Psalm 91 Peter Fitch, St. Croix Vineyard Sunday, October 17, 2010
Psalm 91:1-16 1 He who 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.
Psalm 91:1-16 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.
Psalm 91:1-16 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 make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
Psalm 91:1-16 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 upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Psalm 91:1-16 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
How Shall We Read This? • Bad things do happen to good people • Sometimes it almost seems especially this way • C. S. Lewis’ question • St. Teresa’s question • A reason to ask the question: Typhoon in Laoag
Interpretive Options • Child-like Trust • Retribution Theology • Messianic (see Matthew 4, The Temptations of Jesus)
Matthew 4:5-7 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" 7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"
More Options • Poetry: One Side of the Truth • A Spiritual rather than a Physical Protection • A Promise that is sometimes given . . . • A Blessing that can be entered into in different ways (always a spiritual protection, often an emotional protection, sometimes a physical protection) • An Invitation to know God in deeper ways
Return • At Simplistic, you close your eyes, say a prayer and expect that it will be answered in a certain way—sometimes it is • At Complicated, you throw your heart towards the direction you desire but you know that anything could happen
At Simple, you return to child-likeness with a deeper maturity: perhaps things will not turn out as you desire, but you know that there is a welcome to the heart of God as you bring your concerns, and you know from long experience that the blessings may, in fact, be on all levels
Jim Elliot (Shadow of the Almighty) • Connected to verse 1 because of a book written about him by his wife • “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” • “I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not.”