Containing over twenty promises, Psalm 91 declares God’s love and sovereign protection to those who shelter in His Presence.
“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
As times become increasingly uncertain, may we possess this confidence, resting protected and covered in our Heavenly Father’s care.
The Passion Translation uses more vivid language:
“His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.“
Psalm 91:4 TPT
Many scholars attribute Psalm 91 to Moses. It was written during the Israelites wondering in the open desert for forty years. Though they were completely exposed to enemy attack, God proved His faithfulness again and again, covering and protecting them from every danger.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (1066 edition) defines “to be covered” this way:
” . . . to have done, gotten, or provided whatever is needed,
to take care of everything,
no worry about anything.
We’ve got you covered.”
Psalm 91 assures us of God’s promises. Each comes under the larger banner of being covered by God. Everything is taken care of. We have nothing to worry about. We’re covered!
Many birds are known for the way they protect for their young by holding them safely under their feathers. The image demonstrates both gentleness and strength.
“I Will Say”
The psalmist declares:
” I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Rulers typically built fortresses from rock on elevated ground, often surrounded by a moat or high wall. This gives us visual imagery to trust God as our ultimate protection — from things seen and unseen, things present and things to come.
Will difficulties come? Absolutely! Is evil present all around us? Most assuredly! Yet in the midst of it all, God covers us with His “massive arms” of protection, love, and gentle care.
“If You Say”
The psalmist encourages us to the same acknowledgment of God.
“If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.”
The little words in the Bible provoke me the most. “If”, God says. We learn who or where our security lies when we face trials. But “if” we place our hope and confident trust in Him, He commands angelic armies to guard us, lifting us up in their hands. He gives us supernatural empowerment to face the fiercest foes.
For a moment, I imagine the scene. Heaven speaks reality — true perspective. May we see beyond the struggle and trial. God’s “massive arms” surround us. His angels lift us up “in their hands.
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands . . .”
God promises us, that in this secure position of trust and rest in Him,
“You will tread on the lion and the cobra, you will trample the great lion and the serpent.”
The “lion” represents all open and violent foes; the “cobra,” all secret and malignant ones. The young lion (kephir, the lion in the height of his strength) and the serpent (tannin, the most dreadful form of serpent) you will trample under your feet.
In any and every generation these two foes represent the most vicious and deadly threats — sure destruction and loss of life! Except for God! God enters our circumstances. He changes everything.
God inspires us to take action. Secure in Him, we move forward without fear. Enemies growls and spits, showing fangs and bared claws. Take courage brave ones! It is time to trample the head of the enemy.
Let’s keep our fixed focus on and unwavering trust in God — our Light in the darkness, our Hope in the storm, our Strength in weakness, our Help always.
“Says The Lord”
We sometimes make declarations. God declares truth!
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD,
“I will rescue him;
I will protect him,
for he acknowledges my name.”
“Acknowledges” means to be known intimately or to have experiential knowledge. God responds to our cries for help. In His intimate and personal love, He declares over each of us:
“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.”
In one sentence, God offers multiple promises! He responds to our frail declaration, “I WILL!” When no one else can, God will! When nothing else will do, God will! Though we each face our own set of difficulties, God declares, “I WILL come to deliver you and honor you.”
Every promise given in Psalm 91 rests within the intimate relationship of “dwelling” in His Presence. God invites each of us into this place of shelter and protection — circled by His “massive arms,” held in the hands of angelic forces.
God gives perfect rest, while lions roar, cobras rise, and storms rage. Here we say, “His is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust!”