He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “[He is] my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler [And] from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth [shall be your] shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, [Nor] of the arrow [that] flies by day, 6 [Nor] of the pestilence [that] walks in darkness, [Nor] of the destruction [that] lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; [But] it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD, [who is] my refuge, [Even] the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In [their] hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”PSALM 91:1-16
When the Golden Gate Bridge was being built. The workers were working 100’s of feet above the water. As a result several men fell and died and there were all sorts of delays. However after much consideration a very costly safety net was installed under the bridge. If a man fell, the net would catch him and he’d live. Production actually increased because the men didn’t have to be as careful, because if they did slip, the net would catch them and their lives would be spared!
God is a refuge and a deliverer from all sorts of enemies. He even watches over us and protects us in a way from, “pestilence that walks in darkness.” Certainly we have understood this as we walked through the last few years of a global pandemic. God is a refuge from enemies seen and viruses unseen. This psalm doesn’t guarantee immunity from trouble in life or tragedy in death, but it does celebrate the benefits of a confidence in Sovereign God. Trusting in God will not keep you from experiencing bad things in life, but it will keep you as you encounter difficulties in this world.
When I was a youth pastor, one of our youth groups had named itself “Refuge.” Many of the kids who came on Wednesday nights came from difficult home lives. A pastor friend had once intimated that all the kids were “refugees.” In a way, many of them were. They had difficulties that I had never faced. Some were so hungry to meet with God and one another that they walked two miles every week just to come to church. Some of the students had commented that “Refuge” was a place where they had met God and learned how to face the rest of the chaos in their lives.
I think the Apostle Paul knew well how to pull up close to God as His Refuge and Deliverer in some of the most challenging circumstances of his life. When facing the possibility of death he wrote with Psalm 91 confidence, “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. But if [I] live on in the flesh, this [will mean] fruit from [my] labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell” (Philippians 1: 19-22). And when facing less than desirable circumstance chained next to a Roman guard he said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Father, You are my Refuge! Jesus has kept me from your wrath and purchased my salvation. I know that I belong to you and until my work on earth is done I am immortal. I ask for grace to live as the Apostle Paul with great confidence and contentment no matter my circumstances. May I rest in the peace of having all my hope in you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.