Abide In The Shadow: Does Psalm 91 Belong To Me?
“He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
Psalm 91 is a psalm of protection, one that has been a balm to God’s people for the last 3500 years. Starting with the iconic words, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty,” the passages continues on with the promise of refuge and safety in the time of trouble.
Though Psalm 91 is ultimately fulfilled in Christ (Matt 4:6), we can rest in these promises for ourselves today, as every promise from God is a “yes” in Christ for us (2 Cor 1:20, paraphrased). Every promise God has ever given to His people has been fully realized and fulfilled in Jesus and, in Christ and through Christ, these promises are made available to us (Eph 2:12-13). As Paul Carter put it, “Psalm 91 belongs to Jesus, and I belong to Jesus, therefore Psalm 91 belongs to me!”
Many people read through the psalm and “claim the riches of protection” over their lives, expecting financial security, circumstantial comfort, and liberation from evil men. This is not AT ALL what Psalm 91 offers! We are not promised that we will avoid every hard thing, but simply that we do not have to FEAR them. We will not be ABANDONED to them.
Just because we find our home in the castle of a Mighty King does not negate the fact that the King’s enemies will continue to attack the fortress. In fact, the attacks towards us will be more highly concentrated BECAUSE we are the King’s servants. AND YET.
“As long as I know my trials are limited and approved by Jesus Christ, I am content.” (Paul Carter)
Because He covers you, we can rest in knowing that nothing will ever come into your life that has not first been ordained and commissioned by God to work His will and plan for your life and His glory.
Continue to pray Psalm 91 over yourself and your loved ones, but realize this: it is not a ward of protection, or a spell of enchantment, or even a promised that can be claimed by anyone. No. There are very specific recipients of this protective grace. The prerequisite to the rich protection is that we KNOW GOD. “I will protect him, because HE KNOWS MY NAME.”
Friend, do you truly KNOW God? Do you understand the calling offered in the person of Christ for your salvation? If you truly know God in the work He has done through the ages, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and in the furthering work of the Holy Spirit in your life, then God has issued this promise to you: “When [you] call to me, I will answer [you]; I will be with [you] in trouble; I will rescue [you] and honor [you]. With long life I will satisfy [you] and show [you] my salvation.” (v15-16)
If you do not know God, call to Him! He is near, and He will answer you. If you don’t know where to start, and you have questions, it would be my delight to share the truths of joy and abundance found in a Jesus-filled life.
(Further reading: https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/columns/ad-fontes/psalm-91-belong/)