Review of Psalms 91

Review of Psalms 91

by Mr. Mayowa Akinade

So we come to the review of today’s psalm, Psalm 91. It focuses on the protection of God: God’s protection in a general sense, how God brings this protection, the result of His protection and the assurance for the believer.

1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

This introductory verse is enough to set the tone for the remainder of the chapter. What is the “secret place” of the Most High? Simply, it talks about His presence. Message Bible version says “You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend night in Shaddai’s shadow”. This is not about us trying to make ourselves dwell in His presence, because we are already there in His presence.

Where else would we be? We’re seated with him (Eph 2:6, Col 3:1). He said, He’ll never leave nor forsake us (Heb 13:5), He’s always with us (Mat 28:20). Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty is the ‘natural’ result of dwelling in secret place of the Most High.

Hence, we should read the verse thus: I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and I abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Shadow talks about a place of rest, free from pressures and scorching of the sun. Imagine someone who wants to rest after so much labor, and he decides to take rest under the heat of the sun. That rest can’t just come, until he finds a cool place hidden from the sun. That’s the picture God’s giving us: rest in his ability to protect.

2. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

I like the way this verse starts: I will say of the Lord. What do you say about God? Pastor Dammy taught us at the beginning of this year about praying with intimacy. Also, we recently finished a series on positioning for a flourishing life, where we learnt about 7 C’s, third of which is Communication (what you say), and here we’re seeing it again.

David (or whoever is the author of this Psalm) identified God in a personal way: my refuge, my fortress, my God, the One I trust. What do you say too about God? You can say it out as you’re reading this review: I’ll say of the Lord, He’s my …….

Interestingly, it’s what he said about God that made him know how God brings protection, not just to him but to others who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. That’s why verse 3 starts with “Surely”. In other words, I know God is my refuge and my fortress, therefore I know that “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

Other versions (MSG and NLT) make it clearer…

MSG – He rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

NLT – For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.


What about the results of God’s protection?

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. 

When you catch this revelation of God being your refuge, fortress and your habitation, the result is that you’ll not be afraid. Not that you’ll try not to be afraid, but that you’ll not just be afraid. 

A similar scripture is Isaiah 54:14 which says “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee”

You’ll not need anyone to tell you not to be afraid, because you will not be afraid. Whether in the day or night. This just makes me remember the successful armed robbery incident that happened here in Ibadan just yesterday, broad daylight attack on a bullion van. Some people till now don’t have the courage to pass through that road, because of fear. “You shall not fear” is indeed a great blessing. 

This Psalm is so rich that writing about each verse could be an endless but sweet exercise. But let me just point out three verses linked together:

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.

We often remember vs 10 easily, but the reason for vs 10 is vs 9. Why won’t any evil befall me, and any plague won’t come near my dwelling? It’s because the Lord is my refuge, and my dwelling place. And vs 11-12 in MSG version says “He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling”. 

In conclusion, I believe continuous meditation on this chapter will help us to get to that state of “you shall not fear”. Keep flourishing in God’s protection. God bless.

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