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DAILY PURSUIT OF CHRIST-PSALM 91:3-4

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Psalm 91:2-4

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely He will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

 

Verse Three

It is He who will save you.

This is a testimony that’s speaking of an act of deliverance that not only left the enemy of the author empty handed but it plunders the resources of that same enemy. It is as if the Lord not only delivers but makes the enemy pay for touching His own. But here is the clincher, the author is addressing this to us. It is as if King David is telling us directly, if he did it for me, I am confident, He will do it for you.

from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

A fowler is a person who traps birds by baiting and entangling them. It paints a picture of how Satan uses sin to entrap us. He entices us or baits us to interest in sin. We think we are able to dable or dive-in and carry-on with life as usual. But when we think ourselves free to sin as we like then we discover that we are actually trapped. We are entangled in sin that keeps us from living and moving as we were created to live and move.

Two possible meanings of “deadly pestilence” the outcomes of which, in this context, should give us peace. It exposes the way that the enemy works. Satan will work against us but especially loves it if he can get us to work in cooperation with him.

  1. If it is referring to us in the original language then it is our wicked desires that lead to calamity, ruin, and wickedness that follows us like a deadly plague.
  2. If it is referring to the enemy it is speaks to Satan’s perverse desire to cause humanity unforeseen calamity, ruin and death like a wicked plague

Whether it is the enemy’s ill intent to destroy us or our own partnership with the kingdom of darkness via our choices, or a combination of the two, God is The One who can and will snatch us out of Satan’s hands and make him pay for having ever laid a finger on us. Now that is a picture of the work of the incomparably good father who is looking for those He loves to turn towards him.

 

Verse Four

He will cover you with His feathers,

This literally means God Almighty will hedge us in and overshadow us (referencing back to verse 1). It shares the NT imagery of Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 when Christ is lamenting His people's rejection of the truth, the prophetic instruction of the Lord, and their embrace of self righteousness that made it impossible for them to see Him as Messiah. He said of them, “...37 “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” So God desires to cover us in a way that protects us like a hedge but lovingly like a nurturing mother hen covering her chicks and protecting them from the environment. I have also heard many times over the years from new believers, who even after salvation find themselves wondering if God’s care, His desire to cover them as they grow, could really be true. This happiness because living under His covering is totally different than living without it.

Colossians 3:1-3
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

When we enter into the overshadowing and covering of the Lord, He is inviting us to experience deliverance. God’s deliverance is not just from external circumstances but also from the internal posture and thinking. These are often the causes of external consequences and circumstances that are traps and pestilences in our lives. Let God deal with the inner person! That is where transformation truly occurs.

Psalm 91:4 ...with His feathers,

The word “feather,” refers to a specific kind called pinions that are characteristic of majestic soaring birds of prey. You know, the kind of birds that ride the currents of winds high into the atmosphere. Look at “those feathers” and know what they are capable of. Look at your God. Get a vision of Jesus and know that He is not in the business of failing. Know what He is capable of and be at peace and confident in The One in whom you have placed your trust. When He rescues us He also covers us in what also bears us up (see Proverbs 23:5, 30:17-19; Jeremiah 48:40, 49:16, Deuteronomy 28:49, 32:9-14; Job 9:26; Habakkuk 1:18).

...and under His wings you will find refuge;

There beneath the covering of His pinions is a refuge, a protected place for us to confide in Him and commend our thinking to Him. He will show us that we can trust in Him and His unfailing goodness. He will transform us by renewing our minds, by making our thinking process anew (see Romans 12:2).

...His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

He will show us a new kind of faithfulness unlike the imperfect behavior and motivations and flawed character which we humans refer to as faithfulness. We can relate to it...but God’s faithfulness is incomparable. There is nothing like it. The kind of faithfulness that is devinly true, firm, sure, stable and consistent in a way that defies earthly sensibilities .

In Ephesians 6:16 we see faith depicted as a shield to protect us from the enemy. In Psalm 91:4 God’s kind of faithfulness is conveyed to us like a big shield with a hook or a barb at its center pointing outward. It not only staves off an attack from our enemy but also acts as an offensive weapon against that same aggressor. But these are God's actions towards us. His faithfulness towards us displays His belief in us. He doesn’t care who sees it either! He is unashamed in His love and care for us. How scandalous is it, that even in our lowest points He is desiring to show us that He created us as worth fighting for, valuable, and precious in His sight? Oh what grace His shield affords us.

The “rampart” in this verse is also a kind of shield from which we can see the battle clearly. God does not just want to protect us, set us free, and empower us but He also desires to give us understanding of what the enemy is really trying to do. Typically when a person gets a clear understanding of a situation it changes their behaviors. Often it is not until after we have been delivered or rescued that we get an inkling of what Satan is about which makes it all the more humbling and us all the more grateful when we see what God is all about! He is for you not against you!

 

Let's pray the scriptures and mean every word.

Psalm 91:1-4
1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely He will save you
from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Lord you are inviting me into a relationship of certainty. You are not a liar. You are truth and life. You are the God whom I can be certain is constantly working to rescue me from Satan’s destructive plans that are against me. You went to cross to prove it. Lord, even when I am foolish, undeserving, and caught in a sin trap of my own uncontrolled desires, I cry out to You and You rescue me. Even when I do not see the enemy’s vicious ambushes that I am powerless to fight off on my own, You promise to come through as our Rescuer, Healer, and Deliverer. I will not fear sickness and disease. I will not even fear death. I put my trust in you. My life is surrendered to You completely. My life is hidden in the covering of Christ.

God, I invite and surrender to the instruction and protection of your covering. Cover my physical body so I can testify of your faithfulness to preserve and sustain me in all seasons. Cover my mind that my thinking processes might be transformed to glorify and agree with You. You are trustworthy. I surrender my life beneath Your covering. Show me and teach me the faithfulness of God. Let my life be forever marked by your faithfulness both in my thoughts, my words, and my actions. Cause me to be a vessel through which your ways and your Kingdom is advanced on the earth at the expense of the enemy. Glorify yourself in me!

In Jesus' mighty name, Amen!