Jesus, Our Rescue and Refuge (Psalm 91:3-4)
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. —Psalm 91:3-4
We learn two things about the shadow of the Almighty (v. 1) in our verses this week. It is a place of rescue (deliverance), and it is a place of refuge (safety.)
The Psalmist explains that in the shadow of the Almighty we are rescued from the snare of the fowler and the deadly pestilence. Let’s explore each of these images:
A fowler is a hunter of birds, and a good fowler will hide his snare amidst a bunch of seed to entice the bird. The bird, lured by the seed gets caught in the snare until the hunter returns for his catch.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, like a skilled hunter, specializes in tricking God’s people into sin. The snare the fowler hides from his prey is the just wrath of God for sin. He held forth the fruit to Eve and obscured death and exile. Pestilence from God is promised as a consequence for sin and disobedience (Exodus 5:3, 9:15; Deuteronomy 28:21, 32:24).
Satan tried to deceive Jesus with seductive promises from this very Psalm! (Psalm 91:11-12, cf. Luke 4:10-11). But, perfectly fulfilling verse 3, Jesus saw the deceitfulness of sin and persevered in faithfulness to God, never experiencing his wrath… until he bore all the sin and wrath that should have been ours on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).
Not only is the shadow of the Almighty where we are rescued from the enemy, but it is a place of safety. A pinion is the outer part of a bird’s wing, and we are promised to be covered with the pinions of our Rescuer. We are given refuge under his wings.
The psalmist used a picture of a bird that is being hunted (v. 3), and now a bird is protecting those who are being hunted (v. 4). In Christ, who resisted temptation unto death so that we might live, we are safe from the wrath of God.
As Pastor Jason Meyer said, “We are saved from the fires of hell and the wrath of God when we run to the cross and rest there, because it is the place where God’s wrath already fell.” Our Christ, who was tempted as we are, yet without sin, is now the one under whose wings we find refuge from the wrath of God (cf. Hebrews 4:15).
Therefore, Jesus’s faithfulness in resisting the deceitfulness of sin, is now for us a shield and buckler. It covers us like armor (cf. Ephesians 6:10-20) and it is our only hope.
What are some of the seeds around the snare that Satan uses to deceive you into sin?
Seriously consider the bittersweet nature of dabbling with the lures of Satan. Identify the difference between the seed (pleasure) and the snare (consequence).
Pray, and thank Jesus for resisting the devil so that He is now your rescue and your refuge.