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Psalm 91: A Summary of God's Protective Presence

By Jeanie Rose | Submitted On March 06, 2011

Read through Psalm 91 and marvel over promised protection against weaponry, plague, wild animals, even protection from fear of evil events. And as you read, notice that the promises and blessings of Psalm 91 all hinge on the first two verses: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of th Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

These two line are the key to the rest of Psalm 91. The term dwell indicates and abiding, an arriving and staying in a particular place or relationship. Dwell is the key. Relationship is the requirement.

While the amazing promised protection found in Psalm 91 seems too good to be true, it is just a description of what life looks like when one opts to dwell with God in a close and personal relationship. Outstanding personages of the Old Testament give you clear instances of relationship with God.

Consider These Scenarios of Protection:

ADAM: This protected life scenario did not begin with Psalm 91. The description starts at the beginning: in Genesis. After the masterful creation of all that we observe around us, God desired one more accomplishment: someone with which to enjoy creation, someone to befriend. Loving relationships stand at the pinnacle of creation. God walks the Garden with His friend Adam.
NOAH: Follow the trail through the next several chapters of the Old Testament and observe the same call to relationship. Noah is in enough of a relationship with God to get a warning about the flood and detailed instructions to build something never seen before - the ark. Psalm 91 type protection at its best. Noah and his loved ones are preserved from the deadly downpour. Noah dwelt. God protected.
ABRAHAM: Fast-forward a few generations to see Abraham leading a most extraordinary life based on directions he is receiving from God. The man communed with God! Abraham did not live the perfect life, but God protected him nonetheless, protected him in the same sense you find described in Psalm 91. Abraham and God were friends. Abraham knew how to rest in the shadow of the Almighty!
MOSES: By the time of Moses you find God appearing in the form of a burning bush to communicate with his friend. It is Moses who receives instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant. This is a gold-clad box where God promises to commune with Moses. Now talk about a demonstration of protection! How about crossing the Red Sea on dry land to then have the waters come crashing in on the enemy...right before your eyes (Psalm 91-style).
JOSHUA: The story of relationship and protection continues dramatically with Joshua leading the nation of Israel. Joshua needed Psalm 91-type confidence to face what lay ahead of him. Picture crossing the Jordan River at flood time, again on dry land. Picture the walls of Jericho crashing down after one long shout by the Israelites who have been following God's command to Joshua. According to orders, they marched around the city for seven straight days, then raised the mighty shout.
DAVID: The young shepherd who dropped the giant Goliath obviously had an intimate relationship with the Almighty. He had no doubt that the Psalm 91 God whom he served would cause him to prevail against this Phillistine menace. David had overcome a lion and a bear in caring for his sheep. Young David was certain that these victories had come by the power of God and this victory would be no different. Indeed, miraculous and stunning! David walked with God through a long and tumultuous life. When things were good, he praised and worshipped. When things were bad, he encouraged himself in the Lord. God proclaimed David to be a man after His own heart and preserved him through all the threats and violence.

In these Old Testament scenarios we see what life looks like when you walk with God, when you abide under the shadow of the Almighty. By the time Psalm 91 is written, either by David or by Moses (scholars are not sure on this point), there is a long trail to follow and observe the protective presence of God at work.

Psalm 91 is a good summary of what you can expect when you practice abiding in the Secret Place of the Almighty. When you do, you can not only walk with confident trust, but you can pray Psalm 91 knowing that you are praying in agreement with God. Try praying the Psalm today, if you never have before. Let your God-confidence build. Psalm 91 is a super place to start.

Jeanie Rose is a speaker, writer, retreat leader who focuses on faith building and prayer. If you are interested in either or both sign up for her dynamic free e-course Release the Power of Psalm 91 at http://www.Psalm91.org. At Psalm 91.org you will find tutorials on how to pray Psalm 91, a verse by verse series of posts on Psalm 91 with some accompanying podcasts, encouraging stories, and great resources for pursuing Psalm 91.

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