March 29, 2020
God’s 7 Promises
Psalm 91 Part 7
Rev. Dr. Mark Raeburn Johnston
The first part of Psalm 91 speaks of God’s wonderful protection and provision for those who place their trust in Him. The last three verses reveal seven promises the Lord makes to the faithful.
In the first section of the Psalm, David exhorts us to trust in the goodness of God. In the final portion of the Psalm, beginning with verse 14, God expresses the trustworthiness of His love for us. Referring to His “will” seven times, the Lord proclaims;
“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. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, and will show him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:14-16)
Those who love the Lord will experience deliverance, will be set on high, will be answered, will be accompanied in times of trouble, and will be honored. They will have long life and they will know God’s great salvation!
Each of these promises should be meditated on by every person who claims to love the Lord.
But how do we love God? How do we ‘set our love’ upon the Lord?
The answers to these questions begin all the way back with verse one;
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…”
Dwelling in the Presence of God is not a passive act. Rather, it takes a concerted effort, a decision, to ‘dwell’ and to ‘abide’ in the holy companionship of the Lord.
This effort is rooted in what we actually believe about life, the world and God.
If we believe that God is distant, uncaring and unavailable, we probably will not seek Him. There is no possibility of a personal relationship with a distant, uncaring God.
If we entertain doctrines of devils, uphold falsehoods as truths, and deny holiness as defined by Scripture, we will not enjoy the Lord’s fellowship. Such is unbelief in the teachings of the Lord.
On the other hand, if we believe God’s word and consciously walk with the Lord, attempting, even with all our imperfections and faults, to fulfill the great commandment to ‘love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength’ (Mark 12:30), we will know His promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33-39).
In chapter three of John’s Gospel, Nicodemus, a religious ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus and heard the ‘good news’ of God’s great salvation. Jesus told Nicodemus that for anyone to ‘see the Kingdom of God’ one must be born again. Their discussion culminated in what has become known as the ‘little’ Gospel. Jesus said;
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
Believing that the Lord loves us, that we can call upon His Name, is the first important step to personally knowing God and dwelling in His Presence.
We who believe are not convinced or swayed by a hostile world that says, ‘there is no God!’ Rather, we believe that God has come into this world through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has come to reveal the Father and to give the promised Holy Spirit to those who believe.
Jewish people traditionally recognized the 91st Psalm to be a Messianic promise of God’s salvation. This promise is emphasized in the seven “I will” statements of God for His people. Christians believe the truth of these promises in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. In the ancient Church, Christians were called ‘believers’ as demonstrated from the Book of Acts;
“And believers were increasingly added to the Lord,
multitudes of both men and women…” (Acts 5:14)
The promises of God are for any who place their trust in Him. We believe His promises and enjoy God’s protection and wellbeing.
Let’s reread this Psalm in times of trouble and be reminded that our God is a faithful shade from the heat of trial (verse 1); a dependable shield from the arrows of tribulation (verse 4); and our trustworthy Savior who rescues us from the trauma of sin and death (verse 16)! Then, let’s share these wonderful promises with others who desire to “dwell in the secret place of the Most High!”