1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place-
the Most High, who is my refuge-
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The 91st psalm is a psalm of comfort that exhorts us to trust in God in all distress and affliction. It is full of abundant promises flowing from and spun from the First Commandment. It is the second psalm in which the dear angels are proclaimed to be our guards and protectors (cf. Psalm 34), which is comforting and good to remember (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p. 217).
What a comfort it is to know that wherever we go, whatever befalls us, we are under the protective shadow of our almighty Father. When we call to Him, He will answer us. He will be with us in trouble, and will rescue us. He has trampled underfoot the lion and the serpent by the perfect sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. The forces that tempt us, and seek to devour us have been defeated on Golgotha -- and they know it!
Faith clings to this promise, and trusts that it is true even when appearances indicate otherwise. For what God has said, is faithful. Amen.
And so we pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of faith, grant us the true and saving faith, and preserve us in the same against all temptations to doubt and unbelief. Blot out our iniquities by Your blood; cover our sins with Your righteousness, and let Your angels be a fenced wall around us against all our enemies, and evermore teach us to know the secret of Your Father's will. Amen.