SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 06/09

Psalm 91

1. Introduction

This is an extremely comforting psalm: a psalm about protection, victory and eternal glory. I call it the Time of Trouble (TOT) psalm, because it refers mainly to the protection afforded Yahweh's people during the terrifying world-wide events scheduled to occur just prior to His Son's return. In other words, this psalm concerns the very near future. It is about to be fulfilled. That being the case, every believer should prayerfully study it; because it offers hope in an otherwise hopeless world. It is one of the key psalms in all Scripture; a psalm one should read over and over and over again: and, if possible, memorise. Before we examine its contents let us read it through, for it is a comparatively short psalm.

Psalm 91

Verse: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.

2. A Conditional Parameter

You will notice that the blessings mentioned in this psalm are directed at a particular type of person: blessings which are guaranteed during a great Time of Trouble because certain conditions have been met. This means that when the period of this psalm's fulfilment arrives, and that day is almost upon us, then the promises listed in Psalm 91 will be fulfilled. But I repeat, these promises are conditional: they will only apply to believers who have met the requirements introduced in the first verse.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Where is the Secret Place of the Most High?

In ancient days the "secret place of the Most High" was symbolised by a certain place within Yahweh's earthly Tabernacle. It was called the 'holy place:' and particularly the 'most holy place,' where the Almighty sat enthroned. In that 'most holy place' was the ark of the covenant: a symbol of the Almighty's throne and His mercy. Within the ark of the covenant was Yahweh's eternal law. The real tabernacle is, of course, above; but we can learn a lot about that heavenly place by studying the earthly shadow below: and particularly what lay in that earthly tabernacle below.

What does it mean to dwell in that sacred and secret place? It means to have absolute faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel and to live by the requirements of His eternal law. This thought about dwelling in the secret place of the Most High is also expressed in Psalm 27.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2: When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3: Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4: One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5: For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6: And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy;
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

Throughout Scripture a 'rock' is used as a symbol of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the only begotten Son of God. He is the 'rock' on which we believers build our spiritual lives. He is the 'rock' in which we hide. He is the 'rock' of our salvation.
2 Samuel 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3: The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

verse 47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
verse 46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Again, these promises only apply to those who have living faith in Yeshua - the rock of our salvation. Living faith is faith that is expressed in obedience to God's law: the law which is within the 'most holy and secret place.' To this obedient group the promises of Psalm 91 apply: and to no others. Let us now examine how that protection will take effect.

3. Deliverance

Just as there are specific conditions for deliverance (faith and obedience), so too there are specific dangers from which obedient believers will be delivered in the Time of Trouble. These dangers are listed in Psalm 91:
Satan's Trap: verse 3 Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.
Attack: verse 5 ... and from the arrow that flieth by day.
Plague: verse 6 ... and from the pestilence that walketh in darkness.
Accident: verse 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.

Against these and other dangers (rejection, slander and persecution.) we believers have little defence other than the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. All we can do of our own accord is to be aware of these dangers and by faith endeavour to keep the Almighty's law. This twin approach of faithful obedience coupled with fervent prayer attracts Yahweh's protection and blessing. I tell you: there is no other safeguard against last-day perils.
verse 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

4. Promotion

Those who trust and obey the Almighty will not only be protected during the Time of Trouble, but will, during the coming millennium, (not the year 2000, but at the Saviour's return) be raised to positions of high rank.
Verse 14 Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high ... I will deliver him, and honour him.

5. Exploits

Many in the church hesitate to spread the truth. Like the ancient Israelites who entered the Promised Land we have all miserably failed to do great things for Yahweh; somehow imagining that mighty exploits and victories are not possible in this day and age, and certainly not through us. How wrong we are. Psalm 91 tells us that Yahweh is inviting His obedient people to attempt the seemingly impossible, to call on Him and He will answer. The psalm goes on to say that not only will Yahweh answer prayer, but that He will honour His obedient followers with an honour we can hardly imagine. See our Sermon Note about Answers to Prayer.
verse 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. (Note those words: I will, I will, I will)
Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
33: And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

Notice also that the very ones who 'do exploits' and 'instruct many' fall by the sword, by captivity and by spoil many days. Is this a contradiction of the protection promised in Psalm 91? No it isn't: for the fact is, though multitudes of obedient believers will be supernaturally protected during the Time of Trouble, many leaders will be martyred! Certainly those who oppose the Antichrist will be beheaded!
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The time has now come to take Yahweh's truth to all nations. To be sure many of the leaders who expose Satan's deception will be martyred, but they will rise at the resurrection to occupy positions of high rank and honour. In any event the church as a whole will not be wiped out. There is going to be a significant number of believers who will live through the Time of Trouble no matter what Satan does to destroy them. This is good news! For information on how the Almighty is going to save and protect His people, see The Coming Exodus.

6. Eternal Life

The God of Israel is going to carry out His plan for the deliverance, sanctification and glorification of His people. His reasons for doing so are listed in this psalm.
verse 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."

To know the Almighty's name doesn't mean to know that He is called Yahweh or that His Son is called Emmanuel, Yeshua, Yahshua or Jesus. The Devils know all these names, but it avails them nothing. To know Yahweh's name means to live in accordance with His will; to be in tune with all that His name stands for. It means to live by His commandments and to be holy! To know Yahweh's name is to exhibit His character in your life! A clinical knowledge of His name or how it is spelled or pronounced counts for nothing if personal holiness is lacking. For more details see Sacred Names.

7. Summary

We are told that many believers will meet the conditions mentioned in Psalm 91 just prior to the Saviour's return. Though living in a time of extraordinary danger, these promises of protection, blessing and honour are given for their encouragement. Moreover, some of their number, (and you and I could be amongst them) are scheduled to attempt - and succeed - in doing amazing exploits! Selah. Pause and take note of that fact. Oh what a glorious future awaits all who really believe this psalm. They will do great things for God, who will then raise them to positions of high authority and glory in the ages to come. They will then go on through eternity to understand and appreciate the manifold wonders of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I list some of those promises for our mutual benefit.

Verses 15-16 are of particular importance:

What about you? Do you believe this Psalm? Do you think that you are approaching the time of its fulfilment and that it could even apply to you? If you do believe, then prepare for great things ahead. Too many Christians imagine that they cannot do anything for God. How wrong they are. The fact is that every believer - no matter how insignificant they may think they are - can do much to further the cause of Truth. Let me list two vitally important things you - yes you - can do. You can: These two things are possible for every believer - every day. They cost nothing and they could lead to many souls being saved. So go to it. Begin to pray as you have never done before and testify of the Saviour's love for humanity.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

SBS     Sermon Notes     More Sermons about the Psalms

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet April 1997 ... Updated August 1999