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Psalm chapter 91

King James Version

What does Psalm chapter 91 mean?

We cannot be sure who wrote this psalm, but its author was well acquainted with the importance and benefits of trusting in the Lord. The writer testifies that God is his refuge and fortress, using words that imply places of safety and security (Psalm 91:1–2).

Various dangers are used to symbolize the ways in which God can protect His people. These vary from natural disasters, to animals, diseases, and enemies, whether those come at night or during the day. A key symbol here is that of entrapment, a common tool used by Satan (Psalm 91:3–8).

While absolute safety is not guaranteed in this life (Psalm 3:1–2), those who honor God by obeying His wisdom are not subject to unnecessary dangers. To "dwell" with the Lord implies consistency and faithfulness (Psalm 91:9–10).

Satan attempted to use part of this psalm against Jesus during a temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5–7). Angels are part of God's way to influence the world. He has the power to protect His people, though we are not given the right to demand invincibility. God can, and will, keep a believer from all forms of harm if it's part of His plan (Luke 10:19; Acts 28:1–6). He will not allow a believer to "force" God to overcome their own arrogance or ignorance (Psalm 91:11–13).

The psalm ends with a shift from the psalmist's voice to the perspective of God. This again echoes the ideas of safety, in the context of someone who "holds fast" to the Lord (Psalm 91:14–16).
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