David is particularly famous for his various statements concerning his trust and the caring of the Lord His God. Psalm 91 begins with one of his most famous assertions about the safety of abiding in the presence of God. In this Psalm he puts froth that he is particularly confident of this “place” in God’s care is most secure and trustworthy.
This psalm, like the majority in the present Book, is without a title. Jewish tradition, however, ascribed it to Moses—a conclusion which Dr. Kay and others accept as borne out by the facts, especially by the many close resemblances between it and Deut. 32, 33. Other critics, and they are the majority, trace in it a different hand, but regard it as suggested by Ps. 90.
The subject is the security of the man who thoroughly trusts in God. This subject is worked out by an “antiphonal arrangement” (Cheyne)—the first speaker delivering vers. 1, 2; the second, vers. 3, 4; then the first responding with vers. 5–8; and again the second with vers. 9–13. In conclusion, a third speaker, making himself the mouthpiece of Jehovah, crowns all by declaring the blessings which God himself will bestow upon his faithful ones (vers. 14–16).
This psalm is, apparently, liturgical, and is “the most vivid of the liturgical psalms” (Cheyne). It has a certain resemblance to the speech of Eliphaz the Temanite in Job 5:17–23, but stands at a higher elevation.
This Psalm is that from which the Devil dared to tempt our Lord Jesus Christ: let us therefore attend to it, that thus armed, we may be enabled to resist the tempter, not presuming in ourselves, but in Him who before us was tempted, that we might not be overcome when tempted. Temptation to Him was not necessary: the temptation of Christ is our learning, but if we listen to His answers to the devil, in order that, when ourselves are tempted, we may answer in like manner, we are then entering through the gate, as ye have heard it read in the Gospel. For what is to enter by the gate? To enter by Christ, who Himself said, “I am the door:” and to enter through Christ, is to imitate His ways.… He urges us to imitate Him in those works which He could not have done had He not been made Man; for how could He endure sufferings, unless He had become a Man? How could He otherwise have died, been crucified, been humbled? Thus then do thou, when thou sufferest the troubles of this world, which the devil, openly by men, or secretly, as in Job’s case, inflicts; be courageous, be of long suffering; “thou shall dwell under the defence of the Most High,” as this Psalm expresses it: for if thou depart from the help of the Most High, without strength to aid thyself, thou wilt fall.
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