By Henry Mahan
Many believe this Psalm was written by Moses because the Psalm preceding it is credited to him. Others believe that David is the author and the person spoken of is Solomon, his son. But this Psalm certainly speaks of the Messiah and contains promises of protection and safety to him, as man, from diseases, evil spirits, and wicked men, under the care of angels.
Satan referred to this Psalm on the mount of temptation (Matt. 4:6). This is truly the victory of the Messiah and of everyone that is in him, represented by him, and perfected by him. Every believer is always under Divine care and protection (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 37:5; Heb. 1:14).
1. The believer's dwelling place
vv. 1-2. 'The secret place of the most High' is within the veil (Heb. 6:19-20) in the very presence of God, seated with Christ (Eph. 2:5-6). By the righteousness and blood of Christ, we not only come in to God's presence but we dwell there, never to leave (Heb. 10:19-22). We abide under the shadow or protection of the Almighty God, like small chicks under the wings of the mother hen (Psalm 17:8-9). No harm can come to us because the Lord is 'our refuge and fortress.' Even the gates of hell shall not prevail (John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:35-39). Our assurance and confidence is only in him as described by four names!
We come reverently only through the blood of Christ for 'He is the Most High' and 'holy.'
We rest in him because 'He is the Almighty and sovereign.'
We rejoice in his salvation because 'He is the Lord, Jehovah.'
We trust him as 'my God;' everything is here because he is my God (Col. 2:9-10).
2. The believer's confidence
vv. 3-8. Someone said, 'I love the shalls and wills of God's word.' There is no maybe, perhaps, nor uncertainty connected with the purpose and promises of God in Christ Jesus (Psalm 23:6; John 10:16).
v. 3. The Lord Jesus shall deliver us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from the penalty of sin (Rom. 8:1), from the wrath of God (Rom. 8:33-34), and from all enemies, even invisible enemies (6-12).
v. 4. The Lord Jesus shall cover us with his spotless Robe of Righteousness, his glorious wedding garment (2 Cor. 5:3). His WINGS are both for healing and hiding, and his truth (his word of promise and faithfulness) will turn to flight every enemy (Luke 4:1-13).
vv. 5-6. Because Christ is our redeemer, we shall not fear the terrors of the night--neither men nor devils; we shall not fear the arrows of the day-wars, floods, accidents, nor earthquakes; we shall not fear the pestilence that walketh in darkness--diseases, plagues, and demons; we shall not fear the destruction that wasteth at noonday--the final judgment of God upon the earth. He hath hedged about his children (Job 1:10); and neither devils, men, nor death can touch one without his permission.
vv. 7-8. Evil may be near the child of God, but not upon him. The plague that killed the firstborn in Egypt was near the Israelites, but it entered not into them.
God's people shall have trials, tribulations, and infirmities in the flesh, but only by the will of the Father. They shall die, but only when he decrees, never as the result of any other will or reason. With our eyes we shall see the judgments of God upon an evil race and shall agree with his judgments and praise him for our deliverance.
3. The believer's redeemer and refuge
vv. 9-13. Here is the only reason that we dwell within the veil, that we are delivered from all condemnation and judgment, that we are covered with his righteousness, hidden under his protective wings, and have no fear of terror here or hereafter-- 'because thou, Lord, art my refuge and my dwelling place.'
There is no safety nor security anywhere nor in anyone but Christ Jesus--not in religion, law, works, nor morality--only in Christ (Gal. 2:21; Gal. 3:11-13; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 5:1-2). It is true 'thou hast made the Lord thy refuge and habitation,' willingly and sincerely; but we love him because he loved us; we come to him because he came to us; we have made him our Lord and refuge because he made us his people and called us to faith (John 15:16; John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:15-16). To God be the glory!
The angels (created spirits, made by the Lord, and are at his command) are ministering spirits to his people. They encamp about them and are committed to their care by him who is Lord of heaven and earth.
4. The believer's promises
vv. 14-16. Here is the Lord God himself speaking of his chosen ones. 'Because he hath set his love upon me;' not because they deserve mercy; but with all their imperfections, they do love the Lord (John 21:17). There is first his love for us without our love, then there is our love for his love, which is genuine and sincere.
'Therefore;' there is always a 'because' and a 'therefore' in law and grace. Because we sinned, therefore we die! Because Christ died, therefore we live! Because we believe and love Christ, therefore--
'[I will] deliver him' from sin, Satan, and wrath.
'I will set him on high' in Christ.
'I will answer him,' when he prays and when he seeks mercy.
'I will deliver him in time of trouble' (Rom. 8:28).
'I will honor him' (John 12:26).
'I will satisfy him with long life,' not here necessarily, but with eternal life.
'[I will] show him my salvation' (Exo. 33:18-19; 2 Cor. 4:6).