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psalm91_4Other than the 23rd Psalm,  Psalm 91 is probably the next favorite of so many believers. It is the psalm prayed over husbands and sons in the military, over those facing cancer, divorce, or other overwhelming storms. It is a psalm we need in our hearts.

But it can also be confusing — because we ask: “If God promises to deliver me, then why did my child die? Why did my husband walk out?” Let’s consider this psalm carefully.

The women participating on this blog are of such depth, that I’m excited to see what you discover this week.

Prepare your heart with music based on Psalm 91. Contemplate the one in A Woman of Worship. Find other songs — this psalm has inspired many. Suggest them to us. Or find hymns or spiritual songs with the same theme — a shelter in the storm.


1. Read the whole psalm slowly.

A. What promises do you find? What conditions? (Give verse references)

B. What evidence can you find in the psalm that God is not promising freedom from trouble? (Give verse references)

C. If a passage or picture catches your attention, stop and meditate. This is a dialogue with God, and He is speaking. Tell us what you see and hear.

D. Ask the Lord to give you one picture, one passage, that He would like you to hide in your heart. Do it by the end of the week. Work on it daily.

2. Under His Shadow

A. Meditate on verse 1. There’s a condition and a promise. Find them.

B. What further insight does Song of Songs 2:3 give you about what it means to rest in His shadow?

C. If you have A Woman of Worship or Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest (July 4 devotion) what insight does he give on the shadow?

3. Under His Wings

A. What maternal attributes of God can you see in verse 4a?


B. In Isaiah, God asks — can a mother forget the baby at her breast? She may — but I will not forget you. (This is my daughter Sally with her new Sadie.) What comfort does this give you?

C. How does Jesus echo Psalm 91:4 in Matthew 23:37?

4. Psalm 91:4-7 sustained the young Charles Spurgeon when he was a young pastor in the cholera epidemic. If you know the story, summarize it here.

5. He Will Command His Angels (Psalm 91:9-16)

A. Have you ever thought you may have had a rescue because of angels? If so, share your story succinctly here.

B. What condition do you find in verse 9?

C. What amazing promises do you find in verses 10-13?

D. How do you reconcile these promises with the fact that harm does seem to come to believers who have made the Lord their refuge? (For those who have been with us through The God of All Comfort, you may be able to mentor here. For those of you who have A Woman of Worship, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom’s story may help.)

6. How did Jesus experience both harm and a rescue? How can you see Him in the psalm?

7. As you read over what women have shared this week, as you contemplate this psalm, as you hide His Word in your heart — what particularly stands out to you and why?

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  1. I love Psalms 91. Question 1:A I see many, many promises in verses 1 through 16; almost ALL promises, too many to all list here, just because of time limitation. But all I see for conditions are verse 1…”HE WHO DWELLS in the Most High & WHO ABIDES in the shadow of the Almighty. And verse 9…MAKE THE LORD YOUR REFUGE. And verse 14…CLEAVE TO GOD IN LOVE. I’m sure I’m missing alot. B. The evidence I found that God, in not promising freedom from trouble is in verse 15…. “I will be with him in trouble.” This is the one for me that spoke to me & I will hide in my heart (D.) He doesn’t promise there will be NO trouble, just that he will be with us in trouble. I praise God for that!

  2. Hi guys! I’m going to start with question #1.

    A. There actually seem to be more promises in this particular chapter than I want to take the time to sum up. They all have to do with God being with us, not necessarily saving us from harm, but definitely being in the harm with us. The conditions are all the same, too. We have to choose him actively. We have to love him and make Him our dwelling.

    B. In verse 15 it says “I will be with him in trouble, “I will deliver him and honor him.” To me this sounds like God is saying we will experience hardships. There WILL be storms and trials. But we won’t have to go through it alone.

    C. I have ALWAYS loved verse 4a: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” It reminds me of a devotion I read when I was little. It was in one of those devotional books that had a new, short devotion for every day of the year. This one was about a farm. The boy in the story had a pet hen that had just had baby chicks. A prairie fire rages through and burns down the barn. After the fire has been put out, the boy looks for his hen. He finds a large, charred lump which he knows is his hen. He pokes it with his toe and, as it falls over, all the baby chicks come pouring out from underneath her. She had pulled them under her wings to protect them and, though she had to die a terrible death, they were safe. It’s such a wonderful picture of Christ’s love for us, and such a comforting thought to think of the parental love God feels for us. Plus, being the nerd that I am, I like the thought of God being my heat shield. 😉

    D. It won’t take me a week to figure out the passage God wants me to keep in my heart. It is definitely verses 4-5. Especially verse 5a: “You will not fear the terror of night” The night time is so hard for me. It seems that the second the sun goes down the world, or at least my little house, feels ten times more empty. It’s then that I fear being alone the most. That is my “night terror.” And I don’t have to fear it if I actively choose God and make him my unshakable foundation.

    Alright, that’s all I’m going to do for now, I will answer more of them later. I love you all!! 🙂

    1. I’m not very fond of nights, either, so I can identify with what you’re saying here. Isn’t it great that we have a God Who protects us round the clock? It reminds me of Psalm 139:11-12.

      “11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
      and the light become night around me,”

      12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
      the night will shine like the day,
      for darkness is as light to you.

  3. I love this psalm. Elizabeth Elliot wrote that, when she lived with the Quichua indians in South America, :5-8 comforted her when the village was being raided and arrows were literally “flying by day”.

    I love the image of protection under His wings in :4.

    Once, in a barn, I saw little baby chickens, fresh from the egg, disappear under their mommy’s feathers. The whole brood was under there, out of sight. You’d never know it if you hadn’t seen them skittering for cover. All you’d see was the mom, a little chubbier, but no babies. They were safe, out of sight.

    Dee suggests we memorize a passage, hide it in our hearts. I’m tucking :1-2 in my heart.

    Oh, Father, may we ALL say of You, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.


    P.S. my daughter, Liz (19) and I are sitting side-by-side, computers open, at Panera, doing this study together. She reads me her comments, I read her mine. So fun. Thanks, Dee.

    1. Gloris, That is so awesome! I too am thankful for Dee! She is helping me keep my thoughts in the right place. As Philippians 4:8-9 encourages us to do.

    2. Those are the verses I picked, too 🙂

  4. Question 2;A I have meditated on verse 1 and am cofessed. I see the condition but don’t see the promise untill verse 2. I’m hoping you girls will help me see the promise in verse 1. I know it is a promise from God for security, but I can’t find it in verse 1. Questions B & C Song of songs 2;3 says “With great delight I sat in his shadow” as the bride compares sitting under an apple tree with sitting under the shadow of the Bridegroom for security. Oswald Chambers( from A woman of Worship on page 83-84) gives alot of insight on the shadow like; your are under his protection, as you might rest in the shade or feel secure under a King’s protection.


    1. Joyce, maybe the NIV translation will help you. In verse 1, the word “abide” is translated “rest” in the NIV version.
      So it reads that, I’ll put your name in here (paraphrasing):

      If Joyce dwells in the shelter of the Most High
      she will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

      So the promise is that you will enter into rest, if you choose to live in the shelter of God.

      I hope that helps!

      1. That does help Susan, thank you so much.

  5. Gloris, it is so wonderful that you and Liz can do this study together. I can’t think of anything better. Definitely some south wind:)

    1A. What promises do I find?

    v1 protection and covering. V3 deliverance. V4 His faithfulness will be a shield. v5 freedom from fear. V11 the protection of angels. V13 authority over the enemy. V15 answered prayer

    What conditions? Vs.1 and 9 I must remain under His protection making Him my dwelling place. V14 loving devotion to Him. I must know His name.

    B. What evidence can you find in the psalm that God is not promising freedom from trouble?
    V3 I will be exposed the the hunter’s net and the pestilence v5, the terror of the night and the arrow by day v13 the lion, cobra and serpent

    C. Verses 7&8 stand out to me. Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you. You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked.

    This passage implies that I will not fall to disease but I think this means more than pestilence for many beloved of the Lord do fall to disease, but that is not the end of their story. We live in this fallen world along with lost people, but we are under His protection, nothing happens to us that He has not allowed. But I think the pestilence may mean the eternal punishment of the wicked.

    D. My passage to hide. In verse 14&15 it says: I will exalt him because he knows my name. When he calls out to Me, I will answer him.

    He desires for me to know His name. He has so many names because He has so many attributes. Someone recommended a site on the names of God and I went there. I know that entire books have been written on this subject and I used to wonder at that, but now I understand. When we read His names our hearts recognize Him don’t they. Our lives revolve around learning more about Him. That is why we are on this blog. We are not exalted now but we will be, when He returns for us. We will not be ashamed. We will spend eternity learning more about Him. And now, when we call out to Him, He answers. We have seen that this week.

  6. 1. Read the whole psalm slowly.

    A. What promises do you find? What conditions? (Give verse references)

    Promises include: v. 3 protection from the fowler’s snare and pestilence, v.4 His faithfulness is your shield and rampart, v. 5 safety both day and night, v.6 freedom from pestilence in darkness and plague at midday (once again showing constant protection through both day and night), v. 7 protection in the midst of those falling around you, v. 8 freedom from punishment of wicked, v. 11-12 guarding of angels, not strike foot against stone. V 13 treading upon lion and cobra, v. 15 God’s constant presence and attention, v. 16 long satisfying life.

    The condition is found in verse 14 “”Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Another condition appears in verses 9 and 10 – no disaster comes near the psalmist’s tent because he has made God his refuge.

    B. What evidence can you find in the psalm that God is not promising freedom from trouble? (Give verse references)

    Each of the references to war and disease and overall danger show that the psalmist is being protected by God in the midst of troubles, not pulled out of them.

    Verse 3 mentions the fowler’s snare and pestilence. Verses 5 & 6 show that both pestilence and plague are looming around the psalmist. Verse 7 shows those falling around him. The lion and cobra threaten in verse 13. The idea of God being a shield and rampart in verse 4 is the imagery of war, because that’s for what shields, ramparts and fortresses are used!

    C. If a passage or picture catches your attention, stop and meditate. This is a dialogue with God, and He is speaking. Tell us what you see and hear.

    Verses 1 and 2 capture my attention because of the total trust they convey. How often do I concentrate on what I am facing in terms of trouble instead of focus on the calm, reassuring, ongoing presence of God?

    1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

    Also, verses 15 and 16 stand out because of the intimacy of God’s help and nearness to us.

    15He will 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 will I satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

    D. Ask the Lord to give you one picture, one passage, that He would like you to hide in your heart. Do it by the end of the week. Work on it daily.

    I would like to memorize verse 14 because I want to concentrate on how close God is to me even when He feels far away.

    “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

  7. 1. Read Psalm 91 slowly.

    A. What promises do you find? What conditions?

    verse 1

    Condition: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High…”
    Promise : “will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

    verses 9-10

    Condition: “If you make the Most High your dwelling-”
    Promise : “then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come
    near your tent.”

    verse 14

    Condition: “Because he loves me”, says the Lord,
    Promise : “I will protect him”
    Condition: “for he acknowledges My Name.”

    God, in this psalm, promises to cover us and to be our refuge; He promises to command His angels to guard us; He promises to answer when we call to Him and to be with us in trouble and to deliver us.

  8. B. What evidence can you find in the psalm that God is not promising
    freedom from trouble?

    verse 3 speaks of God saving us from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

    verse 5 speaks of terrors that happen at night, and arrows that fly in the daytime; pestilence that stalks at night and plagues at midday.

    verse 7 speaks of thousands, and ten thousands, falling (dying?)

    verse 10 speaks of harm and disaster

    verse 15 says the Lord will be with you in trouble

    verse 13 speaks of the presence of the great lion and the serpent

  9. 1. Read the whole psalm slowly.

    A. What promises do you find? What conditions? (Give verse references)

    My Answer:

    V.1: If you dwell in the shelter of God you will find rest. If we dwell in his shelter-(conditional)- we will find rest-(promise.)

    Dwelling in his Shelter is loving Him V.14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

    V9: “If you make the Most High your dwelling—
    even the LORD, who is my refuge- (conditional) 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.”-(promise)

    I think this really goes well Philippians 4:8-9 in regard to thinking on ‘these things’ which really is dwelling in the shelter of God. How can we dwell in His shelter if we aren’t meditating in his word and in fellowship-putting His thoughts in our head? “These things” are the things of God-his attributes, his person-The accounts of Jesus, his character etc..God wants me to meditate on. He promises He will give me His peace as I am doing this. My daily trials won’t make me faint or ruin me.

    This is what it will look like when we dwell in the arms of the Most High:

    V4. “He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” -How Beautiful. If I could draw the picture I have in my mind: God is giving me a picture of a HUGE, HUGE eagle with BIG fluffy, soft wings that spread out lovingly yet with strength asking me to come inside and be comforted.. I crawl inside and it is warm, soft and everything in my body just relaxes as I put my full confidence that He is protecting me from whatever tries to harm me and take me away from that security-comfort. he is like a mama bird protecting her little ones but with more intensity. The Eagle is a picture of God’s strength and majesty, and his wings are his faithful sheild that wrap around me to protect me from the onslaughts that can take me out of that peaceful place.

    9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
    even the LORD, who is my refuge- (Conditional)

    10 then no harm will befall you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.(Promise)

    V.11-16: He promises this when we obey verse 9.

    Verses 9 and 10 I really need to memorize as a reminder-encouragement whenever I struggle with worry/anxiety/depression. Those are red flags that I am most likely not taking refuge in Him.

    1. I haven’t decided on the memory verses just yet. There are several that stick out in my mind other than the one I listed above that I am tempted to do. God must me telling me to wait until I get more deeply into this. I trust He will show me!

  10. 2. Under His Shadow

    A. Meditate on verse 1. There’s a condition and a promise. Find them.

    My answer: The promise is that we will rest in His shadow. The condition is that we dwell in his shelter. We can’t rest safe from harm if we insist on being outside the shelter. I may think I can defend myself on the desert front, but the sun will beat me down if I have to shade.

    B. What further insight does Song of Songs 2:3 give you about what it means to rest in His shadow?

    My answer: It’s a delight to sit in his shade. Not only is it protection, but it’s a rest and blessing. A joy.

  11. 2. Under His Shadow
    A. Meditate on verse 1. There’s a condition and a promise. Find them.

    1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

    I will find the rest of God only if I dwell in Him… I can’t attain this peace just by giving Him a passing thought. I must dwell in Him by dwelling ON Him.

    B. What further insight does Song of Songs 2:3 give you about what it means to rest in His shadow?

    Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
    is my lover among the young men.
    I delight to sit in his shade,
    and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

    It is pleasant and joy is found there, as is love and delight. It is a sweet experience. It’s more than just getting by.

    C. If you have A Woman of Worship or Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest (July 4 devotion) what insight does he give on the shadow?

    I love this line: “Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.” Chambers discusses how we must rest in God in hard circumstances as well as in easy ones, because if we cannot rest in Him through a trial we cannot do it under any other condition. The shadow is peace internally.

  12. 1. C. If a passage or picture catches your attention, stop and meditate. This is a dialogue with God, and He is speaking. Tell us what you see and hear.

    A word is vs 1 that keeps jumping out at me is “dwells.” “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwells = lives in. It is so much more than visiting, running to when I am in trouble, etc. “Dwells” implies that I am home. I’m thinking about whether I behave like a dweller or a visitor.

    The other verse that stands out to me is verse 16 “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” This keeps jumping out to me because either I don’t get it or I don’t like it. What is the meaning of “long life?” What about people who love Him and die young?

    1. I wonder if length of days looks different from God’s position outside of eternity. Our view is so finite even though we try so hard to understand. His goal for our lives would be for salvation and eternity with Him. I have a lot of trouble understanding some things in the Bible and this is one of them. There are people who believe that life should be happy, fulfilling and prosperous and if it is not we are out of God’s will. They can quote verses like this all day long. I find this thinking very hard to refute. Perhaps because there is so much emotion attached to it.

  13. I would like to share my scheduled reading from Psalms this morning.

    Psalm 10:16 The LORD is King forever and ever;
    The nations have perished out of His land.
    17 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
    You will prepare their heart;
    You will cause Your ear to hear,
    18 To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
    That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

    As I think about terrorism and those who have lost loved ones or been injured themselves praying these verses brings comfort.

  14. We will be gone for about a week to Montana (family reunion) I will be missing my blog study with all of you. I’ll be lifting you up in prayer.

  15. 3. Under His Wings

    A. What maternal attributes of God can you see in verse 4a?
    Covering us with his wings like a mother hen.

    B. In Isaiah, God asks — can a mother forget the baby at her breast? She may — but I will not forget you. (This is my daughter Sally with her new Sadie.) What comfort does this give you?
    It’s encouraging to me to know that, even though a mother may be able to forget her biological child, God will never forget me, even though I am “adopted.” and not His own blood.

    C. How does Jesus echo Psalm 91:4 in Matthew 23:37?
    He says he has often longed to draw them under his wings. It’s the same picture, and it’s really beautiful. 🙂

  16. 2 B. What further insight does Song of Songs 2:3 give you about what it means to rest in His shadow?

    Oh my! This is so cool (no pun intended). When I thought of “shadow,” I really was thinking of the coolness & refreshing, BUT there’s more:

    “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
    With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

    If I only wanted “shade,” there are many other trees in the forest! That means that His tree is unique (i.e., fruit). Not sure if this is stretching the application, but I am thankful for rest I get in other “shadows” too (e.g., vacation, friends, family).

    In this description, resting is active: delighting, sitting, eating, and tasting/enjoying. That is very different from collapsing (the point at which I tend to seed shade) or hyperactive “service.”

  17. Renee, I was also amazed by this verse. When I listed my things for which I am thankful, apples fresh from the orchard was one of them! I never knew how I loved apples until I had one there. Imagine being tired, hot, thirsty and hungry, finding shade for which you are so grateful and then finding the tree to have apples on it! So is our beloved among the idols of this life. Great delight indeed!

    1. I was on (and sick of) a clear liquid diet when I read this. Your description of apples fresh from the orchard made my mouth water, and the fruit in my refrigerator has been looking VERY good 🙂 This is giving me a great “visual” (or whatever the parallel word is for stomach!) of hungering for and delighting in God and His provisions, including the peaches and grapes in the refrigerator.

    1. Is that a book or in one of his commentaries?

    2. Thanks, Dee and Anne, for addressing my long life question. Wow — the length of time Jesus was on earth definitely refutes a “number of days on earth” interpretation. I kinda like mysteries 🙂 And I’ve even become ok at accepting that I can’t understand everything — that I see “in a glass darkly.”

      But now I’m starting to have STRANGE doubts: e.g.,, if “long life” doesn’t mean “long life” in the obvious sense, what about other parts of Scripture that I have been interpreting at face value (or traditional shared Christian beliefs). Might the basics of the faith be something different too? I know that sounds bad. And I know the TRUTH. (wasn’t even over-analyzing this time; the doubts just popped into my head). Time to pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading.

        1. Oh yeah 🙂 Right now, I’m thinking “duh!” Thanks, Dee!

  18. 2c. Under someone’s shadow conveys intimacy because you must be very close to be in someone’s shadow. It also refers to protection. To ‘live in the shade of the king’ was a widespread Near Eastern metaphor. Oswald Chambers associates it with rest and contrasts it to fretting which comes from the desire to have our own way. Jesus was never worried or anxious because His desire was for God’s plan not His own.

    3a. Maternal attributes of God in 4a are covering and protection from danger and the elements.

    3b. Sadie and Sally are so beautiful! I see great love on Sally’s part and the great helplessness on Sadie’s. This comforts me because while I know that I am helpless, Isaiah says that God’s love for me is even greater than this.

    3c. Jesus echos Psalm 91:4 in Matthew 23:37 when He longs to gather the children of Jerusalem under His protective ‘wing’ but they would not allow it because they wanted their own way.

    4. Spurgeon was overwhelmed by the devastation of cholera when he read a shoemaker’s posting of Psalm 91:9-10. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. His heart was immediately calmed by faith and he continued his work among the dying. He was no longer afraid and suffered no harm.

  19. Hey, guys! I just wanted to take a second and let you know that I got a job!! I am going to be working at my church, which is a mega church, doing custodial work. So nothing glamorous, but still. It’s a good job in a good environment, working with good people. :)It’s nights and weekends, which is PERFECT for my schedule in the fall. I start Sunday. 🙂

    1. Congrats! Sounds like a job very compatible with university schedules. Liz, I’ve thought before that your instructors must feel (or will feel) blessed to have a student who is a thoughtful and articulate writer. (From someone who regularly reads student work, goes a little bonkers with some papers, and thoroughly enjoys others. I suspect that you are in the “thoroughly enjoys” category of students. And I bet you aren’t even getting extra credit for participating in this Bible Study!!!)

    2. Congrats Liz!!!

      1. Liz

        Congratulations on your new job! I heard on a radio drama of her life, that the late author Eugenia Price, worked as a cleaning lady early in life. She went on to write many, many books and was well known for her historical novels set in Georgia. So, we all may be conversing with a future novelist. God Bless You!!!

    3. That is great Liz. Praying that you will bless and be blessed in your new job.

    1. Before I knew the Lord my brother Jim and I shared a room in California because my grandfather passed away. This whole time God was working through Jim and he was a huge witness to me of Jesus. I gave my life to Jesus shortly after on an airplane flying back to Kansas City. While we were in California Jim was having his quiet time out on the patio reading his bible and a hispanic man came up to him and shouted “hallelujah”, “Praise the Lord” and lifted his hands in the air and then walked off. right after he walked off Jim got up because he wanted to talk to him and he was gone. Jim came running in the house and told me what happened and that he thought it could have been an angel.

    2. Angels: A friend and I were on the way to a downtown movie. I was driving, and we were waiting at a stoplight. A big beat-up station wagon with a driver who looked “crazy, wild on drugs” was speeding right toward us. When he was right in front of us, about 10-15 feet away from a head-on collision (I could see his eyes), his car suddenly was on top the curb in his own lane. He completely flattened street signs and continued on. (We didn’t report it until after the movie 🙂 )

      One of the reasons I remember the details of this event that happened so long ago is because of the timing. My friend and I had both battled depression and had been hospitalized several times. God had so obviously spared our lives that I realized that He must have a purpose for my life and also would provide strength for me to continue. Even now, I can’t quite wrap my brain around the extent of the battles I experienced during that era of my life. I know God’s angels protected us — and I also suspect demonic involvement in sudden appearance of the station wagon.

      Shortly before that, I had heard about my aunt and uncle’s car being moved to a far lane on a California freeway, right when they were about to get squashed between two semis that were moving in from the lanes surrounding them. Because they were trapped, they couldn’t have accessed the lanes themselves.

      Within the past few years, I’ve made the comment that if someone not at all familiar with church were to base his/her understanding of Christians on prayer requests, s/he would think that the main focus of Christians is their health and safety, and that Christians are a bunch of sick people (with sick friends and family members) who travel a lot! Reflecting on angels changing traffic patterns makes me appreciate all the prayers for “traveling mercies.”

  20. 5. He Will Command His Angels (Psalm 91:9-16)
    B. verse 9, condition:
    “If you make the Most High your dwelling—“ (Dwelling – very visual/powerful)

    C. What amazing promises do you find in verses 10-13?

    -no harm will befall you
    -no disaster will come near your tent
    -He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways: they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (They will lift you up so that you do not get squished between semi-trucks)

    This one hasn’t sunk in yet: “You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “

    D. How do you reconcile these promises with the fact that harm does seem to come to believers who have made the Lord their refuge?

    My first response to this question is “It is well with my soul.” We still experience pain, sickness, sorrow, car accidents, but our souls can be at peace — peace in the midst of the storm. The picture of being sheltered implies that there is something to be sheltered from; we experience safety in His shelter during storms, as well as during “nice weather.” I’ve heard stories about people who are always terrified of thunder/electrical storms even when they are safe inside the shelter of a house. Interestingly, their fears wouldn’t make them any less safe (inside the house) unless they reacted to those fears by seeking shelter under a lone tree or lightening rod). In addition, we have a Shelter/Shelterer who loves us and wants to seek refuge in Him.

    I watched that video of Isakov’s artwork MANY times! (Bigger, better version here: http://vimeo.com/7253613). The narrator kept referring to the soul. It’s finally sinking in that my life in Christ is so much more than my physical, emotional, or intellectual life on earth. My soul can delight in and rest in Him even if I’m striking my feet against stones, feeling emotionally distraught or losing my memory.

    1. Renee, I think you are so right about “it is well with my soul.” That was one of the songs we sang at my husnband’s funeral. My family and I just returned from the trip to FL. I mentioned last week. We missed Tim, my husband, terribly but we laughed and cried together.AND we had an experience which I thought about while reading this psalm. As most of you said I think psalm 91 basically says God will rescue you when trouble happens. We took two cars for the trip and since my oldest daughter has been having some financial problems I loaned her her Dad’s car for the trip. Yesterday we decided to take the kids to the Gulfarium before we headed for home, about a 5 hour trip. Just as we pulled into the parking lot Melanie’s borrowed car quit.It wouldn’t do anything but make a terrible sound. This was my first trip without my husband in 47 years. We had my grandchildren 13 &14 and 5, both my daughters who know nothing about cars and my youngest daughter’s husband, who also knows nothing about cars. Everybody looked at me and said,” what do we do?” I stopped and said silently to God,” Okay, Lord, what now? I trust You to protect and guide us. I told all the kids ” It’s in God’s hands.Let’s go in to the building and find a phone book.” Standing in the foyer was a nice looking woman who was the photographer for the gulfaruim. I told everybody to go on and get their picture made and I would go to the gift shop and find a phone book. When I returned she had finished making pictures and we explained to her what was going on. She said,” Just a minute, the man who lives next door to me is a retired mechanic. I don’t want you all to get ripped off so let me just telephone him and see what he recommends.” She did so (while letting several visitors slip by with no picture) and when she got off the phone she gave us the name and phone number of a repair shop. We telephoned and they said they would have someone there in about five minutes which they did. My son-in-law is absolutely wonderful with children even though he knows nothing about cars so we left him to do the tour and dauphin show with the kids and we took my other car and followed the tow truck. The people at the repair shop were wonderful and when we first walked in we knew we were in the right spot because they had a night blooming cyrus which is a plant we all identify with my mother. They did not know what the plant was so that broke the ice. They charged us a very reasonable amount for fixing the car–it was the fuel pump and they were able to fix it in less than two hours. All the people who worked there were kind and caring and though they were obviously run over with work they gave our car priorty because we were from out of town. Even though I had to spend unexpected money it was as though God had just taken the situation and made everything fall into place. When we returned to get my dear son-in-law and the kids we were able to thank the woman who went out of her way to help us. We told her what an answer to pray she was and that we really thought she was an angel. I had dreaded this trip as you all know but I never expected God to come to the rescue as quickly and wonderfuly as He did. We were able to show the grandchildren that God does answer prayer and does hear us. We also talked about how God does not say we won’t have trouble and grief but that He will always be with us. I am so grateful, but I do have to tell you that when we finally got home the tree in my front yard had fallen on the roof due to some wind during a storm so I can’t wait to see what God does here.

      1. Judy, I read this last night and was so encouraged by your story and your attitude. Just re-read — what a vivid reminder of God answering our prayers and taking care of us on a daily basis.
        Thanks for sharing it.

  21. I also enjoyed ‘Beauty By God’ and the story behind it. Same artist, Aleona Isakova. http://web.me.com/alangel/e/Home.html Here is a gifted artist of limited means that heard God’s call and answered. He provided the means and the fruit. Truly amazing!

    I can’t say that I can think of a time I ever thought I had encountered an angel in flesh. There have been times when I thought something was revealed to me from the Holy Spirit. There was a time when my son and I were on the highway in a small car. I suddenly felt a dark heaviness between us and the roof of the car and just knew that we were about to be killed in an accident. Traffic was very heavy and moving fast but I saw nothing happen. I just prayed with a terrible dread in my heart. The moment passed and we continued on the road but I knew that we had just been delivered.

    I just finished the latest addition to my favorite book series, The A.D. Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene, Eleventh Guest. There was an angel in that story. Until the end the characters did not know they had been visited by an angel. In Hebrew they called them Ush-pi-zin. Sometimes they are angels and sometimes they are Old Testament men like Joseph, Moses or Abraham. Wonderful every time.

    1. I read the A.D. chronicals also, aren’t they great?

    2. Yes, but too short:(

  22. I kind of answered a lot of these sporadically in my last comment so I am trying to weed through what I have and haven’t answered.

    3C. The passage in Matthew relates to Psalm 91:4 in that God is maternal and he is like a mom desiring for us to come under his wings and enjoy his protection, but because of our flesh we tend to veer the other way. He LONGS for it-(NIV). The thing I picked up on is that even though they stoned prophets God sent to them and by their actions rejected him, he still LONGS to gather them under his wings. What faithfulness and love. This shows God’s character-he doesn’t go back on his promises to his people. He is committed and He loves us. Even if we reject Him by disobeying and refusing to listen to Him, He won’t abandon us. Wow..

    5A. In regard to my Angel story I am thinking if that was an angel my brother Jim saw then he was most likely being encouraged. Perhaps because he was surrounded by unbelievers including me and had to deal with some pretty petty and idiotic stuff we were saying and doing. Also, he was praying and had his church praying for me for my salvation. Maybe the angel was encouraging him that God was indeed at work in my heart, I don’t know but it is pretty cool to ponder! 🙂

    5C. When I make Him my dwelling place no evil will befall me, He will give his angels charge over me, I will tread over any trouble that comes my way,GOD will deliver me. Because I know Him I am secure in Him-nothing can rip me out of his hands and there is a N.T. verse in regard to this-John 10:28!!! He will hear my cries, my praises, my requests for help as I talk with him,and He will be with me in trouble and rescue me and honor me. He will satisfy me with a long life and I will see His salvation.

    5D. What a great question. I think it means spiritually. Regardless of what comes our way as we are dwelling in Him-hiding in the safety of his wings He will give us His strength to overcome when troubles or tribulations come.
    Isaiah 40:28-31 says it best:

    28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.

    29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.

    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;

    31 but those who hope in the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

    6. Most awesome question! I hadn’t thought about how Jesus fits into this Psalm. 🙂 There are a lot of examples, but one that came to mind right away was when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness-while he was tempted he quoted verses to counteract satan’s temptings-his mind was stayed on God rather than his situation. Luke 4:1-13 He even quotes this Psalm in verses 10-11 when Satan tempts him to jump off the Pinnacle of the Temple:

    10 for it is written,

    11 and,

    God rescued Him through the power of His living word. Of course as a result Satan backed off.

    I see Jesus in this Psalm-all of it to a perfect “T”. He took refuge in God-He trusted God OVER AND OVER again and gave God the glory. God sustained Him, and strengthened Him. When He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane it reveals His heart of complete dependence and reverence for God even though He knew the cup He was to drink was painful beyond measure. He was willing to go even if God didn’t take it away. Even in his agony he was willing to do God’s will regardless. Matthew 26: 36-44.

    Jesus remained obedient unto His death and Satan was defeated as Genesis predicted. Jesus was raised from the dead victorious and is sitting at the right hand of God.

    7. Anne’s statement ministered to me: “Under someone’s shadow conveys intimacy because you must be very close to be in someone’s shadow. It also refers to protection. To ‘live in the shade of the king’ was a widespread Near Eastern metaphor. Oswald Chambers associates it with rest and contrasts it to fretting which comes from the desire to have our own way. Jesus was never worried or anxious because His desire was for God’s plan not His own.” My response below:

    I have been contemplating on Verse 1 which is the verse I am memorizing. God has made this verse richer in my life through this study. It encompasses living our life in Christ-what our relationship with God should look like. If we dwell in His shelter we WILL abide in his shadow. If our desire is like Jesus’ who wanted God’s plan, not His own then anxiety and worry will not define who we are. We will be tempted to worry and will have moments where we do as thoughts come in and out every day, but we choose whether to let those thoughts take hold in our minds or to dwell in His shelter.

  23. 3b. I thought I answered this because I thought about it a lot. What a beautiful picture of Sally and Sadie and a beautiful way to present God’s nurturing love toward us. Sally adores her, God adores us, she longs to hold her and kiss her and comfort her as God does us, and her protective heart willing to give up herself for her Sadie is the way God is committed to us. It amazes me how God has designed us to naturally have this kind of love toward our children yet it is a gift to us so we can see a picture of His caring, protective and adoring love toward us.

    I also have to add that I remember Patrick and I were really in constant prayer for Phil in regard to a wife-So seeing this picture of God’s gift to him of such a godly wife and a beautiful baby brings tears to my eyes.

  24. 5B. What condition do you find in verse 9? I must make Him my refuge and my dwelling place.

    C. What amazing promises do you find in verses 10-13 and D. How do you reconcile these promises with the fact that harm does seem to come to believers who have made the Lord their refuge?

    I just had another chills and goose bumps moment as I was fixing lunch and contemplating the question of angels and not striking my foot against a stone. Lord, help me convey Your truth. We will experience the things that ruin mankind such as sickness, death and even addictions but the difference for us is God’s covering. These things are not our undoing, because the worst Satan can do is kill us and that is victory for us because of Christ. If we dwell under His covering, all things are controlled by Him. The worst, worst, worst thing we can do is to be dishonest before Him. To be ‘The Pillar of the Church’ when our hearts are far from Him makes us so hard. I think of Aleona Isakov’s testimony of how God called her in the world of high fashion and how the hardest of hearts were melted by His Spirit as she did what He called her to do. Those are some hard hearts, polar opposite of a heart that I would think receptive to the Spirit, but God spoke and they came. The heart of the Pharisee is possibly a very different thing and we are prone to be self-righteous instead of Christ-righteous.

    So, I think that to dwell means to obey or not, but don’t try to claim His righteousness for one’s self. If our children come to the place where they decide to turn away, it is an honest decision and God can deal with that and He does, as He did in my life. I can look back and see that all that time I remained under His covering. I am greatly encouraged by this and I think closer than I have ever been to believing in ‘Eternal Security’. I know this is a little disjointed. Maybe all of us together can sort it out. I wish I were better able to express my thoughts.

    1. I think you’ve expressed yourself quite well. You always give me a fresh perspective on whatever topic we are discussing.

    2. Tammy, I really appreciate your research, especially in finding words and meanings in the original language.

  25. Happy Saturday Everyone!!!

    1.A. God’s promises in Ps 91 are seen in vv.1,4,5,11,15,16. The promises center around God’s protection. The conditions are found in vv.9,14 and center around a believer’s unswerving love and trust in God.

    B. v.15 tells me I will experience trouble.

    C./D. v.4 was the one that jumped out at me as soon as I read it.

    “He shall cover you with His feathers,
    And under His wings you shall take refuge;
    His truth shall be your shield and buckler”.

    Yall know me well enough now to not be suprised when I use my left brain to jump into the Hebrew for the original meaning. I discovered that the word for shield means prickling and the word for buckler means completely surrounded. So after learning that bit of info, my right brain kicked in and if I were an artist, I would draw a self-portait. I would be sitting reading and completely surrounded by a thorny hedge. My enemies would be pictured in the distance trying to develop a strategy to break through. This thorny hedge, to me, represents God’s commands and promises, God’s boundary lines of protection. My enemies will never penetrate and destroy the hedge because their words are nothing but lies or twisted truth.

    2.A. In Ps 91:1 the condition is first followed by the promise.

    He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide the shadow of the Almighty.

    The person who trusts in God is the one who lives close to Him.

    B. Song 2:3 tells me that I am under God’s protection. In my study bible, this verse is cross-referenced to Rev. 22:1-2.

    “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

    For the past few summers, a client has blessed me with the bounty from his fig and pear trees. I’ve especially paid attention to the fig tree this year during the various seasons. It was so bare and forlorn in the winter but as soon as spring arrived the leaves just burst forth all big and green. The tree is set to produce a nice bounty if the birds and squirrels don’t help themselves first. Just as fruit trees are here on earth for our nourishment and pleasure, so the tree of life will be for all of eternity. Meanwhile, we have the shade (comfort and protection) of God’s word to keep us delighted in Jesus until we step into eternity.

    C. Chambers tells us that when we sit in someone’s shadow we are in very close proximity to the person. (In the inner cirle) He goes on to tell that knowing one was under the shadow of the king, under his protection, gave one a peace of mind. As I’ve heard the Aussies say, “NO WORRIES”.

    3.A. The maternal attributes of God I see are a fierceness in protection of His children. He is not going to let anyone or anything evil get too near. I see care and tenderness. Only God can see what is ahead for His children and He gathers them close if danger is rearing its head.

    B. The comfort I have in God’s words in Isaiah 49:15 is the knowledge that I will never be abandoned or forsaken by my Heavenly Father. He will always remember me. He’s never going to tell me to fend for myself. He’s never going to tell me I don’t need Him. He’s never going to tell me ‘go ask someone else to help you’.

    C. Jesus references Ps 91:4 as he laments over the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel, especially her capital and God’s abiding place, Jerusalem. I’ve always pictured him standing looking over Jerusalem as he spoke these words, but I’ve discovered he was in the temple teaching his disciples. He had come to save the ‘apple of his eye’ but they had rejected him. He knew the consequences for their were going to be severe and it wounded him terribly in his humanity and I believe also his deity, knowing he had to witness (from heaven’s perspective) the future destruction of the city. How he wanted to protect them from the danger to come!

    4. 1854. London England. Charles Haddon Spurgeon had just turned twenty in June before the worst of the cholera epidemic occurred. He had been pastor of New Park Street Church less than one year.
    His district of London was hard hit by the plague and for days on end
    he preached the funerals of young and old alike. Members of his congregation he was just getting to know well were being struck by a merciless assailant. Day afte day Spurgeon walked wearily back to 75 Dover Road. He was not yet married, (that event would take place in 1856), so there was no one at home to offer him comfort and encouragement. He was greeted by only silence.
    On one such, now all too common day, Pastor Spurgeon, ready to give up on living himself, stopped to read the post in a shoemaker’s window. Imagine his surprise when he read the words of Ps. 91:9-10: “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.” Spurgeon’s low spirit was instantly revived and he praised God whom he knew to be the one who prompted the shoemaker to share the words of Ps 91 with the passer-bys.

    5.A. Several years ago, I was driving down a two lane street here in town. A car failed to stop at the stop sign just as I approached an
    intersection. Before I had time to think and react, unseen hands took the wheel and guided me around the car I should have hit.

    B. The conditon in verse is full trust in God.

    C. The amazing promises in vv. 10-13 are:
    No evil shall befall me.
    No plague shall come near where I live.
    His angels are instructed to look after me and make sure nothing
    hurts me.
    I will walk all over danger.

    D. I reconcile these promises with the fact that the book of Psalms were written to Old Testament saints who experienced God’s blessings physically because that was his preferred indicator of favor. As a New Testament believer I have Jesus’ promise (John 16:33) that I will experience tribulation in this world. However, I also have Jesus’ guarantee that HE has overcome the world. He has not guaranteed me a life free of disease and trouble. He only guarantees that HE is with me as I experience tribulation, giving me HIS strength, as I ask for it, to endure. Whatever happens to me in my future physically, will not be allowed to reach into the inner depths of my soul. My inner being will never be destroyed. Wounded maybe but not wiped out.

    1. Thanks for the Spurgeon info. I was wondering about that 🙂

  26. 7. What stands out most to me is the concept of dwelling — and resting in His shadow. Initially, I was thinking of dwelling as “living in” versus visiting, but dwelling also is a noun. A person’s dwelling is his or her home.

    Sometimes, I have a hard time keeping up with maintenance on my house (It’s hot here & and the AC quit working this week!). When I am dwelling in or at HOME in the Lord, He takes care of the maintenance 🙂 and provides rest and sustenance for me.

    Thinking of Him as my home, with amazing shade (as describing in the Song of Solomon passage), is so refreshing — and safe. Reading everyone’s angel stories and Joyce’s reports of answered prayer on her trip are excellent illustrations and reminders that He does protect us.

  27. I have praise for my older son Al. I have been a little concerned about him because he seemed depressed after he came back from visiting his best friend in Chicago.

    One afternoon last week I was sitting in the swing in my yard, just thinking and praying off and on. All at once I raised my eyes and exhaled a prayer for God to melt Al’s heart. I think it was the Holy Spirit. After I prayed I started to back peddle and said Lord, in Your time and that sort of thing. It seemed a little extreme. A few days later I learned that he had been sent home from his landscaping job with heat exhaustion that afternoon. Then this evening he came over. I am so encouraged by his demeanor and the things he talked about. First of all he had cut his hair and gave all 11 inches to Locks For Love. We talked more than we have in years and at one point he even made reference to how faith positively affects people’s lives. I had to bite my tongue to hold back the sermon, but I did, thankfully. It was awesome because I saw again the wonderful boy that I have missed these last 10 years! Lord, he is still under Your covering. Thank You!

    1. Wow Anne, thanks for sharing! That is such a testimony of how you waited on the Lord for the right words and timing. You were wise in holding your tongue.

  28. I am rejoicing in Romans this morning and would like to share what I think we all have in common-affliction and hope.

    Roamans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    Blessed worship to all of you this morning.

  29. 6. Jesus experienced harm when he was beaten and crucified on the cross. Up until the appointed time of his death I believe he was kept from harm because God the Father had given angels instructions to keep Jesus safe.
    Before Jesus died and was buried in the grave, he already knew he would rise again. I see that as his rescue. He told Martha in Jn 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life”. Before he died he knew he was going to live again and that is our greatest comfort when we are separated from our Christian loved ones because of death.
    I see Jesus’ intimacy with his father in Ps 91:14 and because I know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, all the promises in Ps 91 are mine. Jesus is the deliverance promised here. Also, just as God was with Jesus when he was this earth, I know he is with me until I step into the presence of Christ in eternity.

    7. I keep coming back to the word truth in v.4. In the original language it means stability. I believe I keep being drawn to that one word because I know what its like to be held by deception. God has been using his word to stabalize my once chaotic life. Sometimes my former way of living seems like a dream.
    As I read back through the posts, I thought of how we all are are experiencing stability in our lives even, though we are in the midst of various troubles. Our stability comes from FULLY BELIEVING, FULLY RELYING ON, and FULLY TRUSTING God. Judy, I so appreciate your testimony of God’s faithfulness during your vacation. I saw stability in your response to returning home and finding the tree on your roof.

    The text for this morning’s sermon was Joshua 14:6-15. The recounting of Caleb’s faithfulness to God. Because of the disbelief of 10 men and subsequently the nation of Israel, Caleb had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. I think of how frustrating that must have been for him. He knew God would give the victory over the inhabitants so he and Joshua encouraged the people to cross over into the promised land. “We can do it” was the cry but the people chose not to believe and Caleb had to wait for forty-five to receive his share in the promised land. Until the end of my days I want to be like Caleb, following God with my whole heart.

    I want to close with Bro. Vann’s closing point of his sermon. He stated that how you see God is how you are going to respond to God. You will either not follow or you will follow with your whole heart.


    Anne, maybe you can use this as a conversation starter with your Al.

    Joyce, I hope you and your family had a wonderful time in Montana.

  30. 6. How did Jesus experience both harm and a rescue? How can you see Him in the psalm?
    Jesus experienced so much harm during His life on earth. He was misunderstood, feared and hated by many that He came to save. I think that every act of hate directed toward Him hurt Him much more than it would me because of His great love for those who hurt Him. His greatest desire was to save them, to gather them to Himself and they treated Him so. That is in addition the physical beating and death on the cross. Worst of all was His separation from the Father and the weight of sin that was laid on Him. He was crucified with my name so that I could wear His name (good sermon today on 3rd commandment).
    He was rescued when God resurrected Him from the grave. Not only was He raised from the dead but He also raised His beloved bride.
    I see Jesus in verses 14-16. Because of His loving devotion He was delivered, not from crucifixion but from the grave. He was exalted and given honor. When He calls out to God He answers, that is why we pray in His name. He has been not only shown salvation but He IS salvation for us.

    1. Love what you said her, Anne — “He was crucified with my name so that I could wear His name…” Wow. Reminds me of these snatches of Scripture “The Lord, our righteousness (Jer 23:6), “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. (Col 1:27)

  31. 7. As I read over the entries for this week I am impressed with His covering and how we have each one experienced it. Judy on her vacation, Liz with her new job, Renee as she considers hard question and finds comfort dwelling in Him and Gloris and I with His covering over our children while they make Him their own. We were not necessarily delivered from difficulties but through them.

    As I hide the Word I love this entire Psalm and remain very impressed with v 14b-15a because God has been speaking to me all week about His name and topped it off today with a sermon about His name that was just full of things I have never considered.

    This week has been a blessed study. I am looking forward to the week to come.
    Blessings ladies:-)

    1. Anne, me too! I have loved these past two weeks and I so appreciate Dee’s giving of her time to do this. Thanks Dee!

    2. Thanks for summing it all up, Anne. I agree, a blessed week!

  32. Gals, I was telling the boys the Angel story I mentioned in a comment above and when I told them that the angel raised his hands and said “Allelujah, praise the Lord!” Elijah said in a serious tone, “Was he wearing a toga?”.. ;P

    1. 😉

  33. I believe God led me to this Bible study. I would have been much more stressed by the car and tree if I had not been meditating on the psalms we are studying. Thought I missed my husband very much and it is so very painful to be separated from him I know that God is the only one who can and will always be there for me. I am praying for each of you and you have helped so much with your prayers and thoughts.