Monday, May 10, 2010

Great Promises of Salvation From Our God

Psalm 91:9-16
Ps 91:9    If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

Ps 91:14    “Because they love me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue them;
I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.
15 They will call on me, and I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will deliver them and honor them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them
and show them my salvation.”

When beginning to open this selection from Psalm 91 and delving deep into it, we need to to recognize that it is a psalm of personal testimony.  This means that since God is an unchanging God and since the context of this passage could relate to believers in every age depending on their personal circumstances, the promises of this passage could be seen as being for believers everywhere.  So, we turn to the initial verses.  This passage opens, with verses that have often been misinterpreted and misunderstood.  Vv. 9-10 are not intended to be taken as a promise that nothing bad will every happen to us in life if we simply take the LORD, Yahweh, as our refuge and strength.  If we do this, we will be very disappointed in life.  Instead, these verses are intended to show us that God will protect us in the midst of the judgment and calamity that is happening around us.  But he will not always protects us from "going through the fire," so-to-speak.  But he will keep us from getting severely singed.  This idea is backed up by the next two verses (vv. 11-12), which are the only mention of guardian angels in the whole Bible.  Since, it is the only one, this is where many have gotten the idea of God giving us guardian angels.  I don't have much to say on this, except God can choose to protect his chosen people however he desires of course, and he could use angels.  But it probably is not responsible to make a doctrine of guardian angels and to popularize it as we have done in Christian culture based upon only two verses.  If guardian angels were so important, than I imagine that God would have mentioned them again at least once in his 66 books of the Bible.
But in the following verses (vv. 14-16), God gives 8 promises: 1) rescue - God's mediating action on our behalf of the believer), 2) security - protection by keeping out of reach of danger, 3) answered prayer - God's response to our petition, 4) fellowship in the middle of our distress, 5) deliverance - God's work to keep us from the threat of peril, 6) reward and authentication - God's work in honoring us making us recognized, 7) personal fulfillment - God's work to bring us satisfaction and contentment, and finally, 8) the enjoyment of salvation.
When we look that these 8 promises more closely we find that they have a natural progression.  It should be noted here that I have reordered these promises and they are simply bundled together in the last three verses of the chapter.  But if they are ordered this way, we can see that there is a progression from an opening act of rescue and help to a final enjoyment and satisfaction in that salvation.  And in between God's promises to take care of the needs that do occur.
However, it should be noted that there are 3 conditions for these promises to be fulfilled: 1) the person must love God (v. 14) - this means that we have a yearning to cling to our God and remain true to him, 2) the person must know God's name (v. 14) - to know God's name in the Bible displays a closeness between that person and God because the name reveals God's character, and 3) the person must pray (v. 15) - we have to call upon God to receive his blessings at times, and this is part of God's blessing and promise that he will hear us.
So, as we have looked at the final eight verses of Psalm 91, we see that God has many great promises in store for us, but that are conditional to some extent.  Therefore, we should strive to love God, to understand God's character, and to pray to him often.  These three things build a relationship, which is the most important of all, and one that is eternal.


Anonymous said...

TAHNKS FOR YOUR SHARING~~~VERY NICE ........................................

Anonymous said...