From Rachael Bailes
“You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
The language of protection used here in Psalm 91 has always given me a strong sense of security. This Psalm also raises a question. Is God promising that for those who trust in Him, no harm will come? John Piper (pastor and author) gave some helpful thoughts on this question here.
“One great caution not to use the Psalm that way is that this is the way Satan used it. He told Jesus to count on the deliverance promised to the godly in this psalm. Quoting Psalm 91, he said to Jesus,
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "He will command his angels concerning you," (Psalm 91:11) and "On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:12). (Matthew 4:6)
Instead of following Satan's use of Psalm 91, Jesus embraced the path of suffering. The thorns penetrated his scalp. The whip lacerated his back. The rod struck on his head. The nails pierced his hands. The spear severed his side. And he was killed by his enemies.
So clearly the seemingly face-value meaning of Psalm 91 did not come true for the most godly person whoever lived.”
As a little girl I remember finding comfort in the image of finding shelter under the wings of God. Wings that would keep out the scary things…like the shark who I was positive swam under our bathtub or the wolf that took residence under my bed. Now there is a different kind of protection I find in these words, knowing that in the midst of my suffering I can always find refuge with the Most High, the Almighty. The names of God used in these verses remind us that there is a God who sees all and knows all. No matter what is happening in our own story - perhaps even when we don’t know how to take the next step – we can rest in His shadow knowing that He is faithful and will sustain us.
I spend my days with 3 little people (Elizabeth, Charlie and Lucy), which I love. It also means I love grown-up conversation whenever I can get it, even better when coupled with good coffee.