by Carol Dixon
In recent days and weeks, I have been drawn to this beautiful Psalm and usually read it over each morning when I wake.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the King of kings, will rest in the shelter of the mighty powerful God
I will say of this Lord of my life, my heavenly Father, my refuge and my fortress,
You are my Creator, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91 v 1-2)
The translation above is the beginning of the Psalm which gives the different names for God (Elyon, Shaddai, Yahweh, Elohim) describing all the different aspects of God’s character. No one knows who wrote this Psalm but as Psalm 90 is attributed to Moses, it was often believed that he was the author of this beautiful psalm too. It is a great psalm of consolation in times of adversity as this abridged version shows:
He who lives in the protection of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, whom I trust. “
He will surely save you.
He covers you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield.
You do not fear the terror of the night,
not the pestilence that steals in the dark;
nor the plague that destroys at noon.
If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and dwell in the presence of the Most High,
no harm will pass you,
no disaster will come near you.
For he will command his angels about you
to protect you in all your ways;
They will lift you in their hands,
so you don’t hurt your foot against a rock;
“For he loves who me, says the LORD,” I will strengthen him;
I will protect him, because he recognizes my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him, says the Lord;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life, I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation. “
In these difficult times it is good to remember the all- encompassing love of God who strengthens us in our fear and suffers with each one of us in our pain as a parent does for each of their children.
As you read through it slowly, line by line, you may like to think about which part of the poem resonates with you today. Which phrase do you want to treasure in your heart just now? Are there any lines that challenge you? Then rest in the embracing arms of God who loves you as you listen to this uplifting song based on the timeless words:
In the Passion Translation the final verses read:
15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will honour you and give you a feast.
16 You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you.
For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”
In our times of uncertainty and fear, let us savour this Psalm of protection and faith, safe in the knowledge that God’s eternal presence is with us. Remember God loves you and no matter what happens you are God’s precious child.
Postscript: In the UK, during the coronavirus outbreak, we have been encouraged to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice as we wash our hands. I hope you enjoy singing my version:
God protect us each day,
As we walk in your way,
In the footsteps of Jesus,
Our strength and our stay.