Surely, Psalm 91 is becoming the chapter of the year—or at least one of them! If you want a large print version to feed upon, here's the one-page pdf.
Plugged in from both sides?
There is a strong impression recently that the Lord has plugged the power cord into the back of this psalm, making it even more efficacious and available to His people who call upon Him than it has ever been. All verses and chapters of scripture must be mixed with faith before they can be activated, but no doubt the Lord Himself can wake up and enliven a verse/chapter at His discretion at specific points in history, too.
Psalm 91 is so well composed. Its themes are introduced, interwoven and developed like a beautiful piece of music, and it has a memorable synopsis/ending, like the romping, strong, many-faceted final pages of a Beethoven symphony.
This psalm offers inestimable reward to all who feed on its riches. What a choice and timely passage of the Word for all—young and old—to memorize and savor like a best friend. It pulls back the veil a bit for us to gaze upon sublime spiritual truths, the character of God, and especially the relational aspect of His love for His children.
A close examination of its final paragraph:
Count the action verbs in the last paragraph (verses 14-16): 11 of them. Only three are what the believer does: love (“hold fast to”) God, acknowledge His name (this means recognizing His lordship and the authority of His Word, His teaching, His commandments), and call on Him.
Eight (which is the number of new beginnings) of the action verbs are His doing; His verbs are His initiations of love toward us. Six times (9 total, in the entire psalm) the Lord assures us that He will do them. First, He rescues the person who loves Him. When a person's trapped in a burning building, his first need is to be rescued. Next, He protects him. The person has felt his personal vulnerability, and needs those Arms wrapped around him. Third, He answers him, and He is with him—his companion in times of trouble. This is a personal relationship with the Most High; no other belief system comes close to this level of love and divine forbearance. Fifth and sixth, He delivers him and (wonder of wonders) honors him. Once we're removed from the danger and comforted, we need deliverance from bondage to sin and its ravages, into the freedom of the children of God. Seventh, He blesses us even further--as if that were even possible—by satisfying us, and (ultimately and conclusively), shows us His salvation (literally, in the Hebrew, Yeshua) as we grow in understanding of what a supreme deliverance this has been.
Pray it back:
By the way, Psalm 91 is a great passage to pray back to the Lord. In doing so, you can change the pronouns to "you" for the references to Him, and to "me" for references to you (or “him” or “her" if you are interceding for someone else).
Be confident of its best answer:
For millennia, followers of the Lord have regarded these words (possibly written by Moses) as part of the inspired words of God and—for just as long—have grappled with the question, how do we grasp and how does he answer such promises as these? By acknowledging His name (which is a condition of His fulfilling these promises) we place ourselves under His sovereign care to do the eternal best for each of us—so that even His apparent "no's" are just delayed "yes's" to better and bigger answers.
He—not we—engineers their fulfillment in His own way and timing for each person who loves Him, acknowledges Him and calls upon Him. Meanwhile, we throw ourselves and our loved ones upon His mercy and favor, no matter how our troubles and the assaults appear to be against us this day. In the end, we have this confidence that "we shall see Him and not be ashamed!" (1 John 2:28).