21 November 2007

Psalm 91

"You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust'. For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence... For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone". (v.1-3, 11-12)


The Christian life is not all plain sailing. It is a journey that encompasses mountain tops and valleys, peaks and troughs and the brightest of days and the darkest of nights. However, Christians do not travel alone, but have their Lord to accompany them.

We often use the term 'walk with the Lord' to describe our developing relationship with God as we grow as believers. Unfortunately, being human means that we invariably turn to the Lord in times of difficulty. The psalmist in today's reading is no exception and describes God as his 'refuge and fortress' in times of trouble.

Although God is all around us, there are times when God seems far away. This is especially the case when we are tired from 'life's journey' and desperately in need of the haven and rest that the psalmist speaks of with such confidence. It is at this moment that some are tempted to wander off the 'beaten track' or turn back.

At times like this it is important to remember that the Lord will 'never leave us nor forsake us' regardless of our circumstances and in verse 11 we see the full extent of God's divine assistance.

Ironically, Satan used these verses in an attempt to wrong-foot Jesus while he was undergoing his desert testing. Jesus dismissed the devil's trickery as 'putting the Lord God to the test'. Like Jesus, we must believe that God is with us when we are being tested and has the capacity to turn the driest of deserts into an oasis because of his presence.

To Ponder

Is God no-where or now-here when you face a crisis?

Where have you gone to find God when you have faced times of trouble? Where else do you think you can go?

Bible notes author

Richard Reddie

Richard Reddie is an author and researcher, who for three years headed up the set all free project which marked the 2007 slave trade bicentenary. He also worked as an education policy officer for Race On The Agenda (ROTA), a social policy think-tank looking at issues affecting London's Black Minority Ethnic Community.