Text: Psalms 91
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Power Point Link
Introduction: How do you reconcile the two following stories?
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present -- but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.
Missionary Jupp Family Tragedy a letter written from their pastor.
As you know, Pastor Jupp was tragically killed in a car accident Tuesday morning in Arkansas. Sister Beth Jupp was driving a blue Ford van towing a
travel trailer the family has been living in the last five months on deputation around the United States.
A semi truck passed the Jupp's van and caused turbulence as it came around. The travel trailer started to fish tail and Beth lost control of the van. The van rolled several times and it is believed that Pastor Jupp and David were ejected.
Pastor Jupp died a short time later of a ruptured aorta. Pastor Jupp's boy David, age 10, also died of massive head injuries.
Beth has sustained a broken collar bone and possibly has a broken foot and some broken fingers. Robert, age 12, is currently in intensive care with a partially collapsed lung and a head injury requiring 15 staples. Robert also has a broken arm in two places and possibly an injury to a hip.
Catherine, age 15, has a possible broken wrist and Lauren, age 13, has an injured foot. Jeffrey, age 8, along with the entire family sustained several cuts and bruises to his body.
Pastor Jupp and David will be buried in Prosser WA. and the funeral will be Thursday April 28 at 1:00 PM. The Jupp family did not have life insurance or medical insurance. Beth needs any kind of financial help you can spare.
I believe we can come to grips with the tragedies of life and the deliverances of life by a study of Ps 91. I believe you will be able to see three aspects of a strong relationship with God that gives a full assurance and confidence in every situation we may find ourselves and no matter the outcome of the crisis we can still have full assurance.
Living In the Secret Place With God Ps 91:1-8
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
First Assurance: Living With God In The Secret Place.
Look at the description of the secret place.
A place of shelter. vs. 1
A place of surety vs. 2.
A place of deliverance vs. 3
A place of protection vs. 4
A place of fearlessness vs. 5
The last place we find in the secret place is a place of bravado in vs 6.
Not be afraid of the terror by night, or the arrow that flieth by day, or pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Some Rabbis in the Talmud considered these descriptions to be demons, Lilith, the night demon, Natoth, the demon of pestilence, and even a demon with one eyed demon, but no name that lays waste at noonday. When I read these descriptions, I found them bad enough that I don’t need to add demons to the mix to make them worse.
How do you find the “secret place of the most High?”
I don’t know about you but this passage scares me to death. How can we have that level of confidence?
Having this kind of assurance only happens when we understand what it means to “dwell in the secret place with God?”
The secret place is a place of shelter and nearness in the presence of God. It is a place available to all who would cling to God in times of trial and crisis.
Psalms 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The Secret place is entered first through faith in His Son Jesus Christ as our Savior.
John 10:7-9 Then said Jesus to them again, Verily, verily, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man shall enter, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
e) Jesus is entrance into this place of shelter, but we must choose to dwell there, to remain in that close protected contact with God.
The secret place is where only you and God are, a place where only you and He can be. All that would distract you from being with Him is removed and in that secret place there is just you with you need and God with His protection.
Look at these three people who found and stayed in the secret place.
David- Ps 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer to thee, and will look up.
Isaiah - Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [are] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Jesus - Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
I think a song we sang today captures the feeling, wonder and confidence of the secret place.
Illustration: The song Dwelling in Beulah Land was written by C. Austin Miles a pharmacist who gave up his job to follow his heart and be a hymn writer. He also wrote In the Garden and New Name Written Down In Glory and a favorite chorus of my grandfather, Wide, Wide as the Ocean. Dwelling in Beulah Land was written in 1911.
Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling.
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand.
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling.
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.
Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand.
Here the sun is always shining, here there’s naught can harm me.
I am safe forever in Beulah Land.
Chorus: I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky.
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry.
O yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land
That song was written by someone who had experience the secret place with God.
Seek the “secret place” in your relationship with God, remove that which keeps you from God and find His presence. It is there that you first find full assurance.
Notice in vs. 9 how that assurance grows to complete confidence.
Locked In by the Love of God Psalm 91: 9-13
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Second Assurance: Locked In Safety by the Love of God
Author categorically states, that no evil shall befall the one who has made Jehovah his habitation, their dwelling place.
According to vss 9-13, The angels will protect thee (Only place in Bible that mentions personal guardian angels)
b) It says, you shall tread upon lions and poisonous snakes and dragons.
c) Because you have made the LORD your habitation, you are living in Him, no harm can befall you.
e) Now I believe this scripture, as I believe all of God’s word. I know that God cannot lie but sometime when it comes to me and the real world dangers that can come into my life, I’m a little like …
f) Transition: The three-year-old who accidentally spilled his fruit punch on the floor one day. He decided to clean up the mess himself and dashed to the back porch to get the mop. Suddenly realizing it was dark outside, he became apprehensive about reaching out the door for the mop. His mother reminded him Jesus is everywhere--even in the dark. Mark thought for a minute. Then, putting his face to the door, he yells, "Jesus, if you're out there, will you hand me the mop, please?" - Kathy Gunter Martin, Dandridge, TN. "Small Talk," Today's Christian Woman.
Kept In Christ
So what assurance can I absolutely have from these last verses? Some have tried to say that this is a guarantee of physical invincibility. I think any of us who are adults and have been Christians for even a short length of time know that is extremely naïve and foolish. Christians die, they get sick, they suffer pain and sorrow, the get in car wrecks, they are martyred by the enemies of God and are often attacked by the god of this world and the sin that is all around us.
Didn’t Satan tell Jesus that these verse had that meaning, when he tried using this verse to tempt the Lord into throwing himself off the temple roof and proving that he was truly the Son of God and Messiah of Israel.
If anyone could have seen the invincible interpretation of this verse as the right one it would have been Jesus. Yet, Jesus responded to Satan by telling him, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." IE You do not dare God.
What is this passage saying then? Actually, It is a promise of ultimate and final protection, the greatest protection the most important protection, the protection of our soul.
a) When you think about it, what part of you can dwell with God right now? It is the part of me that is really me, the part of me that never changes, ages or can be destroyed, my soul. It is my soul that is lodged in God and He absolutely and without condition protects me from anything and everything Satan and this world bring against me.
John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
Romans 8:31-39 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the place of total confidence in God. We have this confidence choosing to be with God through Jesus Christ and we stay in this place choosing every day to dwell in Him.
Colossians 1:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Dwelling in Him means drawing all power for living from Jesus. He will give peace and assurance that is beyond anything in ourselves.
When we dwell in Him we fear nothing for our soul is safe in our Savior. Nothing can back us down, nothing can turn us around because we know where we are and who we are in Jesus Christ
Illustration: I’m the Chicken Lady
We should be like the story I heard of a man named Christian Herter who was running hard for reelection as governor of Massachusetts, and one day he arrived late at a barbecue. He'd had no breakfast or lunch, and he was famished. As he moved down the serving line, he held out his plate and received one piece of chicken. The governor said to the serving lady, "Excuse me, do you mind if I get another piece of chicken. I'm very hungry." The woman replied, "Sorry, I'm supposed to give one piece to each person." He repeated, "But I'm starved," and again she said, "Only one to a customer." Herter was normally a modest man, but he decided this was the time to use the weight of his office and said, "Madam, do you know who I am? I am the governor of this state." She answered, "Do you know who I am? I'm the lady in charge of chicken. Move along, mister." Now that was a woman who knew her position and wasn't about to be intimidated. --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 297.
If you dwell in the secret place with God, when you know your soul is safe with Jesus, then you will have the confidence that will let you stand against all opposition and declare, “it shall not come near me.”
One final assurance we see in Psalm 92, it is the assurance of love.
Loving God Psalms 91:14-16
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
The Third Assurance: Our Love Is Set On God
"Set his love" in Hebrew is khaw-shak' The Hebrew word expresses the strongest attachment, and is equivalent to our expression “to fall in love.” - Barnes' Notes on the Old Testament.
It is the same word used in Exodus 38:17, 28 when talking about the rings, the fillets that bound the tabernacle wall together.
The Psalmist is telling that because we have set our love on God, we have bound, attached our self to Him in that love, then He will deliver us, and set us on high. Because we know His name, He will come when we call. He will be with us in trouble, He will delver us, honor us and give us long life and show us His salvation.
Do you have the confidence of one whose love is set on God?
Two things must take place if it will be.
First; You must love God. We will fall in love with God through Jesus Christ when we experience and know His love for us on Calvary.
1 John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Second; You must know His name and call upon Him. He has made His name know through Jesus Christ, who revealed the Father to us.
Hebrews 1:1-3 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
And then knowing, seeing God in Jesus, God the Son we must call out to Him for salvation, for deliverance.
Romans 10 8-13 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
You will never have the full assurance of God’s protecting your soul until you know Him through Jesus Christ and call out to Him for salvation.
Illustration: John Bunyan, Knew The Full Assurance of God
John Bunyan was a Baptist preacher sentenced to Jail because he refused be licensed to preach by the church of England, the Anglicans, who become the Episcopalian in the United States. He spent 7 years in a jail used for thieves and murderers, filthy, damp and infested with vermin. He left behind his wife and three daughters, one of which was blind. He would weep uncounted hours over his family, but he never relented. He could not pastor, he could not preach. Once they offered him his freedom if he would just not preach anymore he said, “If you let me out to-day I shall preach again to-morrow.”
Bunyan had this great confidence, this full assurance because of his relationship with God. Even in the midst of a filthy jail cell, he was in the secret place with God. He wrote the book “Pilgrim’s Progress” for centuries the most printed book of all time except for the Bible. He also wrote the following poem about being a pilgrim.
He who would valiant be 'Ginst all disaster, Let him in constancy
Follow the Master. There's no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound,
His strength the more is. No foes shall stay his might Though he with giants fight;
He will make good his right To be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, Thou dost defend Us with Thy Spirit, We know we at the end
Shall life inherit. Then fancies flee away! I'll fear not what men say, I'll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim. - John Bunyan.
How is your confidence this morning? Do you stand in the full assurance of a strong relationship with God?
Are you dwelling in the shelter of God?
It begins when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and continues as you walk daily with Him.
Have you made God your habitation?
Do you understand that it is must me completely in God and God completely in me. Anything else will leave me weak and afraid.
Have you set your love upon God and called to Him?
Do you know the love of God through Jesus Christ who died for you? Do you know the Father, through the Son. You can’t set your love upon God until you have experienced the love of God through the forgiveness of sin in the death of Jesus, taking our place on Calvary’s cross.