A Song of Plagues Psalm 91, pt 1

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 speaks of God’s protection from dangers and things like plagues. The Talmud refers to Psalm 91 as “The Song of Plagues”(Shev Shema'tata 15b). This psalm might have been sung by two people antiphonally – there is a profound paused ending where God speaks in verses 14-16. This psalm is read in the synagogue on Saturday mornings and at the close of the evening services on Saturday night and at funeral services. I personally end my official letters and notes with my signature and Psalm 91.

The psalm is wonderful to meditate upon, and to pray back to God. 

“He who dwells in the shelter (Heb. sayther”, cover) of the  Most High (Elyon) will abide in the shadow (Heb. tsale, “shade”)  of the Almighty (Shaddai)” (v. 1).

Shelter…Shade literally means “secret hiding place.”  Believers feel protected from pursuing enemies (Psa. 31:20, 21).  This protectiveness comes from the reality found in Genesis 19:8 where the “men” found “shelter or shade” in Lot’s home from the pursuing enemies.  Even today, with Bedouins, and generally throughout the Middle East, those who enter their homes come under their “shade” or protection.  The idea of great hospitality, protection and provision comes from the Hebrew word “Hesed” often translated “mercy.”

Shaddai and Elyon are ancient names of God.  God revealed the name Shaddai (Almighty) to Abraham (Exodus 6:3) before He revealed His unspeakable name of YHVH (Exodus 3:14; 15:3).  Rather than attempting to pronounce YHVH, as many Christians do, Jews will say, Adonai, or HaShem.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Believers are in the “Shade” of the Almighty.  

       2. We are protected from harm and anything, or anyone pursuing us. 

       3.  God will never abandon his children. 

        4.  There is no need to fear - He will help us (Hebrews 13:5, 6; Isaiah 41:13).  

Read and meditate upon the verses mentioned in this brief devotional.  

When tempted to fear – remember what God said in verse one, and like a child reach up and take hold of His hand and feel safe in His “shade” and protection.