The writer of this Psalm is unknown. This is one of the most familiar psalms which is usually memorized by children next to Psalm 23 and Psalm 1. Most of the Christians keep this psalm ready like medicine which they confess in times of fear, illness, and trouble. It explains the protection assured in the presence of God for those whose trust is in God and the blessings of a person who believes in the Sovereignty of the Almighty God.
PROTECTION IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
1. (Verses 1-4a) Motherly care of God for His people
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge:
A hen protects her chicks under her wings when a vulture or a predator comes to attack them. She cannot go to each and every chick and gather them under her wings. But she gives a warning sound. The chicks which listen to the warning and always walk near their mother will come into the protection of the wings and be safe.
Similarly, our God loves and cares for His people like this mother hen (Luke 13:34). He wants His people to trust Him and come into His presence which is the safest place for them. It is the secret place of the Most High, which protects them from all the plans of Satan against them.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”: The psalmist says that God is his refuge and fortress where he can run when he feels insecure by the enemies. He knows that only God can help him in times of trouble, and so he always stays near God through unceasing prayer and listens to the voice of God through meditating the word of God. He completely trusts in God alone. Whenever his enemies raise against him, he will quickly run into the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of Almighty God (Jeremiah 17:7,8; Isaiah 25:4).
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. -Proverbs 18:10
If the chick is far away from the mother and runs to a bush for shelter, the vulture will snatch it and kill it. Similarly, if a man puts his trust upon the strength of flesh and human support, he will be disappointed and all his hope will be lost (Jeremiah 17:5,6).
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler: When people plot evil plans against us, if we could put our hope upon the Lord who created the heavens and the earth, God will stand up for us and will help us to escape from their evil plans as a bird escapes from the snare of the hunter (Psalm 124:1-3,6-8).
And from the perilous pestilence: When the people of God confess their sins and repent back to God in His presence, God will deliver them from any kind of pestilence and keep them safe (1 Kings 8:37-40). No pestilence nor a disease which is known to be a deadly one will be able to enter into the protection of God and affect those who are inside it.
2. (Verses 4b-8) God takes up the Battle of His people
His truth shall be your shield and buckle You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day:
Even though the children of God don’t have the worldly shield and buckle against the enemy on the spiritual battlefield, God will fight on their behalf. If they could have the word of God in their hearts as their shield, it will protect them from the arrows or the evil plans of the enemy. If they have the buckle of their relationship with God, no trouble will overcome them.
The enemy may plan to bring more troubles and pain when you are going through difficult situations to make you blasphemy the name of the Lord. But God will protect His people who took refuge in the name of the Lord Almighty and give them the strength to come out of all those troubles and be a witness for His mighty name (Philippians 2:27).
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. -Psalms 112:7
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
There may be pestilence and destruction that frightens everyone in the world. As the blood of the lamb that was put on the doorposts of houses protected the people who came under the shadow of those houses from destruction, those who come under the protection of the blood of Jesus Christ will be safe and nothing will harm them.
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
The presence of God will be a protective shield for His people who wait for Him. While it destroys those who live against the will of God and plan against His people (Psalm 37:34). God will fight for them and they will only see the destruction of their enemies (Exodus14:14).
The pillar of the cloud gave light to the Israelites and the same pillar of cloud was darkness to the Egyptians. Both of them started to walk in the midst of the red sea. It was a roadway for the Israelites and it became the graveyard for the Egyptians. It became a witness for God’s protection for those who trust in Him and the end of wicked people who raise against Him and His people.
3. (Verses 9-13) Honor of the people whose faith is in God
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
God will not allow any evil to harm those who trust Him and made Him as their only refuge. He won’t let them be ashamed in front of their enemies. There will be no weapon that formed against them will prosper. God will protect around their dwellings and belongings and won’t allow any illness to overpower in their life. They cannot be conquered by any sin as their souls are in the hands of God on whom they put their trust.
For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
God won’t allow the steps of the righteous man to slip. God preserves them in their going out and coming in (Psalm 121:8). God will appoint His angels to protect His people in their ways. He delivers the righteous man from the hidden plans of the enemy to stop him from reaching his destination (Psalm 56:6,9,11,13).
As God led the people of Israel in the wilderness with cloudy pillar and pillar of fire without any lack, God will lead those who trust in him like a father carrying his child on his shoulder in their needs (Nehemiah 9:12; Deuteronomy 1:31).
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
When a man trust in God, the plans of the enemy who seek to devour righteous people like a roaring lion cannot prosper over him. He will overcome those plans with his steadfast faith in the power of God who is within him (1 Peter 5:8). As he put his trust in the name of the Lord, he will conquer over the tricky plans of the serpent. God gives him authority over the power of the enemy and bring them under his feet (Luke 10:19). So the enemy cannot overcome him.
4. (Verses 14-16) Blessings of a man who love the Lord
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
A man who put his trust upon God will not run to man for his needs and in his times of trouble. Instead, he will call upon God everytime. He waits in the presence of God for God’s guidance in all his plans.
God delivers the man who love the Lord with all of his heart and surrendered his life for God alone from all his troubles. A man who loves God is blessed and it doesn’t mean that he won’t face any problem. But God leads him through the problems giving him strength to face them.
Finally, God will make him walk on the high places which cannot be reached by his own strength. As he gives every glory and honor to the name of the Lord, God lifts him up from his lowly position for the glory of His name.
With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
The man who trust in God won’t have fear of death. He will be blessed with good health and good people around him. He will be blessed with all the physical and spiritual blessings. As he will always take up his cross and follow God with the desire for the heavenly kingdom, he will be saved from the hellfire (Matthew 16:24-26).