Psalm 91: The choice you have to make about you and God

I‘m working my way through Psalm 91, sharing insights that the Holy Spirit has given me over the last year or two. If you’d like to start at the beginning, go here: Psalm 91: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High.

Verse 1 of Psalm 91 is talking about this person, but verse 2 makes it personal.  The person reading this is making a choice.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”

I will say…

I think it’s significant that it’s “will” say. It’s future tense because it’s a decision we make. It’s not enough to have said it once in my past. It’s a choice that I will have to make over and over and over again.

And what is it that I choose to do? It’s not, “I will decide” or “I will think.” It’s, “I will say. I will make this confession.  I will make this statement which will forever be charged to my account.”


Again, I think the word chosen for God is significant. The first verse‘s names for Him have do with His absolute power and position in all of creation, but here, in this much-more-personal verse, the word chosen is His personal name. It is Jehovah or Yahweh in the Hebrew. (The real pronunciation is unknown and lost to history.) Many translations of the Bible always translate His name as “THE LORD” with small caps, so that the reader can know exactly when His actual name is used. (All 6,519 times!)

So not only is this verse personal for us, the one making the confession, but it’s also personal to Him. It’s me talking to Him in a personal way!

And what is this confession?

“My refuge…

This goes back to verse 1, because what does it mean if something is a refuge?  Do vacation resorts advertise themselves as a refuge? No! The very definition of a refuge means that you’re in the middle of a storm! You’re being attacked. You need that shelter that verse 1 talks about.  You’re not saying to God, “You’re the One who makes it so no one ever attacks me and nothing bad ever happens.” You’re saying, “God, I’m going through a really rough time. This is awful. But I’m making You my refuge right here in the middle of it!”

No longer is this about someone else making God their refuge, it’s about me saying in a personal way to a personal God, “You are my refuge. I am choosing to take refuge in You rather than to seek refuge somewhere else.”

“…and my fortress…

Just in case we’re tempted to think that we only need a shanty for refuge from a little storm, the verse goes on to give a bit more description about what type of fortress we’re claiming from our personal God. A fortress. Like the one in this picture.

Only bigger.

And stronger.

A fortress that can guard our hearts against fear and anxiety and sustain us through stress and shield us from curses and provide for every need and supply joy in the midst of the sieges and storms.

“…My God in whom I trust!”

Here we have yet another name for God!  Four names for Him in the first two verses! This one is Elohiym or Elohim as English speakers usually spell it. This is the more general name for God that is used in Genesis 1 when it says repeatedly, “God created…”

And we’re again confessing in yet another way, “I trust You.” Trust is active. It’s living. It’s also unavoidable. We cannot help trusting something, but too often, we trust our own perceptions more than what He says. I recently shared a series on things that God has taught me about trusting Him, and I encourage you to read it! Lessons in Trust.

Will you trust Him? Will you make this your confession? You must if you want to find any comfort in the rest of the Psalm!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. -Prov. 3:5-6

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