King James Version
1 He that dwelleth 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 will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath 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 honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.1
When we are admitted into closest intimacy and communion with God we may be said to dwell in the secret place of the most High. Those who commune with God are safe with Him, no evil can reach them, for the outstretched wings of his power and love cover them from all harm. What a shade in the day of noxious heat! What a refuge in the hour of deadly storm! Communion with God is safety.2
2 Men are apt enough to proclaim their doubts, and even to boast of them. Some cast suspicion upon every thing: hence it becomes the duty of all true believers to speak out and testify with calm courage to their own well grounded reliance upon their God. But what we say we must prove by our actions, we must fly to the Lord for shelter, and not to an arm of flesh. The bird flies away to the thicket, and the fox hastens to its hole, every creature uses its refuge in the hour of danger, and even so in all peril or fear of peril let us flee unto Jehovah, the Eternal Protector of his own. Let us, when we are secure in the Lord, rejoice that our position is unassailable, for he is our fortress as well as our refuge. He who dwells in an impregnable fortress, naturally trusts in it; and shall not he who dwells in God feel himself well at ease, and repose his soul in safety?2
3 If we dwell near to God, He will see to it that the most skilful deceiver shall not entrap us. We will also be delivered in the time of trouble. During time of trouble we may not be free from suffering, persecution or distress, however we will not be left to perish.2,3
4 Doth the Lord speak of his feathers, as though he likened himself to a bird? Who will not see herein a matchless love, a divine tenderness, which should both woo and win our confidence? Even as a hen covereth her chickens so doth the Lord protect the souls which dwell in him; let us cower down beneath him for comfort and for safety. Hawks in the sky and snares in the field are equally harmless when we nestle so near the Lord. To quench fiery darts the truth or word of God is a most effectual shield. Let us go forth to battle thus harnessed for the war, and we shall be safe in the thickest of the fight.2
5 The shadow of the Almighty removes all gloom from the shadow of night: once covered by the divine wing, we care not what winged terrors may fly abroad in the earth. Day has its perils as well as night, arrows more deadly than those poisoned by the Indian are flying noiselessly through the air, and we shall be their victims unless we find both shield and buckler in our God.2
6 Pestilence is shrouded in mystery as to its cause and cure, it marches on, unseen of men, slaying with hidden weapons, like an enemy stabbing in the dark, yet those who dwell in God are not afraid of it. Upon the child of the Lord's own heart pestilence has no destroying power, and calamity no wasting influence: pestilence walks in darkness, but he dwells in light; destruction wastes at noonday, but upon him another sun has risen whose beams bring restoration.2
7 So terribly may the plague rage among men that the bills of mortality may become very heavy and continue to grow ten times heavier still, yet shall such as this Psalm speaks of survive the scythe of death. It shall not come nigh thee. It shall be so near as to be at thy side, and yet not nigh enough to touch thee; like a fire it shall burn all around, yet shall not the smell of it pass upon thee.2
8 You will see the reward of the wicked, but experience no part in it. The Israelites had looked on as the Egyptians perished in the Red Sea; in the land of Goshen they had watched the calamities that fell upon the Egyptians.3
9-10 It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord; the most crushing calamities can only shorten his journey and hasten him to his reward. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form. Losses enrich him, sickness is his medicine, reproach is his honour, death is his gain. No evil in the strict sense of the word can happen to him, for everything is overruled for good. Happy is he who is in such a case. He is secure where others are in peril, he lives where others die.2
11 The angels have received commission from their Lord and ours to watch carefully over all the interests of the faithful. The protection here promised is exceeding broad as to place, for it refers to all our ways, and what do we wish for more? How angels thus keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the more subtle physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us.2
12 They, that is the angels, God's own angels shall bear thee up in their hands. As nurses carry little children, with careful love, so shall those glorious spirits bear up each individual believer. Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone; even minor ills they ward off.2
13 Not only from stones in the way, but from lions, serpents and dragons also, shall we be safe. To men who dwell in God, their feet come into contact with the worst of foes, even Satan himself nibbles at their heel, but in Christ Jesus they have the assured hope of bruising Satan under their feet shortly. The people of God are the real "George and the dragon", the true lion kings and serpent tamers.2
14 By an abrupt and dramatic change, here we have the Lord himself speaking of his own chosen one. Not because he deserves to be thus kept, but because with all his imperfections he does love his God; therefore God will come to his rescue in all perilous times, and will effectually deliver him. To know God's name implies faith and trust in Him. To them that know His name, God will set above danger or fear, where they shall dwell in peace and joy.2
15 Not without prayer will the blessing come to the most favoured, but by means of prayer they shall receive all good things. Heirs of heaven are conscious of a special divine presence in times of severe trial. God is always near in sympathy and in power to help his tried ones. The man who honours God, God will honour him. Believers are delivered or preserved in a way that bestows honour upon them.2
16 The man described in this Psalm fills out the measure of his days, and whether he dies young or old he is quite satisfied with life, and is content to leave it. The full sight of divine grace shall be his closing vision. Not with destruction before him black as night, but with salvation bright as noonday smiling upon him he shall enter into his rest.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
H. Spurgeon, "The Treasury of David" - http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
3. SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 3 pgs. 843-844
4. Charles H. Spurgeon, "The Treasury of David
quoting J. M. Good's "Historical Outline of the Book of Psalms",
5. Living Word Bible Church -
Five Books of Psalms - http://www.lwbc.co.uk/5_books_of_psalms.htm
6. The Catholic Encyclopaedia New Advent: Psalms -
Song Reviews for Psalm 91
We especially enjoyed Psalm 91
Thank you for the CD's. As
it is all Scripture to music, we have found them wonderful to help
us meditate on the Scriptures, also it helps with memorizing the
verses. We particularly enjoy the Psalms and Songs, and Especially
- Anne B. (Halesowen, UK) January 27th, 2006