Psalm 91: It starts and ends with His Names

I spent much of last year slowly going through Psalm 91, talking with the Holy Spirit about every word and every line. In January of this year, the Lord led me to start sharing it here, so if you’re just now joining me, I encourage you to go to the beginning of my study, because the first verse is pivotal!

This is my 10th and final post. These last three verses have a lot, but they have to be considered together. The end has what is perhaps the greatest treat in the entire Psalm!    
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”


Because he has loved Me, therefore

Once again, we have a cause and effect. It’s saying that this right here – loving Him – is the reason that something is going to happen. 
Note though that the Hebrew word for “love” used here actually means to cling to and desire Him. 
What will He do for those who desire and cling to Him? 

…I will deliver him. 

Again, this is a promise that speaks of situations that we are stuck in. But He is promising to pick us up out of mess that we’re stuck in. 

I will set him securely on high… 

Where does God dwell? On high. So we’re clinging to Him, and He will set us there with Him. Ephesians 2:4-6 says this as well:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

…because he has known My name.

So He says this is why He will set us on high. 
I don’t think this means “known about My name” or “known what My name is.”  I believe this is tied to the belief that many cultures have which is that a person’s name is reserved for those who truly know the person. Our American culture used to be this way. You used only people’s last names with “mister,” “miss,” and “missus” unless your relationship reached a point where it was appropriate to learn and use their first name. But in the last number of decades, that was done away with, and now most companies require every employee to wear a name tag sharing their name with every stranger that might become a customer. There’s a reason they did this, though… because knowing someone’s name invites a closer relationship. They want to capitalize on that for profit, of course, but here God is saying that He will set on high the person who knows His name. 
There is another important point here. When a person has power and extends authority to you, they are giving you permission to use their name. I have 100 people working under me and a number of assistants, and sometimes, when I know someone might question the direction I’m giving one of my assistants, I’ll tell them, “Go ahead and tell them that Katie said to….” My name carries authority in this company. 
I find it therefore quite interesting that Psalm 91 started with the personal name of God the Father, and it ends with the name of the Son!  
You don’t see it? That’s because of how they’re translated.  Well let’s back up to verse two:

I will say to the LORD… 

One of my favorite things about the NASB translation is that any time the Old Testament has the tetragramaton – the four letters, יְהֹוָה or YHWH – it’s put in small caps.  YHWH appears 6,825 in the Bible, a number of times in secular sources as the name of the Israelites’ God, and is the name which God Himself said was His name in Exodus 3:15:
“Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD (YHWH), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.”
The Jewish pronunciations of it is Yahweh, and the English pronunciation of it is Jehovah, and some English translations do write it as Jehovah the whole way through the Old Testament. 
But again, the part I love is that He offers His name right here at the beginning of the chapter, and then offers this amazing promise to those who come to truly know His name and who cling to Him. 
Where is the name of the Son? I’ll show you that in a few minutes, but let’s continue for a moment. 

He will call upon Me…

I think it’s interesting that verse 11 speaks of His angels catching us before we fall, but here, God is waiting for us to call upon Him. He wants us to recognize that we need Him, and He wants us to make the choice to lift our voice and our eyes to Him. 

…and I will answer him. 

This is His promised response when we call on Him. He will not refuse to answer the cry of those who are clinging to Him, trusting Him, and abiding in Him! 

I will be with him in trouble…

Again we find a promise of trouble, for God is not saying, “I will keep trouble from him.” Hope! He’s saying that trouble will find us, but we will not be alone.

I will rescue him…

Just in case we weren’t sure what “I will deliver him means, He says it again another way. He really wants us to know this!

…and honor him.

Wow. I’ll admit, I struggled with this. Maybe I still do. God will honor us!  That is just mind-boggling to me! To be entirely honest, I’m not entirely sure what God means by this. I understand what it means to honor someone in an earthly way, and it’s easy to believe that God honoring a human is similar to when He gives that person favor.  But I sense that there is more to it than this, which God will show me in time. 

With a long life I will satisfy him…

It seems rather obvious what “a long life” means, yet the word I love most in this line is “satisfy.” This world is full of people who are far from satisfied with the life they have, regardless of whether it is long or short. Many people would gladly have a few short and satisfying years then a long life that is unsatisfying. In fact, this is probably why so many people die doing stupid things. That thing gave them satisfaction in that moment, and that temporary satisfaction was worth the risk of losing the long life. 
But here, God is offering both. A long life and satisfaction with that life. Wow. This is what the world is hungry for!  And where does it begin? Where is it found? 

…and let him see My salvation.”

Here we have it. What is this person going to get to see? 
Let me show you the last word of this Psalm in the Hebrew:
It’s pronounced, “Yeshua.” 
Are you smiling as big as I am? 
Just in case someone reading this does not know what “Yeshua” means, I will explain. In Matthew 1:20-21, when the angel appeared to Joseph and told him about the child Mary would have, he said, “You shall call His name Yeshua, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Your English Bible will say “Jesus” because that is the English version, and if your Bible is in another language, it will probably have another language’s version of the name of Jesus. But the Hebrew word is “Yeshua” which means “salvation.”
So how does this wonderful, powerful chapter end? What is it really saying? 
“With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see Jesus.”

It’s all about Him! 

Previous Post in this series: Psalm 91: When the path ahead of you looks like it’s full of traps
Or you can see a list of all posts in this series: Psalm 91 series
Him all things were created, 
both in the heavens and on earth, 
visible and invisible, 
whether thrones or dominions 
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created 
through Him and for Him. 
He is before all things, 
and in Him all things hold together. 
He is also head of the body, the church; 
and He is the beginning, 
the firstborn from the dead, 
so that He Himself will come to have 
first place in everything. 
For it was the Father’s good pleasure 
for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 
and through Him to reconcile 
all things to Himself, 
having made peace 
through the blood of His cross.

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