What does Psalm 91:9 mean?
ESV: Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—
NIV: If you say, 'The LORD is my refuge,' and you make the Most High your dwelling,
NASB: For you have made the Lord, my refuge, The Most High, your dwelling place.
CSB: Because you have made the Lord--my refuge, the Most High--your dwelling place,
NLT: If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
KJV: Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
NKJV: Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
Verse Commentary:
Once again, as in verses 1 and 2, the psalmist refers to God using terms of stability, safety, and consistency. Moving away from that protection and wisdom is a path to disaster (Proverbs 9:11–12).

Israel was supposed to regard God as its supreme King. He had promised to protect the nation, but the people of Israel wanted to be like the other cultures around them. They demanded the prophet Samuel give them an earthly king (1 Samuel 8:5). Their demand displeased Samuel, but the Lord told Samuel to grant their request. He told Samuel: "They have rejected me from being king over them" (1 Samuel 8:7). Israel's choice was a bad one. They preferred an earthly king to the Most High who is far above every earthly king. The Hebrew word used here is el'yon', which means something above or far higher than anything else.

As this psalm points out, God is a safe object of trust for all people. Earthly kings die, but the Most High is an eternal king. When King Uzziah died, Isaiah entered the temple and received a vision of the eternal King, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6). He heard seraphim call out that the Most High God is holy and the whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:1–3).
Verse Context:
Psalm 91:5–13 points out that those who trust in the Lord have nothing to fear because the Lord watches over them. This continues the theme introduced in the prior passage. This segment is notable in that it was cited by the Devil when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5–6). Jesus responded to Satan's attempt at twisting Scripture with additional Scripture and a better perspective (Matthew 4:7). Trust in God's sovereignty and goodness does not mean an absolute expectation of safety.
Chapter Summary:
The psalmist expresses his trust that God is a source of safety. He uses various dangers as symbols of the terrors which God's people do not need to fear. When God has resolved to protect someone, nothing can overcome that safety. Jesus refuted inappropriate use of this promise when being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:5–7). Those who love God, and honor Him, can count on His provision and protection, and know that nothing happens without His approval.
Chapter Context:
This psalm includes similar phrases to psalms 90 and 92. The theme of this song is trust in God, a common theme in Scripture. Notable parallels can be found in 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalms 9, 37, 40, 84, and 118, Proverbs 3:5–6, Proverbs 14:26, Isaiah 26:3, Nahum 1:7, John 14:1–6, and Hebrews 11. In Psalm 91 the writer reveals what the Lord does for those who trust in Him. Verses 11 and 12 were cited by Satan when tempting Jesus in Matthew 4:5–6.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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