My Refuge and Fortress

The title of this is the title of the chapter of Psalm 91. I just couldn’t phrase it any better. Let’s look at this verse:

Psalm 91:1 (ESV)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Such an amazing verse! In the first part of this verse, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High…” refers to us–those who are His children. Those who seek shelter from the evils of this world. The amazing thing is, we are able to be close to God, the creator of the universe! Close enough, in fact, to take refuge and abide in the shadow of the Almighty, it says. Is it not amazing that the Creator of All allows us, sinners, to come close to Him? But that isn’t even the best part!
In verse 10, He makes us a promise, and the conditions to that promise are found in verse 9, “Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place.” This is the condition. If we grow close to God, and live in His ways, His Word, and His Presence, then we can reap the benefits of the promise in verse 10. “No evil shall be allowed to befall you…” God promises to protect you, as long as you abide in Him. This is amazing! God created all things, so what can slip past his protection? The Creator of All can protect you from all things. Nothing can slip past His protection. But that is only part of what is amazing about this chapter!
Read the following verses, then we can look at what is amazing about them.
11 For He will command His angels concerning you,
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows My name.
When he calls to Me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him My salvation.”
This is worded well, but let’s elaborate this some, because this was written in a time where examples were different. Verse 11 is a continuation of His promise to protect us, and an explanation of how He will do it. His angels will guard us in all our ways. This is something to long for! For the ultimate protection!
In verse 12 it says they will lift us up, so we will not strike our foot against a stone. This could have several meanings, depending on how you look at it. One meaning could be protection from pain. He will protect you from striking your foot against a stone. This is the literal meaning we can take from this. Another meaning could be so you will not stumble or fall. They will lift you above the things which so easily entangle.
In verse 13 we see that we will tread on the lion and the adder (venomous snake). When walking with God, and following His Will, those who seek to harm you will not be able to touch you. You will walk right past them without being harmed. You may not literally walk on top of a lion or another person, but the meaning behind this example is what we should focus on: we cannot be harmed when walking with God.
Verses 15-16 list the conditions of our protection. They tell us under what circumstances we will be protected. We must hold fast to God in our love for Him. He will protect us if we know His name, which we learn from His Word and connecting with Him. He will answer our cries, and be present through our troubles. He will save us from the darkness of sin. All we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ, and draw near to God. When we are near God, Satan cannot touch us. It is when we fall away that Satan can once again harm us.
So take comfort and encouragement in these things. As we are walking with God, we cannot be harmed. He allows us to draw near to Him, and offers protection to all who do draw near. I encourage you to be in the presence of God consistently, so you will always be under God’s protection.
What are some examples of God’s protection have you found in His presence? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
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