Greetings all! Blessed Eastertide!

The below is part of a reflection I offered for our March Around the Table staff newsletter. I hope that contemplating aspects of Psalm 91 will be a blessing to you today.

I have been very encouraged to hear good reports back about the time that our Word Made Flesh International short-term team of university students from Asbury University spent in the Navajo Nation.  The Holy Spirit is strongly at work blessing, challenging, and redeeming hearts and lives!

And, thinking of encouragement, I found it deeply heartening to see a social media post this month from Word Made Flesh Moldova that showcased their young girls weaving bracelets together and focusing on Psalm 91.

Alongside their ongoing ministry work, WMF Moldova continues to care for Ukrainians fleeing the scourge of war.  WMF Moldova is welcoming these folk into their homes, offering programming opportunities, feeding and aiding them in multiple ways.  During such times of massive social instability and harm, simply gathering together and sharing in the goodness of each other’s presence takes on added poignancy; during such times, remembering the promises of God becomes all the more our lifeline and north star.

Below is the whole of Psalm 91 that the young girls of WMF Moldova recently considered.

What might Psalm 91 offer you today in your context? 

It is vital to remember in reading Psalm 91 that the passage offers promises related to eternal well-being and not necessarily promises for mortal and immediate safety.  One could certainly be forgiven for assuming the latter sense of promise noted above if reading this passage without larger contextual awareness.  However, particularly taking Christ as our lens, it should come as no surprise that while the Lord’s abiding presence is a promise beginning now and lasting throughout all eternity, God’s deliverance from physical harm is a promise that will finally be completely fulfilled on the other side of eternity’s veil.

As you read Psalm 91, also remember the following short passages as added contextual insight:

  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (Christ was crucified soon after stating this)
  • “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.” – 2 Timothy 4:18 (Paul was beheaded by Nero soon after writing this)

Psalm 91 – Assurance of God’s Protection

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.

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,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

14 Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
15 When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honor them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.

Of course, beyond Psalm 91’s hope of the promise of the overarching eternal safety of our souls as held in the hands of our Great Deliverer, we also pray and work for the holistic well-being of people here and now! In faithfulness to Jesus, this is much of our work as WMF! May the Lord continue to grace and bless your efforts!

Maranatha! The Lord has come! Come Lord Jesus!