Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge— ¹⁰no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. —Psalm 91:9-10
As I have been memorizing and meditating on Psalm 91 for four weeks, it has been very good for my soul. If this is the first time you've been introduced to this psalm, I hope the anxiety of the past two years has diminished as you consider God's extraordinary, loving care. If you’re coming again to familiar cool waters of this comforting psalm, I hope you're being refreshed by truths that have sustained you through your pilgrimage.
Far from a potion to make us immune to suffering, or a promise about the temporary protection of our body on this earth, Psalm 91 is a declaration of God's good purpose for our lives and the assurance that He will accomplish it. Verses 9-10 are the key to being sustained without fainting in the midst of the most unfavorable circumstances.
The psalmist says, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place.” This phrase is not about what God is able to do; neither is it about His benefits—both of those realities are already affirmed in the psalm. Rather, this phrase is about the only way to enjoy those benefits.
It’s true that what God does and the benefits that result from what He does are not at all dependent on us. There is nothing we can do to earn them. There is, however, something God calls us to do in response.
While we know that our doing comes from God's grace (Philippians 2:13), we must not diminish the weight of our responsibility. There is a way to live in constant distress—despite being cared for by God, and there is a way to enjoy His care, even in the midst of suffering. It all comes down to trust. When God’s children don’t live in light of His benefits, they add anxiety to their souls and dishonor Him. But when they abide in Him, putting the full weight of their trust on Him, they have peace.
If you read the entire Psalm, you will find three statements that require action. Verse 2 invites you to speak to your own soul and tell others about God's care for His own. Verse 14 should cause you to evaluate the Lord's place in your heart. And verse 9 encourages you to consciously place yourself under God's care. Such is the determination of a soul that has recognized God is trustworthy.
Even though they are aware of these truths, many of God’s children live as if they have no hope. Jesus rebuked His disciples in the boat because fear took control of their hearts.
Jeremiah Dyke said the way to make Lord our dwelling place is to put ourselves under His power and providence through faith (Treasury of David, Psalm 91). It's very practical. David had the firm determination to trust in the Lord when his heart was gripped by fear (Psalm 56:3). Ralph Robinson, rightly affirmed that “dependence on Christ is not the cause of His hiding us, but it is the qualification of the person that shall be hid.” As David says, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).
When you trust in God, uncertainty becomes security, fear gives way to inner peace, agony and anxiety fade away, and you are able to enjoy God's loving care. There is no better place to live than trusting in God.
Do you trust this psalm’s declarations about God?
How have these truths led you to reconsider the way you live in a world that seems increasingly insecure and uncertain?
The psalmist was determined to trust the Lord in light of these truths. List two or three specific steps you can take to trust the Lord in your circumstances.
Ask the Lord to prove to your own soul that you trust Him.
Hector Santana has served as pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church in the Dominican Republic for 19 years. He has been married to Patricia for 31 years and together they have raised Jorge, Pamela and Hector Jr. They currently have 2 grandchildren, Luccas, and Vanessa. Hector and Patricia collaborate with Truth 78 in the expansion of the vision to the Hispanic world.