Psalms 89-94
(You Are My Refuge)
June 20th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
   who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

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

- Psalm 91 1-2 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

This group of Psalms bridges the gap between books III and IV of the book of Psalms. The last one in Book III is a relatively long Psalm of praise and complaint that begins with a commitment from the author to praise God forever. The psalmist also notes that God had told David that he would establish his line forever.

After praising God for many verses the psalmist makes his complaint regarding the ways that God has rejected and spurned David’s people. Unlike many of the other Psalms of petition, this one does not ask God to exercise specific punishment of the wicked. In fact, there is no direct request, just a list of grievances and a final verse of praise to close the chapter and book: “Praise to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen (89:52 - NIV)”

The first five chapters of the fourth book of Psalms include requests for favors, protection and judgment and Psalms dedicated to praise. Psalm 90 is attributed to Moses, “the man of God.” Moses praises God as an everlasting God who existed before the earth itself and who, because of his eternal nature, has a different perspective on time: For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by (90:4 - NIV).” Moses acknowledges that he and the Israelites have committed iniquities, and asks God to teach them how to make good use of their remaining time. He concludes by asking for the LORD’s favor and for him to “establish the work of our hands (90:17 - NIV).”

The 91st Psalm boldly declares that those in the shelter of the LORD will be protected from all types of danger:

Psalms 92 and 93 speak praises to the LORD. In the 92nd Psalm the psalmist praises the work of God’s hands that has allowed for the righteous to flourish “like a palm tree” and “grow like a cedar of Lebanon (92:12- NIV).” The 93rd is a very brief statement honoring God for the eternalness of his throne, his mightiness and the firmness of his statutes.

The 94th Psalm is a complaint regarding the unpunished wicked people who are brutally oppressive and act as if the LORD cannot hear or see what they do. The Psalmist wraps up with a confident declaration that God will bring about justice for all.

Reflection and Application

The model in Psalm 89 is instructive for us because the psalmist takes great care to establish the humility of his position before making any other observations. He pledges his loyalty, pledges the goodness of God and recounts what he has done.

Only after this period of adoration does he raise his concerns. Then, he leaves the problems up to God. How often do we dictate to God the solution that we want, as if we could micro-manage the ruler of the universe. Perhaps the best take away from this Psalm is to remind ourselves to present our problems to God and let him know that we trust that he will handle it in the best possible way.

The first Psalm in Book IV is notable as one of the few written by Moses. His observation about God’s perspective on time is one that we should write on our palms for future reference (as some speakers do with their notes). When we concur with some of the Psalms that God is too slow to fix our problems, we should remind ourselves that what seems like an eternity of suffering for us has only been a millisecond for God. Likewise, when we read in the Bible that God will come quickly to judge and vindicate, we should measure the quickness by his scale, not ours.

Psalm 91 has been a favorite of soldiers for generations. Many World War II soldiers carried it with them, including future president George W. Bush, who was a pilot. Bush crash landed in the Pacific and was miraculously rescued by a flotilla of ships (Bush said the ships were like angels who carried him). On June 9th 2010, the Wall Street Journal featured a photo of a solider in Afghanistan reading this Psalm to his buddy, who was injured and had requested the reading. This photo was featured on the front page of this business newspaper. You can click here to see the photo.

God is omniscient. Somehow, in ways we cannot comprehend, he can see and hear everything that all of us do. We can trust that he knows the plans of the wicked and knows when we follow him and when we don’t.

We confess to him anyway in order to humble ourselves and begin our restoration, but we need not hesitate to tell him in fear of his reaction because he already knows and is waiting for us to come to him.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is your favorite newspaper or news source?
    2. Which Psalm is your favorite?
    3. From what do you need refuge today?
    Recommended Prayer
    God, we acknowledge you as the ultimate source of refuge. We know that you discipline us to help us avoid future troubles. Help us to spend time dwelling on your word in the Psalms and follow in your ways.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Soldiers and Military Personnel defending their countries

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Psalms 95-103 (Listen and Follow)

    Comments and Questions
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