this is my God in whom I trust. So again, this is an invitation for you to consider. Have you confessed your trust in God?
ASSURANCE OF FAITH
Well, the second part comes in verses three to 13. Three to 13 is the assurance of faith. Now the direction of communication changes from me saying it to now the psalmist is affirming what the confessor of faith is articulating. So he says, God will save you. Verse three. Surely God, he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. There are traps. Fowler has set a trap for you, but God will deliver you from that and he will shield you from the deadly pestilence. He will protect you. Verse four. He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield. And rampart it’s saying that God is like a mother hen, like this bird that the chiclets, if you will, can come under. And no matter what’s going on above the chiclets, all they experience is the nearness of the parent. They experience the protection. And it’s inviting us to consider, do you relate to God like that? Do you recognize that those who confess their faith in Him are covered by Him in that manner, that he is shielding you and protecting you under his wings and you are finding refuge? Is that what Christianity feels like to you? And notice the ending phrase there on verse four. It’s his faithfulness that accomplishes it. It’s his ability that we rely on, that he’s able to look after us and be our shield and our rampart, so God will protect us. His protection is nonstop. That’s what verses five and six are getting at. It gives us these couplets both night and day. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. It’s saying that God is nonstop watching over you. He doesn’t clock out. It’s not that you are staying awake at night and protecting yourself, but then you’re really tired and you go into your tent and the enemy shows up and shoots you with an arrow. Says no, both at night and during the daytime. God is on his shift of watching over you. You can be confident that you are okay. Verse six says it a little differently. It says, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Again, it’s the couplets of darkness and high noon. And it’s saying, God is always watching after those to whom he loves, those that have entrusted themselves to his care. God is protecting us nonstop. He will protect you and you will see the victory. Look at verse seven and eight. A thousand may fall at your side, 10,000 at your right side, but it will not come near you. He’s saying, you could look out there and see this multitude of people and a thousand of them get smoked. And then you look at your right hand and 10,000 die on this side. And he says, but God is protecting you and it will not even come near to you. Verse eight, you will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. You will see these things coming to fruition, but you will see them from a distance, so to speak. You will observe with your own eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. And then we have a reprise in verses nine to 13, which is another way of saying it’s repeated. Some of the concepts from the passage are repeated. This is a psalm, so ordinarily it would be sung by the people of God. Do you guys remember the glory days of church when we didn’t have like a big projector? We had an overhead projector and transparencies and there were like plastic sheets with words on there backwards and people would put them on. A reprise would be like the part where you see the thing and it goes times two or times four and you go, okay, we’re doing that one again. But this is a reprise where the psalmist is saying, I didn’t want this one to slip by you. Let’s make sure we run it back again. Verse nine says, if you say, the Lord is my refuge and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you. No disaster will come near your tent if you are doing this. And he says, that’s exactly what I did. That’s what I said in verse two. I’ve said of the lord, he is my refuge. He says, if you say the Lord is your refuge, you make the Most High your dwelling. No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. What a beautiful promise we experience. Angelic Protection, verses eleven and twelve says, for he will, God will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. What a beautiful thing. A thing. Even the host of angels are now deployed for your protection. God will command his angels concerning you. Your victory is secure. Verse 13. You will tread on the lion and the cobra. You will trample the great lion and the serpent. It’s symbolism of evil, like the Pharaoh’s outfit, what did he dress as? He had the big snake cobra head thing. And it’s saying, look, if you are entrusting yourself to God, you will trample these evil things underfoot the lion and the serpent. Those will be things that you just walk on. What an incredible provision. So it’s telling us to confess our faith and then it’s giving us assurance of what God is going to do to those who entrust themselves to him. Now we need to think through how does this work exactly? This sounds almost too good to be true. How does this work exactly? How do we take these promises from Psalm 91 and see them show up in real time? And first thing that I need to do here is just offer a word of caution. There is a danger here in misreading Psalm 91. There’s a way to read Psalm 91 that is inaccurate, that is actually even worse than that. That is Satanic. Tim Keller was talking at a pastor’s conference and he was preaching on Psalm 91 and the title, so I found it online. The title is Satanic Exposition. Tim Keller. And I was like, okay, I’m not clear on what they’re saying here. They’re either saying that Tim Keller, because it wasn’t his website, it was another ministry. I’m going are calling him a Satanic preacher, which is what Exposition means, is taking the Bible, reading it and exposing what’s there, and they’re going, are they calling him a Satanic expositor? But it was his title, which I wish he would have said earlier on, because I’m watching the sermon like, what’s going on here? But later on in his sermon, about two thirds of the way through, he says to a group of pastors, you have to be careful with Psalm 91 because there’s a danger here that you apply it the same way that Satan does. And he goes, notice how Satan takes Psalm 91 and uses it in Luke chapter four. If you guys are familiar with the story of the life of Jesus, he was baptized and then led by the Spirit into into the desert wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. For 40 days and 40 nights. And then he began his public ministry. Goes back to Nazareth, preaches a sermon, they hate his guts. Doesn’t go well right away, doesn’t go well until he’s back from the dead, so to speak. Or not so to speak. Back from the dead. Very much really happened. Better be careful here. (face palm) All right? So he’s in the desert wilderness. This is Luke. Chapter four. Satan is dealing with him and Satan is trying to entice him off of the task at hand, so he’s tempting him. And this is from Luke, chapter four, verses nine to twelve. The devil leads Jesus of Nazareth to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. And then he says, if you are the Son of God, if you are who you’re claiming to be, if you are who the people of God are expecting, if you really are the Messiah, he said, throw yourself down from here, for it is written. Okay, if you are who you’re claiming to be, I’ve read a psalm about you. Psalm 91. I’ve read the Bible, and here’s what it says, and he quotes it directly. He says, for it is written, he, God will command his angels concerning you, to guard you carefully. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. He takes the Bible and he directly cites it word for word, verbatim. He says, if you’re who you say you are, if you’re really this one, then you could do this. Because I’ve read the Bible and it talks about you. And this is what it says. You could throw yourself off of here and the angels would catch you and you wouldn’t even stub your toe. And Jesus says to him, in verse twelve, it is said, do not put the Lord your God to the test. Now, isn’t it interesting? Satan is quoting Scripture, but he’s misusing it. Now Jesus didn’t confront him and say, no, that’s not who it’s talking about. It wasn’t talking about me in the first place. On that account, he doesn’t refute him, but he refutes him on the fact that what Satan is trying to do is trying to get Jesus to avoid having to go the way of sorrow and the way of the cross. You can experience glory because you are Him. And there are all kinds of promises about you. You don’t have to go that difficult way. You don’t have to go through all the agony of rejection and betrayal and execution. I mean, you could just jump off of here. The angels would catch you, and then there’d be no question about who you are. Everyone would know how incredible you are. You are the beloved of the Father. Show your glory without going to the cross. Now Keller, in his sermon to the pastors, he said, there is a very real danger in wanting to preach like that. There is a temptation to take passages of scripture like Psalm 91 and try to apply them directly without the care and the nuance of paying attention to what the whole Bible says. And it is a very, very enticing thing because if you preach that kind of message, it’ll be very popular. People will love it. There are a lot of different ways that you describe it. You could call it prosperity theology or prosperity preaching. But to take promises of God and say, guys, this is what God says. If you believe it, no trouble, no difficulty, God will just shield you. You’ll never go through anything bad. Sounds pretty incredible, right? And that’s why it’s so easy for people to embrace it. It’s wildly popular both here in the United States and we export it as well. Because you start telling you can just I’ll show you the Bible verse, you can just trust God, make him your shelter and nothing will ever befall you. Sign me up, sign me up today, because life doesn’t feel like that anyways. Let me try to tease out like this. If you were to ask ‘Cor, why sometimes you talk about pastoral ministry like it’s so hard, why is that?’ Okay? We’ll do two little thought experience experiments. You say to me, why is it that sometimes you talk about pastoral ministry like it’s so hard? I could say a lot of things, okay? And you guys might be aware of some of the difficulties that maybe I would go through. But one of the things I could say is one of the reasons why it’s so hard. There was a pastor during the time of Nazi Germany, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he had a book called Cost of Discipleship. He said in it, when Jesus calls a man, he bids him come and die. When Jesus calls a man, he bids him come and die. ‘Cor, why do you think pastoral ministry is so hard?’ This is me talking. Say, well, you know, the message is kind of hard that I’m inviting people to die and people don’t want to hear that, and that’s kind of tough.’ And you go, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess I get that. That is pretty tough. But otherwise your life looks pretty awesome. You have flexible schedule and you get to hang out with people and drink coffee’ and yada, yada, yada. But let’s say you take that same microphone, you go to a prosperity preacher and you go, ‘What do you think about pastoral ministry?’ They go, ‘It is awesome. I mean, everyone loves it. Our church is growing, it’s beautiful.’ ‘Why is that?’ And they say, ‘Well, I just tell people what God promises and people just get to receive that and it goes gangbusters.’ See, we have to be careful because it is so very enticing to go in that direction to try to take passages of scripture and divorce them from what the entire Bible has to say about it. And to over promise and under deliver, and people will gladly sign up for it believing, hey, I’m willing to at least try it. But how does this work? I mean, even in let me point something out, just to try to clarify this. There is trouble. Psalm 91 is not saying, hey, you trust in God and there will be no trouble. Skip ahead just to verse 15 very briefly. We’ll get there in a few minutes. But verse 15, God is speaking in this section and he says, I will be with this person in trouble. Wait, I thought I was signing up for no trouble. And God says, no, I’ll be there in the trouble. So don’t misunderstand this. This is not promising that your life will be completely shielded from any evil. It’s saying something that we have to try to untangle here. So how does this work in real time? Well, Psalm 91, God is not over promising and under delivering here. The thing that we have to understand is how does he deliver on this promise? The promises of Psalm 91 are very real and will be fulfilled, but we have to be careful about the timeline that we expect. God will fulfill these promises and a lot of them are very future oriented. A lot of the ways in which he’ll protect us really show up in the age to come. And in this life we have troubles and it is difficult and things don’t go the way that we expect. Let me show it to you from the lips of the Lord himself. This is Luke, chapter 22. He’s talking to his disciples, he’s trying to prep them. This is what it’s going to be like to follow me. He says, you will be arrested because of me, and you will be put on trial, and I’ll give you words and you’ll testify about me. He says, it’s not going to be easy. And he goes on to say in verses 16 and following, you will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. What am I signing up for? Because he’s saying, this is going to be much harder than you’re prepared for, but I will sustain you through it. You will be betrayed and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. Does that sound like an easy message to sell? Like, hey guys, you want to do this? Jesus says family is going to betray you and people will hate your guts. Sound good? All right, let’s go. But then he says, this is crazy. It feels like it’s not even logical, right? They’re going to kill some of you. But verse 18, not a hair of your head will perish. Come again? So I’m going to die, but my hair is going to be okay? I’m not sure I like that deal. Okay, what does he mean there? How can he say those two different things. Some of you are going to die, but not a hair of your head will perish. And he says, Stand firm and you will win life. You go, I have life. I like my life. Can’t we just work on my life? He says, Listen, here’s how it works then. What Jesus is telling us, the cost of discipleship is, it will be incredibly hard, but stand firm till the end and God will reward your faithfulness. You will receive a life that you can barely even imagine, and it’ll be worth it. Some of you will lose your life for Christ’s sake and will be hated because of him, but he will preserve and protect you and will give you eternal life, and it’ll be worth it. So Jesus seems to be saying here, and the Bible says all over the place, the promises of God do come true. Some of them kind of intrude on the here and now, and we celebrate that and we pray for that, and we recognize that and we anticipate it even. But some of the promises of God will come true only in the age to come, and that has to be enough for us, because it is sufficient and it is the plan of God. We need to prioritize God’s ultimate salvation. And when we do that, when we recognize Psalm 91 is going to work, it’s going to work. God said so. And we begin to see this as coming true for us ultimately in Christ and in the future. It changes how we deal with life and difficulties. Now, the Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, commenting on verse ten, he put it like this. He says, it is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord. And you go, Come on, dude, don’t be so naive. Spurgeon you had gout you had this illness that wrecked your ministry. Spurgeon, are you really saying that no ill can befall the beloved of God? You led a church where some troublemaker, when it was incredibly crowded cried out fire and caused a stampede, and a bunch of people died that day, and you dealt with depression and self doubt for the rest of your life. Spurgeon, can you really say this, that the one who is beloved of God, it is impossible that any ill should ever befall them? And then he clarifies. Here’s how it works. Ill to him is no ill at all, but only good in mysterious form. Losses enrich him. Sickness is his medicine, reproach is his honor, death is his gain. A person who has trusted in the provision of God made God their savior and their protection, that person looks at the circumstances of life and sees it entirely different. All the difficulties are actually obtaining for us a weight of glory that cannot be compared to the suffering that we go through now. All that we go through right now are only going to be wielded by God for our benefit. To believe the promises of God in this fashion changes how we deal with life. So verses three to 13 assure us of what we can expect when we entrust ourselves to God’s promises.
THE OUTCOME OF FAITH
Finally, the outcome of faith. Verses 14 to 16, God now pledges his protection. God speaks and he says, that’s right. That is right. God affirms the premise of the psalm. In verse 14, he says, because this person, because he or she loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. God promises to personally look after this individual. He will call on me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. God will bless this person abundantly. If you look at verse 16, it says, with long life I will satisfy him and show Him my salvation. Now, that long life. The literal way that comes across is length of days. And it doesn’t just mean like, hey, you got a pretty good life here. It’s really saying much more than that. In two psalms later, Psalm 93, the same phrase is used, the same word, and it comes across like this your statutes, Lord, stand firm. Holiness adorns your house. Here it is for endless days. What is this saying then? What is God saying here in verse 16 of Psalm 91? He’s saying, I will satisfy this person. I would be comfortable saying with eternal life. I will satisfy this person with a life that never ends. Endless days. I will satisfy this person with endless days and show them my salvation. What a beautiful thing. Now, the way that this works most clearly in Scripture is when we place ourselves under the provision of God’s protection, what we’re actually doing is we’re entrusting ourselves to Christ. This psalm really is a psalm about Jesus. It’s a psalm about how he is able to protect us and make the promises of God come true. Bruce Waltke, the Old Testament scholar, he did some work on Psalm 91, and it’s really excellent and really, really good. But he said this just in a lecture he was giving, and it was profound. He said, “We’re so interested in therapy preaching that we really don’t understand the glories of Christ.” And what he’s talking about is a lot of times the way we read the Bible is we want to make it about us. We go like one of the questions in small group, what does that mean for upi? That’s not even a good question. The question ought to be, what does this tell us about our Lord? What does this tell us about Christ? Waltke was kind of getting at that temptation that we have to do Satanic exposition, but then also just a desire to make the Bible all about us. But what if the psalm is really about him? I’ll give you a few different reasons why that works so well. If you recall, Jesus got into a little bit of a skirmish with some religious leaders and they were teachers of the law. And he said, hey, I don’t doubt your this is marginal reading, by the way. I’m paraphrasing everything here. He goes, I don’t doubt that you guys are serious about the Bible. I mean, you study it diligently and you think that in those scriptures you find eternal life. But then he says John 5:39. Jesus says, but you fail to recognize these scriptures testify about me. You read the Bible, but you missed the point. You studied the Bible, but you missed what the Bible is intended to do. When Jesus reads the Bible, both in John chapter five or on the road to Emmaus, he says, gives us a principle that when we read the Bible, what we ought to find is Him. The apostles believe that as well. Paul wrote to Timothy and he said, you know the Scriptures, you know your Old Testament, you grew up going to school and you memorized stuff. And he said, you know, all these things, they’re able to make you wise unto salvation through faith in go wait, in the Old Testament you can come to faith in Christ. Yeah, we all ought to know that. And then one more reason why we should read this psalm and consider how it applies to Christ specifically. Remember Satan. What did he say? What did he say in Luke chapter four? He goes, if you really are the Son of God, I read a psalm about you. And Jesus didn’t say that wasn’t about me, dude, it was about anybody. It could have been anybody. Yeah, but you’re missing the point here. So Psalm 91 really is a messianic. Psalm. It’s a psalm that helps us to appreciate Christ and what he’s done. Even if you look at the footnote, if you’re looking at verse 14 in the Bibles that we have here and you look down at the bottom, maybe yeah, verse 14 probably the king. Because there’s so much language in here that is evocative of kingship. So much in here that describes the experience of some leader and the fact that God is somehow protecting this leader for the benefit of his people. How does that work? Well, it worked for the real person, Jesus of Nazareth, god, because Jesus in a way that no other person can claim. Jesus confessed God as his refuge and was faithful to Him and called on his name and all these different things, and he literally was protected from evil. When King Herod was killing all of the newborn babies, God protected Jesus. In that moment, Jesus preached his first sermon and everyone got so upset that they wanted to throw him off the cliff. What did he do? He walked right through the crowd. He just left. God protected him. They were going to kill him. God protected Him, or when the soldiers come to arrest Him, the end of his earthly ministry. The soldiers come to arrest Him and they ask Him the question, are You Jesus of Nazareth? And he says, I am. And what happens in John 18, verse six, it says, the soldiers drew back, are you? Jesus says, I am. Whoa. They fall down. What’s going on there? Jesus is being protected from evil. They didn’t capture him. He offered himself up. He didn’t get his life taken from Him. He laid it down. Jesus was protected because he called on God in the way that we’re being encouraged to here. So Jesus is our refuge. We look to Him and we see the glory of the Christ. We see that God in Christ has made a way for us to trust in the promises of God coming true, not just in an abstract way, but we say he’s it. We call on him. He is our refuge. He is our safety. He is our protection because God has made Him to be Messiah. And the Lord followers of Him claim Him as the way of salvation. And to those who confess Him and are assured of the promises coming true in Him, and God doubles down and says, that’s right. The outcome of this is going to be for you endless days, and you will see my salvation in Christ. All of that can be true for all of us. Would you please consider confessing Him as your Lord and your Savior today?
Let’s pray. Lord, we thank you that you have given us your word. And through Your Word we see the risen and reigning Christ that you have honored Him. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. And one day he’s going to return, and every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess he is Lord. Lord, we don’t want to just wait for that day to happen. We want to anticipate it. So even now, I pray that all of us in here would say that would confess that he is Lord, he is Savior. He is safety and protection for us because we fly to Him as our place of refuge. Lord, I pray that all of us in here would place faith in Him and experience his salvation. And I pray, Lord, that you would help each and every one of us to live in light of these beautiful promises so that we might be able to say with Spurgeon and all of the testimony of the saints who’ve gone before us. No ill can ultimately come to those who are beloved by God, knowing that one day he will return and make all things new. And we anticipate hate his coming and we long for it. And we want to live beautifully in the here and now to honor Him and show other people the way to experience his saving work. Help us to do that, please. We pray his precious name. Amen.