Refuge in Life

In God We Trust. The national motto of the United States of America rings hollow today considering the rampant march toward immorality perpetrated by her government. And yet this hypocrisy demonstrates, by its irony, the importance of real trust. Throughout the Bible, trust always serves as the central characteristic of a strong relationship with God. Broken trust severs that relationship. Hollow trust ignores it. Binding trust restores it. But perfect trust established it. The beautiful prophecy of the Messianic Psalm 91 illustrates this latter fact perfectly. The wording of the pronouns throughout this psalm make it difficult to establish the extent of the application intended. However, it would appear that the inspired anonymous psalmist (perhaps Moses in a sequel to Psalm 90) developed the theme of personal trust in the LORD (Heb. 11:6) that Satan applied to Jesus directly in the process of temptation (Matt. 4:6) and that Jesus fulfilled perfectly in overcoming all temptation (Heb. 4:15).

Although many pay lip service to the essentiality of faith toward God, here the psalmist establishes that God Himself must be the epicenter of our trust. And yet this is no mere passive belief in a Creator but a meaningful and personal trust based upon a deep understanding and appreciation for who God is—the Most High, who transcends His creation; the Almighty, who governs His creation; My God, who has the power to help His creation; and the LORD—Yahweh—who, in offering a covenant relationship, is always there for His creation (Psa. 91:1-2). This is the substance of trust, and living by faith is its manifestation (2 Cor. 5:7). However, contrary to modern applications that equate faith with wish fulfillment, trusting God is a direct response to what God Himself has offered us. As the psalmist develops His theme, he offers three examples of what God has spoken that both require and deserve our trust. He has given us truth by which w can build spiritual knowledge as a foundation for life (Psa. 91:3-4; John 17:17). He has offered His protection for His people in day to day care so that we need not live life in fear (Psa. 91:5-8). This does not relieve us of responsibility or keep us from all pain and discomfort in life, as Jesus Himself saw and experienced, but it reminds us of God’s presence and care even during the trials that go with the nature of this life (Heb. 13:5-6). Third, God has made us precious promises, especially in regard to His providence (Psa. 91:9-13). This is not magical safety net against harm, but it surely demonstrates that God can operate within nature by angelic means to turn events as He wishes for the benefit of His people. In the final section of this beautiful poem (Psa. 91:14-16), the inspired writer offers God’s own response to faith that trusts Him completely: a listening ear, promised presence, deliverance and victory, and blessing and salvation in life. He promises a great future.

Jesus, as even Satan recognized, lived by this kind of trust. He died still holding fast to this kind of trust. And God rewarded Him for having this kind of trust. And the beauty of what Jesus accomplished by doing so is that we who trust Him and what He did can enjoy the same reward (John 14:1-6).