christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

psalm 91, it shall not come near you

Read Psalm 91 at Bible Gateway.

We saw from the chiastic structure last week, that the benefits of Psa 91:3-7, and Psa 91:10-13, mirror each other:

1a) Psa 91:1-2, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High;
– 1.1, Psa 91:3, Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
– 1.2, Psa 91:4, He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
– 1.3, Psa 91:5-7, You shall not be afraid, for it shall not come near you;
central axis) Psa 91:8, Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked;
2a) Psa 91:9, Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place;
– 2.3, Psa 91:10, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
– 2.2, Psa 91:11-12, For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways;
– 2.1, Psa 91:13, You shall tread upon the lion + cobra, the young lion + serpent you shall trample underfoot.

The last matching pair is:

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Psa 91:5-7

No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; Psa 91:10

What an awesome promise to have, especially as we enter the end times and the possibility of terror (terrorism), war (arrows), pestilence and plagues (epidemics, pandemics, and superbugs), and destruction in broad daylight (crime and anarchy) increases. The promise is very clear: the evil will not befall us, or come near or dwelling.

Evil befalls all of us all the time. Suffering is a part of this life. So is the psalmist making a false claim? No, these promises are for the one who:

1) Dwells in the secret place of the Most High:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Psa 91:1-2

2) He who has made YHVH his refuge and dwelling place:

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, Psa 91:9

Someone can be a believer, can be saved and going to heaven when they die, and not be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. This is a specific promise for a specific set of people. What does it mean to make the Most High our dwelling place? Stay tuned …

Let me just share an experience I recently had. I had stopped by my son’s house during the day a few days ago, and parked in his driveway. He had to leave while I was still there, and had to repark my car in order to get out. When I was finally ready to go home, it was pitch black outside (he was still not back from his errand). Now my son’s driveway is not lighted. He parked the car in a great place when you can see, but it happened to be right by a drainage ditch. It was in a place I had not parked in before — not a problem during the day. Well, I did not realize the drainage ditch was there, and I stepped around the ground in order to get into the driver’s side … and there was no ground under my foot. Something I was not expecting. I fell into the drainage ditch. My leg that took the brunt of the fall, was one that was badly injured in a traffic accident a few years back and I have to be careful of it in the best of circumstances.

But as I began falling, I really was falling in slow motion. I landed gently. I was able to get myself back up without help, and my leg was not even bruised. I have one small scrape and that is all. As I was thinking about this, and thinking about the depth of the ditch and the force of the fall, my ankle should have been twisted, or my leg broken, or something. But it was nothing. I truly believe that I was being borne up on the hands of angels as I was falling, so that I would not sustain any damage at all. I cannot account for there not even being a bruise otherwise. So … dwelling in the secret place of the Most High … stay tuned …

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