Behold these ancient words of comfort from God to His covenant people (all who belong to Christ). Note that plagues and pestilence have ever been threats that strike fear. Also note: the promise of protection doesn’t mean we won’t get sick, suffer, or die (death comes to all men), but rather means that “even if” or “even when” such things befall us, we are secure, and at worst, in the words of Thomas Brooks, “Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father’s house.”
The commentator Adam Clarke noted of verse 1: ‘”In the secret place [shelter] of the Most High” – Spoken probably in reference to the Holy of holies. He who enters legitimately there shall be covered with the cloud of God’s glory – the protection of the all-sufficient God. This was the privilege of the high priest only, under the law; but under the new covenant all believers in Christ have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; and those who thus enter are safe from every evil.’
Psalm 91 Security of the One Who Trusts in the LORD.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the LORD, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”
Note: Clarke also quotes Simon de Muis (a 17th century Hebrew scholar) as saying of this psalm, “It is one of the most excellent works of this kind which has ever appeared. It is impossible to imagine any thing more solid, more beautiful, more profound, or more ornamented. Could the Latin or any modern languages express thoroughly all the beauties and elegancies as well of the words as of the sentences, it would not be difficult to persuade the reader that we have no poem, either in Greek or Latin, comparable to this Hebrew ode.“
© Craig Sabin 2020 No rights reserved