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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 91

Verses 1-16

  1. Intro:
    1. What are some of the safest place in the world?
      1. A bomb shelter; bank vault; a prison like Alcatraz; safe/panic rooms; storm shelters.
      2. In our text we find a shadow is the safest place in the world!
    2. Where do some people run to find their safe place, if not God?
      1. Some to an unhealthy relationship; some to the bar; some hide behind their gambling; some withdraw/to be alone; shopping.
      2. We have become good in seeking out a great variety of hiding-places.
    3. What do we find security in?
      1. IRA’s; Savings; Equity; Investments; Alarm systems; “if I can just get the ring on her finger, it will keep her from finding another guy!”
      2. The only safe & impregnable fortress to which we can flee is the protection of God!
    4. Outline: 3 links in a chain: The Abiding Life, produces the Assuring Life, which leads to the Abundant Life!
    5. Writer? – LXX(Sept.) ascribe it to David. Other phrases to Moses. Anonymous.
  2. SAFE IN A SHADOW! (1-16)
    1. THE ABIDING LIFE! (1-4)
    2. Theme is Security: God preserves those who abide in Him & love Him. (Warren Wiersbe; With The Word; pg.366.)
      1. Who are these promises for? Everyone? All believers?
      2. Or are these promises for those who visit the secret place called church, once every Sunday, whether they need it or not?
      3. Or are these promises for those who run to the Lord only in times of danger? (He may respond to us when we do that; but is that to whom this PROMISE is to?)
      4. Or are these promises for those who dwell in His presence?
        1. Yep, for the dwellers, not just visitors.
        2. Not just visiting the Holy Place, as the high priest did once a year.
        3. The Psalmist is urging, “Live in the Holy of Holies.”
        4. An open invitation to come into the presence of God & dwell in the secret place.
      5. That’s where He meets us, gives us guidance, & shows us His will.
    3. (1,2) 4 metaphors for security & 4 divine names!
      1. 4 metaphors - Secret place; shadow; refuge; fortress {promises of God}
      2. 4 divine names - Most High; Almighty; the Lord; My God. {person of God}
      3. Most High [Elyon] a title which cuts every threat down to size
      4. Almighty [Shaddai] the name which sustained the homeless patriarchs.
      5. The Lord [Yahweh/Jehovah] Moses was assured with both “I am” & “I am with you”.
      6. My God - [Elohim] General term God is made intimate by the possessive, as My God.
    4. Under the shadow of the Almighty – (also Ps.17:8) A shadow isn’t normally good protection… unless your talking about being behind your big brother as he protects you. Or better yet in this case when God’s wings are hovering inches above you in protection mode, like a protective Mother Eagle!
      1. My shadow isn’t much protection for anyone. But when it belongs to the Almighty, a shadow is a strong protection.
        1. Example: A rabbit’s shadow? How about a bear cub in his mama’s shadow?
      2. Q: Do you live under God’s shadow?
        1. Some enjoy the worlds incubator & its artificial heat of which hatches little chickens, yet with a great lack in their lives.
          1. No mothers call, no mothers wing!
      3. Q: Do you live under God’s shadow?
    5. (4) Under His wings – at the mercy seat, where the blood was sprinkled, there in the presence of the glory of God.
      1. But also the analogy of the Mother Hen. It expresses such tender care with which God watches over our safety.
        1. Otherwise he would have chose “King Kong” or “Tyrannosaurus Rex’s” shadow. But He chose something tender for His picture.
      2. The safest place in the world is in fellowship with God.
    6. (4) Shield – large & Static; Buckler – small & mobile.
      1. This is God’s truth of the things mentioned becomes this aspect of security.
      2. God’s faithfulness, i.e. never deserting his people in the time of their need.
      3. Shield – yes, He will come in-between us & all our enemies to preserve us from their attacks. (Wow!)
    7. The Abiding life produces the Assuring life(the life w/o fear)!
    8. THE ASSURING LIFE! (5-13)
    9. (5,6) Day & Night! – Terror by night, because we are naturally apprehensive in the dark, or because the night exposes us to danger of different kinds. Our fears magnify any sound or disturbance in the night, “what was that?
    10. What dangers do we face? Snares, pestilences(3), arrows(5), plagues(10), stones(11,12), lions & snakes(13).
      1. Most of these dangers strike unseen, against which the strong are as helpless as the weak.
    11. What are the modern equivalent of these ancient perils?
      1. Snares(or traps? debt), pestilences(or cattle disease? Mad cow), arrows(fiery darts of enemy), plagues(bird flu, SARS, Salmonella), stones(things that trip you up, stumble you), lions(things that scare you the most, to run away & not to the Lord) & snakes(devil).
    12. (10) It’s not that we’ll never get hurt, but that we’ll never be harmed! Wiersbe
      1. We may have to go through the valley, go through the battle, or go through difficulty. But it will not bring evil to us.
    13. (11,12) This of course is the vs that Satan quotes to Jesus when he tempted Him.
    14. Why do we “step down” from God protection to some angels watching over us?
      1. NOT a step down…this is still God’s Miraculous protection.
      2. Some believe they have a personal guardian angel.
        1. Well, you can believe that!
        2. I’ll take the “angels” here referred to.
      3. God is called the Lord of Hosts/armies…speaking of His angels which are under His control & always do His bidding.
      4. They guard believers & guide believers.
    15. We should rest satisfied they are always intent upon their commission.
      1. Throughout Scripture they are always ready to obey & execute the commands of God!
    16. “The child of God is immortal until His work is done.” Whitefield
      1. ​​​​​​​Thank God for the invisible ministry of His angels.
    17. (13) You shall tread – not only as a survivors but victors!
    18. Now the Assuring life leads to the Abundant Life (the life of victory & peace)!
    19. THE ABUNDANT LIFE! (14-16)
    20. Note change of voice.
    21. Faith creates intimacy between the believer & the Lord.
    22. (15) I will be with him in trouble – Oh, so there will be trouble!
      1. Mark it well, “trouble has a permitted place”.
      2. Is.43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. And Shadrach, Meshach, & Abedego said Amen!
      3. Every trouble is a shinning ladder up to heaven. Sidlow Baxter
    23. The Abiding life, produces the Assuring life(the life w/o fear), which leads to the Abundant Life(the life of victory & peace)!
    24. End: Jesus…its Jim, story.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 91". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-91.html. 2017.