- Phone: (931) 674-1803
- Location: 4922 Port Royal Road, Spring Hill, TN 37174
- Mailing Address: PO Box 1077, Spring Hill, TN 37174
SITTING IN THE SHADE OF GOD (PSALM 91)
During this pandemic and all other times, you can trust in the Lord.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT:
When we are anxious and stressed, we tend to go everywhere except to God. We need to hear from God and in order to hear from God we must turn to Him.
Jesus experienced physical reactions to an even greater extent than you or I ever have because of the situation He was in. In the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed about His impending crucifixion, Jesus sweat drops of blood. In that circumstance and emotional state, Jesus ran to His Heavenly Father.
• When or where do you feel the most secure?
• When or where do you feel the most insecure or vulnerable?
On a global scale and in our lifetime, we’ve never known fear like this. News of this pandemic
tempts all of us to let the sense of fear overwhelm us. People are looking for hope and security in the midst of a world that is uncertain and unstable. Psalm 91 is an intimate prayer that shows believers where they can place their confidence in the middle of these tragedies. God is the only One who can ensure your safety and security.
> Read Psalm 91:1-2.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My
God, in whom I trust!”
• Where do you look for comfort when it seems as though the world is against you? Why do
we often look to other places before we look to God?
• What metaphors are used in these verses to describe God’s character? What do these
teach us about who God is?
• Read John 15:5. How are these images from Psalm 91 fulfilled in Christ?
• How do verses like these help when you don’t feel like God is powerfully close to you?
The psalmist referred to God as a shelter, shadow, refuge, and fortress. Each of these was meant to show that God is willing and able to protect us. These are tender images of a God who protects because He loves. Instead of looking all around us for help, God wants us to look to Him and receive help from Him. We are to abide in God, just as we are to abide in
Christ. The total picture that comes from these short verses is that we can trust God for our protection. He is more trustworthy and powerful than all that stands against us.
> Read Psalm 91:3-13
"For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, and under His
wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by
day; 6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand
at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 For you have
made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. 10 No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He
will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. 12 They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot
against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down."
• What does the imagery in verses 3-4 teach you about the danger that you face?
• The psalmist wrote about darkness and night (v. 5) because during those times we are weak and vulnerable. What are the “terrors by night” that burden your heart and mind?
• What is the relationship between the fear you feel and the amount of time you spend investing in the presence of God?
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord; the most crushing calamities can only shorten his journey and hasten him to his reward. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form”(Spurgeon, Charles. “The Privileges
of the Godly.” The General Baptist Magazine, January 1874.)
• How does knowing God change your perception of your circumstances, even if the circumstances themselves remain unchanged?
These verses describe the confidence found in God’s safety. The psalmist took the images from the first two verses and deepened them. Each of us is susceptible to danger, but God will always be there to deliver those who find refuge in Him. The trap and the darkness—those unexpected terrors—are no match for God. When you come to Him, your fear is dissipated as He uses it for your good.
• How would you counsel someone who is asking big questions about God’s control as they watch the news at night?
• How do verses 9-13 round out your understanding of what you read in verses 7-8?
God gives people signs that they should return to Him. Sometimes those signs come in the form of tragedies. People tend to reach out to God when they find themselves in a hopeless place. You can hold these positions with humble confidence, knowing that God will also
embrace all who have been affected by tragedy. He is sovereign over tragedy and tender in His care toward those affected. He is not caught off-guard and uses all things that happen to us ultimately to enact His will in the world.
> Read Psalm 91:14-16
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 “With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.”
• According to these verses, for what purpose would God give you a long life?
• What does it mean to be truly satisfied in God? Why is that type of satisfaction not circumstantial?
God does not deliver for your sake alone. He wants people to know Him; your life is an example of His world. He brings beauty from ashes and transforms the hardest moments of your life
into His story of grace. The satisfaction that He brings you is meant to show other people who do not know Him who He is and what He has done. The security and hope that God brings you is an advertisement for His character.
• Which of these three statements stand out to you the most personally and why? 1) We can trust the Lord to be powerfully close to us. 2) We can trust the Lord to provide for our safety.
3) We can trust the Lord to bless us.
• How does the pandemic provide a means for you to point out the glory of God in Jesus Christ?
• Which of these three points of application do you need to implement in your life this week:
1) Spend more time in God’s Word than you do watching or reading the news. 2) Check on and serve one another. 3) Pray.
Thank God that you can trust Him to be powerfully close to you, provide for your safety, and bless you. Ask Him to help you live every moment as one who believes those truths, not as one
who fears the circumstances around you. Invite Him to show you ways He wants to use you in these times to shine His light in the darkness and reveal His glory.