The Only Safe Place Series “God’s Promises”
Today we come to the conclusion of the series “The Only Safe Place” looking at Psalm 91 to discover God’s Presence, God’s Protection, and God’s promises. Psalm 91 has been a source of comfort and encouragement throughout the ages for those who face the snare of the trapper, deadly pestilence, terror, and violent attack. And I hope that this series has been a source of comfort and encouragement for you. My prayer for this series of sermons has been that God would dispatch the Holy Spirit to work deep in our hearts as we study this Psalm. It has been my praye as we study this Psalm that we would dial 911 to God, especially during this time, and ask Him for His presence, His protection, and His promises.
In the first sermon of this series I read a quote from a biblical scholar who wrote, “the Bible offers many promises of protection but in Psalm 91 all the promises seem to be brought together in one collection, and [form] a covenant.” (David T. Adamo) A Covenant could be defined as a divine promise. I believe this last section, verses fourteen through sixteen, is God Himself establishing a covenant of protection with His people. God is speaking forth a divine promise that He will protect His people. These last three verses are set in the first person as God Himself speaks promise and blessing over His people. It is comforting to note that these last words are not spoken by God’s people about God, but these last words are spoken by God Himself.
And what does God say? Well, seven times in these three verses God says, “I will.”
I will deliver you. I will set you secure on high. I will answer you. I will be with you.
I will rescue you. I will honor you. I will satisfy you. These are God’s promises and God does not – cannot lie! Our God is the ultimate Promise Keeper! Our protection is only as secure as the One who promises it and it this case it is God Himself that promises it.
Here now the Word of God, Psalm 91.14-16
14 “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.”
Last week I introduce you to the literary pattern the Psalmist uses to describe God protection over us. As we saw the Psalmist completes this pattern twice in Psalm 91 and these last words in our text this morning are the conclusion to the second cycle. Therefore, this passage not only provides a completion to the cycle but also stands as God’s final words on the truth that He is the only safe place. This is the grand finale and what a grand finale it is!
As we look at this grand finale we should ask ourselves two questions. The first question is, “On what basis does God make these promise?” And the second is, “What exactly does God promise to do? As we look at verse fourteen God tells us on what basis He makes these promise. We are told that the basis of these promises is because we love God and we know His name.
On what basis does God make these promise?
It is strange for us to hear God speak about our love and knowledge of Him. We often talk about how God loves us and how He knows our name but here we see God acknowledging our love for Him and our knowledge of His name. Of course, we understand that our love and knowledge of God is no way to be compared for God’s love and knowledge of us. God’s love for us is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable whereas our love for God can be as shifty as the wind. God’s knowledge of us is from before the foundation of the world. Before we were in our mother’s womb God knew us. But for us, there was a time that we did not know God when we without God in this world and did not acknowledge His presence. Yes, our love and knowledge of God is imperfect but here in Psalm 91.14 we see that God is glorified in our love and knowledge of Him. So let’s talk a little about this.
We know that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. But now we understand that the reason why this is the greatest commandment is because our love for God brings Him the most delight. God delights in our love for Him. “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him.” The Apostle Paul tells us about a forbearing quality in our love for God. He tells us about the trials of this world such as tribulation, distress, and peril that will come upon us. But Paul knows that the love of God has a forbearing quality so that the child of God will say, “I am confident that nothing will separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.8.35-39) Has God worked this forbearing quality of love in your heart? Can you say “nothing will separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” If so, you can expect the promises of God to be pour out upon your life.
God also delights in our knowledge of Him. I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. Knowing God is an outcome of God’s saving grace through Christ. God says, And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ For all will know Me, From the least to the greatest of them.” This is not just knowing about God, it is knowing God. It is knowing His name. The knowledge of God is not simply an academic knowledge. It is not just a book knowledge. It is experiential. The Apostle prayed that God would give the Church “a spirit of wisdom and a revelation of the knowledge of Him.” (Eph.1.17) Paul prayed in the book of Romans that he may know Him and the power of His resurrection. (Phil.3.10a)
Why? Because Paul understood that our knowledge of God propels God to set us securely on high. Everyone loves when someone remembers his or her name. It makes you feel like they made a connection with you. It feels like they really know you. Remember I mention that the Psalmist used 6 names for God in the first two verses. Our God is the Most High, the Almighty, the Lord, our Refuge, our Fortress, and My God. These titles reveal to us the One true God and underscores the truth that there is none like Him! God loves to hear us say His name!
God also loves to hear us tell about His attributes. God Himself revealed to Moses, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.” Therefore I say to every believer in Christ, tell God that you know who He is. And as you do God promises that He will give you the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
What exactly does God promise to do?
Now we can move on to understand what God exactly promises to do for those who love Him and know Him. God issues seven “I will” to those who love Him and know Him. He promises to deliver you, to set you secure on high, to answer you, to be with you, to rescue you, to honor you, and to satisfy you. So, let’s take a moment to consider these promises of God.
God’s first promise is: I will deliver you
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him.” (91.14a)
God promises to deliver His children who are in danger or great peril. As we have learned God will either spare us from a dangerous circumstance or He will bring us safely through the danger. Either way it is God that delivers us. As the Poet of Psalm 91 has taught us God will deliver us from every danger, every temptation, and from every evil. As the Lord commanded Moses to say to the people of Israel living in the bondage and oppression Egypt, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (Ex.6.6) Now the Lord says to you, “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of this virus, and I will deliver you from its bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”
God’s promise is that we should not fear for we cannot fall (91.5-10) and He cannot fail. (91.1-4)
God’s second promise is: I will set you securely on high
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. (91.14b)
God has brought us up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set our feet upon a rock making our footsteps firm. (Ps.40.2) But God wants us to know more than that. God promises to set us securely on high. That is an inaccessible or lofty place. Brothers and sisters, because of God is rich in mercy, because us of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph.2.4-6) God has raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus! We dwell in the shelter of the Most High! (Ps.91.1)
God’s third promise is: I will answer you
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; (91.15a)
God hears our prayers and promises to answer them. I think we sometimes discourage ourselves by a misconception of the exact meaning of the expression, “answer,” taking it to mean that the Lord only says “yes” to our prayers. Jesus give a perfect illustration of what God means when He promise, “I will answer him.”
Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If your earthly father know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Lk.7.9-11)
God’s answers to our prayers are not always “yes.” It may be a refusal, an explanation, or a promise. But during this time I do want to remind you of a prayer that God Himself told us to pray. And it goes like this: If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2Chr.7.14) Let’s pray that prayer to God and seek His glorious answer!
God’s forth promise is: I will be with him in trouble;
Oh, that delightful sentence, “I will be with him in trouble.” At other times God will leave our afflictions in the hands of angels (91.11) but when we are in trouble, He will say to His angels, “Stand aside, I will take care of them myself.” “I will be with them in trouble.” So God speaks to His people: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.“ For I am the Lord your God,The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Is.43.1-3)
As the Lord was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace He promise to be with you. As the Lord was with Daniel as he sat in the lion’s den so He promises to be with you. “When languishing in sickness, He will make your bed, and fix your pillow; when travelling through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord will be with you, and enable you to say, ‘I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ The Lord promises ‘I will be with him in trouble.’” (William Dawson) Thanks be to God.
God’s fifth promise is: I will rescue him
As I mentioned in the first sermon, it is ironic the Psalm 91.1 is 911. It is our call to God for help. And here we see that God promises to be our rescue. The Lord is our first responder. The Father have us His Son to rescue us from this present evil age. (Gal.1.4) He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. (Col.1.13) And He will rescue us from the wrath to come. (IThes.1.10) Our God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Ps.46.1)
God’s sixth promise is: I will . . . honor him.
God promises to honor us. God doesn’t honor us for the works with do in His name. These are tokens of appreciation or gratitude to our God and King. God honors us by lifting us out of the guilt and shame of our sin. God honors us by adopting us as His children. God honors us given us calling us His beloved. God honors us by giving us a new name – He calls us Christian!
God’s seventh and last promise is: With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.
All people want to experience satisfaction in this life. Satisfaction from our work and a good well done. Satisfaction in on relationships, our marriage, and our family. And God promises that in Him we will find satisfaction. It reminds me of what Jesus taught, Seek first Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all theses thing will be added unto you. (Mt.6.33) True satisfaction is hearing the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Mt.25.21) Of course, as we hear these words from our Lord’s lips we know in our hearts we are neither good nor faithful. But because of God enabling Spirit through Christ He has made us good. He has made us faithful.
And that is how I want to end this series. Paul writes, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him (Christ) they are yes; therefore also through Him (Christ) is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” (2 Cor. 1.20) These seven promises and all the promises of God for His children are “yes” through Christ. Surrender you life to Christ for He is our refuge and our fortress. Seek Christ in your life and He will deliver you out of all our your troubles.