Tuesday, June 13, 2023

2023.06.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 91

Read Psalm 91

Questions from the Scripture text: Where does the person in this Psalm dwell (Psalm 91:1a)? Under what does he abide (verse 1b)? What does he say of Whom (Psalm 91:2)? From what dangers will God deliver him (Psalm 91:3)? What image does Psalm 91:4a–b use for his safety? What, especially, equips this person (verse 4c)? What won’t intimidate him (Psalm 91:4-6)? What sorts of things come upon others as their reward (Psalm 91:7a–b)? But what is the experience of the one who takes refuge in Yahweh (Psalm 91:7-8b)? What does Psalm 91:9 emphasize as making the difference? When pain or illness come to a believer, in what way do they not come (Psalm 91:10)? What is one way that God ensures that only what He has ordained for good happens to believers (Psalm 91:11)? What marvelous picture does Psalm 91:12 give of even the believer’s ordinary walking? In what other hyperbolic situation would this still be true (Psalm 91:13)? What do Psalm 91:11-13 tell us about to Whom these blessings especially belong (cf. Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10–11, Genesis 3:15)? What did He (and those who are in Him) especially do (Psalm 91:14)? What did/will the Lord to for Him? What would He do (Psalm 91:15)? How would the Lord respond (Psalm 91:15-16)? What would the Lord give Him?

What are the blessings of belonging to the Lord? Psalm 91 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these sixteen verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that belonging to the Lord means that He is our Refuge and Reward, because He is our Redemption.  

Refuge, Psalm 91:1–6. Those who belong to the Lord have Him has refuge from being hunted (Psalm 91:3a), from pandemic (verse 3b, Psalm 91:6a), from war (Psalm 91:4c, Psalm 91:5b), from destruction (Psalm 91:6b), even from terror itself (Psalm 91:5a).  Man can flatter (and has flattered) himself about the ability to deal with all of these. But ultimately, none of these are as great a danger as the reason behind them all: our guilt before God and His wrath against sin. If we are to be truly safe from anything, we need a refuge that is as strong as God Himself. We need to have the Most High, the Almighty, as our secret place and hide-out (Psalm 91:1). We need to be able to say, “my” “my” “my” about the living God as in Psalm 91:2. This is the glorious reality for the Christian. He can say, “I am my  Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine.”

RewardPsalm 91:7-10. For the believer, whatever trouble comes into the world (or even in his life) is not his “reward.” It is the reward of the wicked (Psalm 91:8b), but it does not come into his life as an evil or plague (Psalm 91:10). The believer sees it (Psalm 91:8a), but Yahweh the Most High is still his refuge and dwelling place. It is He Himself, Who is the believer’s reward. And they can know that He Who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all (cf. Romans 8:32), is giving even the things in Romans 8:35 to them for good. He is their reward.

RedemptionPsalm 91:11-16. Ultimately, this is because God and all His mercies belong to Christ both by right and by merit. Psalm 91:11-12 belong to Him, which is why Satan’s misuse of them was such a temptation in Matthew 4:6/Luke 4:10–11. But Jesus didn’t give in to the temptation to “test” whether God’s words would be true. He perfectly believed that they were. And so must we. The image in Psalm 91:12 belongs to a literal walk in the park as much as it would have to a dive off of the temple. Every footfall of a believer’s step must land exactly as is good for them. Even in the most perilous situation (Psalm 91:13). Verse 13 came true in an ultimate sense at the cross (cf. Genesis 3:15), and it continues to come true in believers’ lives (cf. Romans 16:20). Jesus has done the loving and knowing in Psalm 91:14, and those who believe in Him receive with Him the deliverance, raising up, answers to prayer, presence, honor, eternal life, and salvation (Psalm 91:14-16)!

What troubles and terrors have come into your life? How can you know if they come into your life as punishment or mercy? Who deserves for them to be mercies? How can such mercies be yours?

Sample prayer:  Lord, You are our Refuge in every trouble and terror. Christ has set His love upon You and known your Name. He did not put You or Your Word to the test. Now give us the ministry of the Spirit, that we may know and love and trust You in Christ. Grant that we would be conformed to Him, even as we worship You through Him, we ask in Christ’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP91 “Who With God Most High Finds Shelter” or TPH91B “Who with God Most High Finds Shelter”

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