Psalm 91 – A Paradox?

05 Jul

On some days, the Word of God is a source of comfort and strength.  On other days, the Word can be challenging and even confusing.  Today was the latter for me as I read Psalm 91.

My Bible does not indicate who wrote this Psalm.  Some believe that it was written by Moses during the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness.  If that is the case, I can appreciate the context in which it was written, knowing the trials and judgments that the Israelites experienced during their time of testing and spiritual cleansing.

I understand the main theme of this Psalm to be God’s protection for His children from dangers and specifically from the judgment of the wicked.  The Psalm speaks of deliverance from snares and destruction; courage to face nightly terrors and daily attacks; and protection from plague and ruin.  The Psalm further states that:

(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.

The Psalm concludes with the following:

(14) Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

(15) He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

(16) With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

How do we reconcile these promises with our experience?  I intellectually acknowledge these words as truth, but my heart and soul struggle to entirely believe them.  I know the Lord has been with us both before and after Isaac’s death, but what about at the moment of the accident?  What about the promise in verses 11 and 12?

I can “spiritualize” these words by believing that Isaac’s spirit is safe in the presence of God even though his body was destroyed here on this earth.  I can also draw from other examples in Scripture, such as the book of Job, and conclude that there are challenges and battles occurring in the spiritual realm which we do not see with our eyes.  I know that God is not a liar and therefore the inspired words of this Psalm are true, but I wrestle with their application to our circumstances because of the questions that we have.  I continue to leave my heart open to the Lord for direction.  Even though I struggle with reconciling these truths to our circumstances, I still have peace because I know that God is good and there is an answer, even if I don’t receive it now or in the future.  When I get to Heaven (thank you Jesus), will I even be concerned with the questions anymore?

Still trusting in God,



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4 responses to “Psalm 91 – A Paradox?

  1. Peter Wiebe

    July 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Hi Andy

    I feel along with you regarding this mystery of our faith. I have had many more questions than answers. By faith, I believe that one day we will be in God’s presence and say to Him, “In taking our boys, You did the right thing at the right time”.

    Today is not yet that day for me. In faith I press on though in the hope that that day is coming.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      July 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Amen, Peter. Amen. Thank you for honestly sharing your faith.

  2. Butch Dean

    July 5, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    “Now we see through a glass, darkly, but then, face to face” May God’s peace be yours today, my brother in Christ.


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