When I first read the book of Psalms, chapter 91, I resonated a lot with this particular chapter. So, I dug deeper and studied everything there was to know about it including who wrote it and how different people interpreted it.
Therefore, last week, when one of the members of my Bible study group asked about the meaning of Psalms 91, I was happy to share the knowledge I had gathered studying this chapter in the Bible.
The rest of the members were even more interested and they kept asking questions. So, I decided to write this article to share more interesting facts about this chapter, starting with who wrote Psalms 91.
Scholars throughout history have not concluded who wrote the book of Psalms 91. This is partly because the book does not have any attribution or title. Jewish scholars believe that Moses is the author of this book, while other scholars believe that David might be the author of this chapter.
So, join me as I delve deeper into the context of Psalms 91, what the message is, why it is popular, and who the Psalmist is addressing.
Read till the end to learn about this and more.
What is the message in Psalms 91?
The message of Psalms 91 is that despite the challenges and adversities that we face in life, our trust and confidence need to be in the Lord.
This chapter emphasizes the divine hope and protection of God. This chapter has also been echoed severally and inspires people of all walks across the world.
Throughout Psalms 91, the author of this book portrays different versions of God, but all of them convey one key message: security.
God is referred to as a high tower, a refuge, a fortress, and one who can save us from deadly pestilence. The Psalmist compares God to a mother bird who offers protection by covering his children with the feathers of her wings.
What is the context and background of Psalms 91?
Though most of the Psalms in the scripture have a title and a clearly defined author, this is different from Psalms 91. This chapter has 16 verses that basically talk about God’s protection over those who trust in Him.
Furthermore, the language and imagery used in this chapter reflect a hostile environment. There are mentions of stones (Psalms 91:12), lion, adder, serpent (91:13), and pestilences in Psalms 91:3, 10.
This also reflects a wilderness setting where the realities are hard.
This Psalm begins with a reassuring message in verses 1 and 2 and notes that those who dwell in God’s shelter will rest in His shadow: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
Verses 3 and 4 note that God will cover those who trust in Him with his feathers and deliver them from pestilence and the Fowler’s snare: “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
This shows God’s protection and care towards those He loves.
In the next few verses, the author of this Psalm talks about what happens when God offers his protection. He notes that not even the terror by night or pestilence in the darkness will make him afraid (Psalms 5-6).
He mentions God’s promises that many might fall by our side, but if we trust in God, nothing shall come near us (Psalms 7-8). In verses 9-13, the Psalmist repeats the assurance of God’s protection.
In the last verses, 14-16, this Psalm talks about the blessings and promise of God to those who love Him. He says He will hold and deliver them when in trouble.
What is the meaning of Psalms 91?
Psalms 91 is all about a faithful person who is sure of safety and security even amidst adversities. This is because they are righteous before the eyes of God, and thus, he is their refuge and shadow and offers them shelter.
The Psalmist in this book notes that God is His fortress and refuge, and so he trusts in Him. Psalms 91 is generally about God’s protection.
It affirms that God will shield and protect those who have put their full trust in Him.
How do people interpret Psalms 91?
People have various interpretations of this chapter. For example, some people believe that this chapter means that having a close relationship with God permits you to be in his presence, where he offers you protection and safety.
Others interpret this Psalm to mean that it emphasizes the need to trust God. Though this chapter does not offer us immunity to the calamities that come with earthly life, it offers us God’s promise of protection amidst hardship if we trust in Him.
This kind of trust that is referred to in this chapter is believed to be an intimate relationship with God. Dwelling in God’s shadow, as written in Psalms 91:1, is interpreted to reflect someone who finds comfort and safety in God despite being persecuted or threatened by the dangers of this world.
Therefore, this verse is a reminder to make God our refuge and place our absolute trust in Him.
Who is the Psalmist addressing in Psalm 91?
In Psalms 91, the Psalmist is addressing those who live a communion life with God, those whose trust is in God.
The author of Psalms 91 assures such people of constant protection and security from God. The Psalmist is also addressing believers who are going through difficulties and challenges in their Christian journey.
He is reminding them to always seek shelter in God, for He is their refuge and fortress. The Psalmist also delivers God’s promise to His people.
Why is Psalms 91 so popular?
Psalms 91 is popular for two main reasons. It contains direct promises of God’s protection to those who trust in Him. It is also a reassurance of His protection to those who dwell on Him.
In a world where we face so many adversities, it is encouraging to have such verses that reassure us of God’s love. Psalms 91 instills hope in many, hence the popularity.
The Psalmist reassures us in this chapter that though things might look tough, God is holding us close.
What is the prayer of Psalms 91?
Many people use Psalms 91 as a direct prayer when they are facing a difficult time. The prayer of Psalms 91 is both a plea and a prayer of protection for God to restore hope in one’s life.
Whenever you need a reminder of the faithfulness of God, his protection, and how he holds His children’s hands amidst challenges, then Psalms 91 is the prayer to make.
There are also so many prayers drawn from this Psalm. An example of a prayer drawn from Psalms 91 is, “Dear Father, I am grateful for your continuous presence in my life.
Thank you for your wings that always offer me protection and lift my burdens whenever I am overwhelmed. I hold onto your promises made in Psalms 91 that you will always deliver me from the snares of the Fowler.
May you continue guiding me in everything that I do, Amen.” – inspired by psalms91.com.
What do bible commentators say about Psalms 91?
Several Bible commentators have different views regarding Psalms 91. Most of them still do not agree on who the real author of this book is.
However, what they both unanimously agree on is that the main theme of this verse is about God’s protection of his people.
Blue letter Bible commentary on this Psalm notes that the Psalmist makes it his personal decision to take God as his protector and keeper, and while at that, he encourages believers.
This verse also covers the promises that God will deliver to those who trust in Him.
Broyles’ commentary on Psalms 91 notes that this chapter has the most encouraging and comforting promises to believers.
But he also notes that many can term these promises as unrealistic. He notes that the Psalmist portrays that God will always deliver believers from any kind of suffering, yet the reality is that Christians do experience a lot of suffering.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.