14“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Which shadow will we choose as we make our way? The shadow of death or the shadow of Shaddai (The Almighty)? Will we try to make it through the labyrinth of pain and trial on our own or will we let the One who has been there guiding us through there? The author of this Psalm is not mentioned in the Hebrew but Jewish tradition ascribes the authorship of this powerful Psalm to Moses that David would then include in his compilation. Moses chose to hide in the cleft of the rock so he could see God walk by. He chose to not move forward unless he was moving forward with God Himself. Through every trial, Moses gained perspective through prayer, through his constant conversation with the God who delivered His people from slavery and led them through the wilderness. If indeed, Moses did write this, we can picture him observing the plagues befalling the Egyptians as he writes: “4He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. (Ps. 91:4-8).”
Notice that God never promises deliverance from trouble, but rather a deliverance through the trouble. It’s the power of prayerful perspective that enables us to endure the pain and trust it will not overcome us. A few days ago I was interviewing my Dad in preparation for this weekends message at New Hope. I will be talking on how to invite God into the mess of marriage and being that my Dad is not only a pastor but just celebrated his 48th Wedding Anniversary to my Mom I knew he would have some gems of wisdom for me and others looking to have a lasting loving marriage. Among the many points of truth, he shared with me something came back to me this morning after reading Ps 91. He said, “You can’t have a good marriage without the Holy Spirit’s help. You can’t be a good husband without prayer. Prayer gives you a perspective that helps you to see circumstances differently even though nothing has yet changed. Then you can keep serving your spouse and not give up.” Being that my Dad has been contending for years for my Mom’s healing from the debilitating pain in her back, he knows of which he speaks. Prayerful perspective is what led Moses as he led his people. Sometimes all it takes is a humbling of ourselves and a calling out to Him and then we can know with confidence He will answer us. We don’t know when, or how, but we do know that He promises He will. In prayer, we find our satisfaction in the Savior rather than in the instant resolve of the problems we are hoping for. Instead of saying, “This marriage is through, this job is through, this relationship is through” prayer will lead us through. Prayer reminds me that the God who led me to this will lead me through this.
I hide in you this morning. I find shelter under the shadow of Your wing. You have led me this far and You won’t abandon me in the middle of the trouble. My confidence and perspective come from praying through this Psalm and its promises. I love you and will trust you no matter what I’m feeling for that is the walk of faith. You help me to see things differently even when the natural eye says nothing is different. Psalm 91 prayers are my roadmap through the wilderness with You!