Psalm 91 – Who’s ways?

I was trying to memorize Psalm 91:11 early one morning and noticed that the psalmist referred to God keeping thee in all thy ways.

What?

Shouldn’t God be keeping “thee” in all God’s ways?  Unless “thee” is God also, in the person of the Messiah.

Have I lost you yet?  I hope not.

But I never noticed this wrinkle and it set me off on a bit of discovery.  I wanted to find out who was being talked to, who is talking, who are the promises meant for specifically.

And so I began to insert pronouns into the text to identify the persons speaking or being spoken to.  (Being a bit slow, I find doing this sometimes clarifies the passage for me.)

Psalm 91:11

For he (God) shall give his (God’s) angels charge over thee (Messiah), to keep thee (Messiah) in all thy (Messiah’s) ways.

My memory verse opened up to me.  Jesus is the subject of the Word of God and this passage became a lightning rod for me to dig a bit deeper into the text.  Lets go a few more verses and see what we find.

Psalm 91:14 – 16

Because he (Messiah) hath set his love upon me (God the Father), therefore will I (God the Father) deliver him (Messiah): I will set him (Messiah) on high, because he (Messiah) hath known my name (God the Father’s)
He (Messiah) shall call upon me (God the Father), and I (God the Father) will answer him (Messiah) I (God the Father) will be with him (Messiah) in trouble; I will deliver him (Messiah) and honour him (Messiah).
With long life will I (God the Father) satisfy him (Messiah) and shew him my salvation.

xImagine the first time Jesus read this package of verses, and realized it was written specifically to Him. The entire Old Testament was a direct message to the Son and contained depths we will never understand, since the Word is a relational, personal and intimate message between the Father and Son.

This small glimpse into the meaning of this text though, is a double edged sword.  The message of encouragement to the Son of God the Father’s deliverance as an ever present promise must have given much comfort as He walked among us.

And yet there came a day when all and every circumstance seemed to be screaming that the promise of deliverance was void, null, empty.  No deliverance from death was to be provided prior to the cross.  The cross was the goal.

How upside down for my thinking!  The Messiah knew His day was coming and “He set his face like a flint to Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 50:6-7

I (Messiah) gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Consider the Messiah’s great faith and love for the Father.  The deliverance spoken of in Psalm 91 was real and the reward of the Father to the Son.  But the deliverance was not as I expected.

You see, the deliverance was not from death, but out of death.   This is the gospel. 

1 Corinthians 15:54 – 56

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 15 57

Death is the final enemy for us all. 

We are to look on the Messiah’s work on the cross,  God the Father’s great love for us, and the victory of His resurrection. 

This is the gospel and is the great motivator of all holy living and giving of ourselves.  

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