Psalm 91 & Matthew 7:24-29

God is the Safest Shelter
Although Psalm 90 focus on dealing with the difficulties of life, the emphasis in today’s text is on the dangers of life. The author of Psalm 91 warns about hidden traps, deadly plagues, terror at night and arrows by day, stumbling over the rocks, and facing lions and snakes! In today’s world, we are facing dangers like terrorist attacks, threats of nuclear weapons, gun violence, reckless drivers, new diseases, and natural disasters.

These kinds of dangers can happen to anyone. We Christians are not exempt from the dangers of life. Moses, David, Paul, and a host of other faithful disciples of Jesus have experienced all kinds of dangers while they were accomplishing God’s mission. Although all of us did our best to stay in a safe place, the safest place in the world is the shelter of God. The author of today’s psalm says in this way, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God whom I trust” (vv.1-2). The names of God used in these verses encourage us to trust Him. He is the Most High which means that He is higher than the kings of the earth and the false gods of the nations. He is also the Almighty which means that he is the powerful God who can do anything. He is the all-sufficient God who is adequate for every situation. He is the Lord, Jehovah which means that he is the covenant-making God who is faithful to His promises. This is the God whom we trust! This is God who invites us to fellowship with Him. This is the God who protects and shelters us in times of dangers!

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (v.4). The author of today’s psalm explains how God protects his children by describing a mother hen who tries to protect her baby chicks. There is a song called, On Eagle’s Wing. The words of this song are based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40. Let ‘s explore the meaning of these Bible books as I read the words of this song.

On Eagle’s Wing
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord, “My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand. (Isaiah 40:31) . . .

For to His angels He’s given a command,
To guard you in all of your ways,
Upon their hands they will bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11-12)

Psalm 91:14-16 says, “Because he loves me, ‘says the Lord, ‘I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” The word translated “love” is not the usual word but one that means ‘to cling to, to cleave, to be passionate.’ It is used in Deuteronomy 7:7 and 10:15 for the love Jehovah has for His people Israel. Among His blessings will be deliverance and protection, answered prayer, companionship in times of trouble, honor, satisfaction, and a long life. The salvation mentioned here may mean help and deliverance from the dangerous situations. To the Jewish people, living a long life and seeing one’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, was the ultimate of blessing in this life. Like Abraham, they wanted to die in a good old age and “full of years” which means ‘a fulfilled life.’ It’s one thing for doctors to add years to our life, but God adds life to our years and makes that life worthwhile.

Build Your Life on the Solid Rock
Many people who live in Florida know how to prepare for the physical storm like the hurricane, tornado, and floods, but do we know how to prepare for the storms of our lives? In the Gospel of Matthew 7, Jesus emphasized the importance of putting his words into actions. He taught the crowd to become wise builders who build their houses on rock. Even though rain comes, the steam rises, and the winds blow and beat against their houses, they will not fall since they built their houses on the strong foundation. They are like the people who hear the words of Jesus and put them into practice. But the foolish builders are like the people who build their houses on sand. These are the people who hear the teachings of Jesus but do not put them into practice. When the rain comes down, the streams rise, and the winds blow and beat against their house, it falls with a great crash.

When the storm comes, hide in the shelter of the Most High, the Almighty God. We can do this by loving Him, acknowledging His name, and calling out His name. You and I can build our life either on solid rock or sand. Let us not just listen to the Words of God, but make sure that we put them into practice in our daily lives. Storms have been coming and will come again whether they are physical storms or spiritual storms. When these storms come, I want you to depend on God, because He is our refuge and fortress. Our Bible says in Psalms 46:1, “He is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” God will protect us like a mother hen protects her baby chicks by covering them under her wings. Although the hurricane Irma passed by, our church is still facing another kinds of storm due to our financial situation. Let us cry out to God to keep us safe and stand throughout this storm, for He is the Most High, the Almighty. refuge, fortress, shield, and strength in times of trouble.

My hope is built on nothing less
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.