To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.


I just love the Psalms!

And the 91st is one of the most sublime of all!

Enjoy it here with me.

And preach from it (or teach from it) often!

It will edify God's people.

                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 A Preacher in his Study


PSALM 91, VERSE 1 ...

In case it interests anyone, this was written on January 1, 2004 (Thursday, New Year's Day)

Look with me today at Psalm 91.  Its first verse has spoken to  my heart.

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."  Psalm 91:1

The Psalm has no "superscript" or title.  It just begins with our verse for today.  We just do not know for sure who wrote it.  (Of course, the Holy Spirit is the REAL Author since ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired of God!)

Many Bible scholars seem to feel that the Psalm was written by Moses ... since Psalm 90 (the previous Psalm) so clearly had Mosaic authorship.

This first verse presents what I call a "cause and effect" sequence.  If a "cause" is followed ... a certain "effect" is promised!  Here ... if we "dwell"  with Him, God assures us that we shall also "abide" with Him!  (There is a slight difference between these two verbs.)

The verb "dwell" carries the idea "to sit down."  In our context here it means to sit down in rest and peace!  Its being a Hebrew "Qal participle" indicates habitual constant action.  One study source says the verb means "to remain."  In Genesis 18:1 it describes Abraham as he "sat" in the tent door.  We are to just "sit" in God's secret place!  (Psalm 1:1 told us where NOT to sit!  "Sit not in the seat of the scornful!"  Now Psalm 91 tells us WHERE TO SIT!)

"Secret place" is a Hebrew noun ("sether or cether") meaning "to cover."  (Its verbal "root" means "to hide!")  So it's a hiding place, or a shelter!  Song of Solomon 2:14 equates this "secret place" to "the clefts of the rock."  That is a veiled reference to the Lord Jesus I believe.  He is the Rock of Ages!  If you have walked with God for long ... you've been in His "secret place" of communion and fellowship.  Isaiah 32:2 (using our word here) speaks of a COVERT from the storm (tempest)!  I know where I want to be when the storm comes --- in the Secret Place of the Most High!

Look at the Name of God used here ... "The Most High."  The Hebrew for most high is "elyon" and comes from the verb that means "to ascend or to arise."  The best way to learn the Biblical meaning of a Name of God is to study the context of the first place it's mentioned.  (Genesis 14:18-24)  There Abram is met by  Melchizedek, who is the priest of the MOST HIGH GOD.  We here learn that the Most High God is "The Possessor of heaven and earth!"  We also learn that the Most High had "delivered Abram's enemies into his hand."  Thirdly we learn that the Most High is due our reverence, worship and tithes!  We also learn He is worthy to be "blessed" or praised! And we see that the Most High wants to be revealed to mankind ... because He has a priest!  He longs for communion.  (That ought to be enough to think about while I "dwell" in His secret place!)

Then the "effect" sequence:  "shall abide" is from the Hebrew verb that means "to stop ... to stay (permanently)!"  (If you spend a little time with Him ... that will lead to a lifetime with Him!)  Temporary dwelling leads to eternal abiding!  (I wonder if this verse is where Jesus got some of His great thoughts in ABIDING in the Lord!)  The only other time this verb is used IN THIS PRECISE FORM is in Job 39:28 where the eagle ABIDES on the rock!  I find the verb is all its forms 88 times in Scripture.

Where are we to abide?  Under His "Shadow."  I am thinking that a BIG God would have a BIG Shadow!  The word "shadow" is used 49 times in the King James Bible (45 of which are translated "shadow").  BUT 3 times it is rendered "defence" --- as in the word's first use in Numbers 14:9!  Ecclesiastes 7:12 (using our word) says "Wisdom is a defence!"  What a thought!  The God of Heaven being my Defender!  It literally is a shade made by something hovering over you!  (This is from the dictionary in Strong's Concordance.)  You know Who's "hovering" over you! That's a Bible term for the Holy Spirit of God!  "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)  That verb "moved" means "fluttered" or hovered!  God's "Shadow" is the shade cast by the overseeing protecting ministering Holy Spirit of God!

And the Name "Almighty" is Hebrew "Shaddai."  Many believe this noun is from the Hebrew word for "breast" and indicates (as do all Mothers to their nursing infants) sustenance and strength!  God is a Mighty Provider!  All Mighty!

What a verse.

Take a few minutes today and admire these "nuggets."  Get off alone somewhere and just "dwell" with Him.  If you do, you'll set into motion the whole sequence of this great passage of Scripture.

This is a good way to start the new year!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 2 ...

Psalm 91, verse 2 says:  "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."

Now that's a staggering verse of Scripture!

The Noun "LORD" is the Word that's translated "Jehovah."  It means:  THE ONE WHO IS!  Anyone truly "saved" knows this great (and only true) God intimately.

The verb "say" in its Hebrew form indicates on-going continual action.  The Psalmist says these things about his God regularly and often (habitually)!

"Refuge" is a beautiful word!  It means "a shelter" and comes from a verbal "root" meaning "to flee for protection!"  One lexicon says it is a "refuge from a storm or danger!"  (Wow!)

"Wow" is an English interjection used to indicate strong feeling such as delight or surprise!  Sometimes one slips into my writing!  I can't help it.

"Fortress" originally meant "a net!"  It's even translated in our Old Testaments as "net" or "snare" a time or two.  Isn't that interesting?  The Lord "caught" me one day!  Did He catch you?  Paul said that he has been "apprehended" by the Lord!  Jesus said that He was a "Fisher" of men! 

The word fortress further means "a castle, a defense, a fort or a strong hold!"  In Psalm 31:2 the Lord is our House of "DEFENCE!"  That's our word here for "fortress!"  It is one of the favorite word pictures for the Lord in the Psalms.

The Noun "God" is the Hebrew Name ELOHIYM.  It is the Standard Name for God (used 2,206 times in Scripture)!  The unusual thing about that Name is that it is plural!  It literally says "Gods!"   But we all KNOW our God is ONE.  We do not worship many gods!  Why does the Holy Spirit have this Noun expressed in the plural number?  I BELIEVE IT IS DONE TO SHOW THE TRIUNE GODHEAD!  We serve One God ... Who is manifest in Three Persons;  Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  I really believe that we have the Trinity right here in the Old Testament!  This Triune God first appears in Scripture ... guess where?  Genesis 1:1!

Lastly the verb "trust" means (Hebrew = "batach") to hide for refuge (but this time not necessarily with the idea of danger).  I can go to God for refuge when there's no danger (or storm or trial) around!  He can be my Refuge when things are going well too!  And again this verb indicates continual action!  We shall trust Him forever!

This is a pretty good verse from which to extract a "nugget" or two this Friday morning!

Happy hunting, fellow prospectors!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 3 ...

Again today we are in Psalm 91.  Let's look at verse number 3: 

"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence."

Obviously the "He" of our verse is the Lord!

"Surely" (in English an adverb) here is a Hebrew expression meaning "consequently" or "as a result of" or just "because."  God will deliver us BECAUSE we dwell in His Secret Place and abide under His Shadow!  It also can mean "certainly!"

"Shall deliver," the verb, means literally "to snatch away!"  Some of the Old Testament uses of the verb include:  "recover" (5 times), "escape" (2 times), "rescue" (2 times), "take out" (2 times) and "deliver" (179 times).  The "time sense" of this verb is that of continual action!  God is delivering us every day that we live! 

A "fowler" is one who catches birds for a living.  The word means to "catch or entangle."  The devil is a fowler! 

A "snare" is a trap of some kind.  It is believed that the word might mean "to spread a net."  (However, twice in Scripture it's used of gold that has been beaten into "thin plates" and cut into wires in Exodus 39:3.  This was in the building of the priest's garments for Tabernacle service.  Possible definitions: trap, snare, and beaten into "thin plates?" Sometimes the "trap" or trick of the devil is just to "beat up" and "ware down" the saints of God!  Daniel 7:25 says that one of the goals of the coming anti-christ is to "wear out the saints of the Most High!"  It means "to harass constantly!) BUT GOD CAN DELIVER US FROM SUCH ENTRAPMENT!

The noun "pestilence" is used 49 times in the King James Bible.  (It's translated "pestilence" 47 of those times!  And "plagues" 1 time!  And "murrain" 1 time!)  Its verbal root (when used negatively as here) seems to mean "to subdue, to conquer, to destroy."  However, be aware that this word is CLOSELY related to to the Hebrew noun for "word."  (WORDS can hurt like a plague!)  The "murrain" mentioned above was a cattle disease of Moses' day.  So ... God CAN deliver me from sickness or from danger or even from destructive words!

And of all things, it is a "noisome" pestilence.  The word is one of those "key" Hebrew terms meaning "to be."  This is a living attacking enemy to the child of God ... BUT GOD IS ABLE TO RESCUE US!

This ought to be one of the most comforting verses in Scripture to each of God's children.

Just think that the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer of sinners is watching over us ... to "deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence!"

Praise His good Name!

                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 4 ...

Psalm 91:4 says ... "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

This sweet verse gives us a picture of our Lord as a big, strong bird who mightily protects its own young!  Deuteronomy 32:11-12 --- "AS THE EAGLE ... SO THE LORD!"  That great eagle cares for his or her little "eaglets!"

(The Hebrew word here used for "feathers" comes from the basic verb meaning "to soar!") 

The verb "cover" means "to fence in, to cover over or to protect!"  (To shut in, to overshadow, to screen!)  Its action is not just in the past  either!  It indicates on-going continual safety!

Even the little "preposition" under has significance!  It is derived from a Hebrew term meaning "depressed" and is usually used in the sense of being "humble!"  (I don't ever want to get so "big" that I don't fit under His Wings!)  Jesus used this metaphor (word picture) in Matthew 23:37 ---  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

The verb "trust" means "to flee for protection!"  (Proverbs 18:10 --- The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.")  It also suggest repeated action!  Run to the Lord often!

The Hebrew word for "truth" is tma (beginning with the first letter of their alphabet and ending with the last).  When Jesus said He was the First and the Last (alpha and omega in Greek), He could have also been saying He is the TRUTH!  But what is His Truth?  John 17 answers that.  Jesus there says to His Father:  "Thy Word is Truth!"  (John 17:17)

The word for "shield" here is great!  It's translated (KJV) 15 of its 22 Bible times as a defensive weapon (shield or buckler, a smaller shield).  But it comes from a word that means a Hook, or a pointed hook, or a thorn ... hence a hedge of thorns!  (Glory!) Here is God putting a "hedge of thorns" around us to protect us from the enemy!

Lastly the word "buckler" which is (in Hebrew) only used ONCE in Scripture.  It's "root" verbal background means "to travel around" or "to surround!"   God can protect us from ALL SIDES!  He is our Vanguard (in front of us) and our Rereward (rear guard)!  "Rereward" is found six times in the Old Testament.

How "safe" we should feel this day!

What security this Psalm presents to the believer in Christ!

Excuse me.  I'm going to think a bit about being "under His wings!"

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 5 ...

"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day."

Not only can God handle the "terrors" and the "arrows" of life ... He can also restrain the fears that accompany them!  The verse implies that God can control our very emotions!  No wonder the Bible has over 52 "Fear Nots" within its pages! 

I believe this fifth verse is consequential to the previous verses of our Psalm!  It is a RESULT of living in the secret place of the Most High and under the shadow of the Almighty!

Did you notice that God can protect us and prohibit our fears both DAY and NIGHT? Now I am not sure that this particular verse is teaching that there will NEVER be arrows shot at us or terrors in the land!  (God CAN do that as is later taught in verse 10.)  But even in the midst of "dangers" God can control our fears!  (Proverbs 28:1 says:  "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.")

The word "terror" means a sudden alarm!  (From a root verb that means "to startle.") It is only used 49 times in the whole Bible. 

And the noun "arrow" comes from a stem that means "to pierce or sever."

Notice that the arrow "flieth."  In this precise form our verb is only found twice in Scripture.  The other time is Job 20:8 where the wicked "shall fly away as a dream!" He will not last!  Look!  Something "flies IN" in Psalm 91.  Yet something else "flies AWAY" in Job 20!  God can make things fly EITHER WAY!  (If something comes TO us, He has allowed it for our good.  If that thing flies AWAY from us, God has protected us from harm!  He knows best!)

I am so thankful that God "has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  (2 Timothy 1:7)

So whether the troubles come or not ... we are VICTORIOUS in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Listen to Isaiah 43:2 --- "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."

Or remember Habakkuk 3:17-18.  "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Furthermore Job 5:19-20 say:  " He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.  In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword."

Notice that in each of the three previous cases troubles did come ... but God gave the victory!  A victory that was without fear!

This is one of the greatest "comfort" verses in all the Word of God.

Ponder it throughout the day!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 6 ...

"Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday."

The verse is "linked" to verse 5 where we are told:

"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day ..."

God surely knows how to "remove our fears!"

This passage literally promises that if we abide under God's "Shadow," trusting in Him ... we will enjoy His Protection and freedom from fear!

We have now been told of 4 things we shall never have to fear (terrors, arrows, pestilences nor destructions)!  Notice please that 2 of these are associated with night and two are linked to day time!  (One old Puritan writer reminds us that their days were divided into 4 sections!  Here in our text are 4 times per day we shall not fear! This is 24 hour per day freedom from worry and fretfulness!)

The word "pestilence" is rendered "plagues" once in the King James Version ... and once also it's translated "murrain," which is a disease!  This gives you a sense of its Bible meaning.

That word "darkness" means obscurity!  (You don't know those pestilences are there!) Yet God protects us "incognito," without our even knowing it!

The noun "destruction" is from a root stem that means "to cut off or to ruin!"  There is such a thing as "bitter" destruction in Deuteronomy 32:24.  And God knows how to use it, too!  (This is the very word used in Hosea 13:14 where God says to death --- "O death, I will be thy plagues;  O grave, I will be thy destruction!"  That's the very verse Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:55!)

The verb "wasteth" is hapax legomenon (used only once in all of Scripture) and simply means "to swell up!"  Troubles have a way of doing that without God restraining them!  (Just getting "bigger and bigger!")

Noonday means "double light."  It's "midday" in 1 Kings 18:29.

Well, there you have it.

Another great Bible verse on God's Protection (and resulting peace) in our lives.

I do call this a Bible "NUGGET!"

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 7 ...

Psalm 91:7 promises:

"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."

In one sense we see this happening in America every day.  Thousands regularly "fall" into sin and degradation ... but that Spirit-filled godly man or woman is not TOUCHED by the filth of this world!

In another sense it happened to Israel in the days of Hezekiah.  Sennacherib's army attacked and logically should have won a great victory!  But when that decisive morning came, behold, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers lay dead on the battlefield and every single Jew was well!  (2 Kings 19:35 and Isaiah 37:36)

I even know of three Hebrew young men who were thrown into the fire ... but were not burned!  In fact, even the smell of the smoke did not taint them!  Another illustration of Psalm 91:7!  (See Daniel 3:27)

The truth of our verse was proved again and again in the plagues of Moses' day.  For example, there was darkness all over the land ... but "light" was in the dwellings of the Jews, God's chosen people!  (Exodus 10:23)  The darkness just could not come nigh them!

Listen to this verse on God's protection:  Isaiah 54:17 --- "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."  Wow!

This "thousand" and "ten thousand" Bible terminology has got my attention.  Look with me please: 

*  Leviticus 26:8 --- "And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword."

*  Deuteronomy 32:30 --- "How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?"

*  Song of Solomon 5:10 --- "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand."  (That's talking about Jesus!)

*  However, if I am living in wickedness, these "statistics" can be reversed upon me! Amos 5:3 --- "For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel."  (Defeat for Israel because of iniquity)

*  Revelation 5:11 --- "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands."  (On this day we shall ALL be part of a "group of tens of thousands.")

Our verse today being true, we MUST have a BIG God! 

We do!  Our Heavenly Father is Almighty!

He CAN keep us safe.  But now, do remember, these promises belong ONLY to the one who "dwelleth in the secret place of the most High and abideth under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."  (the first two verses of our Psalm)

(Even those countless precious martyrs who have died for their faith as Christians  ... are SAFE in the Arms of Jesus today!)

In His Care,  Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 8 ...

"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."

This is just one of the many promises this Psalm contains!

Let's look at it carefully.

This verse would be the subject of "jokes" in today's wicked age!  Anyone who even suggests Divine judgment is attacked viciously by the liberal media. 

But I'm telling you the day of the "reward of the wicked" is coming!

Now, be careful here.  Don't pick out a single event and begin to judge it exclusively as the direct wrath of God falling upon someone (maybe someone you don't like too well anyway)! 

Remember what Jesus said in Luke 13:1-5!  "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?   I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

BUT when you do see the overall Hand of God being exercised against the ungodly you can be SURE that Psalm 91:8 is being fulfilled right in front of you very eyes!

Remember that the Psalmist said in Psalm 101:1 that he would "sing of mercy AND JUDGMENT!"  (It's so pleasant to sing about His great Mercy!  But to sing about His Judgment is another thing altogether!  The Psalmist plans to rejoice in both!)

The verb "behold" means "to scan" or to look at intently!

The noun "reward" literally means a "payback" or a "reciprocation!"  The wicked will reap what they sow!

It would not hurt the believer to scan the headlines every single day noting the Hand of God in the affairs of men!  He this very day is still judging sin!

One of the greatest indications of His Judgment is the removal of His Hand from a people.  When that happens they can sin with impunity (on and on with more and more iniquity at deeper and deeper levels of wickedness).  God simple removes His "restraining" Hand and leaves the sinner unto himself!  It's happening all around us, folks!

God "gives them up" to their sins Paul says in Romans 1!

We are indeed living in exciting days!

Furthermore, I'll guarantee you that at the Great White Throne you are going to be a "witness" to the judging of the wicked!  (Believers will have already been examined at the "Judgment Seat of Christ.)  And when this all happens you will say (as will the saints during the dark days of tribulation) "True and Righteous are Thy Judgments, Lord God Almighty!"  (Revelation 16:7 and 19:2)! And they are just quoting Psalm 19:9 and 119:160.

Today's verse may not be as thrilling to many of you ... but it is being fulfilled with every passing hour!

"The way of the transgressor is hard!"  (Proverbs 13:5)

Thank God for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!  We believers now face NO CONDEMNATION!  (Romans 8:1)

                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 9 ...

Psalm 91 is one precious passage of Scripture! The ninth verse tells us WHY its precious promises can be claimed!

"Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation"   Psalm 91:9

The opening word is a preposition. (Itís the first word both in the King James Version and in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible.) It means "since" or "because." We can rest under the Lordís dear wings and enjoy His being our Shield and Buckler and be dlivered from fear (etc.) BECAUSE .... (And our verse here today explains that "because!")

"Hast made," the verb of our verse, means to "place, put, set or appoint!"

It is in a "Qal perfect" Hebrew form here. That means itís simple active in voice (We must do the believing!) and the tense action is complete! It was a one time decision. You got SAVED and thatís it! No going back! No changing of the mind! (No one would ever want to!) Itís a done transaction! You have just DECIDED once and for all time to place God Almighty as the Lord of your life!

The Name of God used here ("LORD") is Jehovah. The eternally self-existent One. (The "I AM" of the universe!)

Notice the two possessive pronouns in our verse, "MY" and "THY." It seems that the Psalmist here personalizes his relationship with God ("My Refuge") and yet challenges his readers to make the same God their Refuge ("Thy Habitation")! Itís one man exhorting other men to lean on the Lord! Thatís exactly what Paul commands us to do! Where, Preacher? In Hebrews 10:24 --- "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works!"

"Refuge" is is the very same word used back in verse one of our Psalm. It means a "shelter from rain or storm!" In this very same Hebrew form, the word is used 8 times in Scripture! (Thatís unusual!) Jeremiah said, "Be not a terror unto me: thou art my HOPE in the day of evil." ("Hope" is our word "refuge!") When "evil" comes ... RUN to the Lord! And all the other seven occurences of this form of our noun are found in the Psalms! Psalm 71:7 calls Him our "strong Refuge!" In Psalm 94:22 the Lord "is the Rock of my REFUGE!"

And remember some things about Godís Name "Most High." (Genesis 14) He is The "Possessor of heaven and earth!" He also is The Deliverer from oneís enemies! (He also is the One who deserves our worship ... and to Whom Abram gave tithes!)

And lastly, the word "habitation" must be studied. The word comes from a root stem that means "to dwell together as family!" It is often used in Scripture of Heaven itself as Godís habitation as is clearly seen in itís "first mention" in Scripture, Deuteronomy 26:15 --- "Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey."

Twice in the Old Testament our word is translated "den!" (Both in Jeremiah 9:11 and 10:22 it is a "den" of dragons! The "dragon" is a type of the devil! Remember how Satan wanted to take Godís Habitation as his own? What Satan lost by rebellion, pride and sin ... we can enjoy eternally ... being in Godís HABITATION OR DWELLING PLACE! Glory to God!)

Well, there you have it. Blessings galore "because" ...!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 10 ...

Today's "Nugget" verse is Psalm 91:10, which says:

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

What a promise this is!

Every time I see this verse I am reminded of something that occurred in the life of great Charles H. Spurgeon.  The "plague" had hit London during the days of his pastorate there.  Thousands in the city were dying!  He of course had ministered to many of his own church people who were sick and dying.  The plague was highly contagious ... and almost always fatal.  One day he was walking home from burying another church member, and he felt sick!  It seemed almost for sure that he just might be getting it!  He became frightened at the very thought! 

Then he saw it!  It looked like a window pane that had been broken and replaced with just a piece of cardboard or something.  It was in a little storefront building.  It arrested Preacher Spurgeon's attention.  He stopped and walked over to see it more closely.  It had something scribbled on it.  And, guess what it was?  Written on that window was the verse of today's Psalm.  "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any PLAGUE come night thy dwelling!" 

Spurgeon said it was just like God had spoken to him personally!  A PEACE fell over him and during the remainder of that terrible ordeal he never feared again for his life! What victory the Word of God can bring!

The verb "befall" means to approach or come near or encounter!  God controls what comes into our lives!  He can build a "hedge of protection" around us and guard us from any evil!

The noun "plague" means anything from a sore to a disease to a wound to a stroke! It's an amazing word!  It originally meant a "blow."  (being hit hard)

And that word for "dwelling" has the idea of a tent ... which would fit the Hebrew culture in  times past.  It implies one's house today.  But the etymology of the word is interesting.  Its "root" means to "be clear" or to "shine!"  Do you reckon that implies that our homes are to be so very sincerely Christian that they "shine" forth the praises of God?  (clear, without delusion)

Believer friends, let's claim this great promise of Scripture.

(By the way, it did not say that there would be no plagues!  It didn't say evil would be eradicated in our day either!  It said God could protect us from such things!)

Someone recently called this whole Psalm the "Romans 8:28" of the Old Testament!

Pretty good thought!

Well, I've certainly got my "Nugget" here.

How about you?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 11 ...

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

This is one of the greatest verses in all the Old Testament!

To "give charge" is more than simply to command!  It is to come to one and PERSONALLY place into his hands the responsibility to achieve some longing of a Superior!  (Believing friends, this very day there are angels who are individually "charged" with caring for you!)  The verb is in the "Piel" stem ... meaning that it represents INTENSIVE action!  These angels diligently (vehemently) care for their "charges."  And the "time" sense of the word is that of continuous action!  (They are always on the job!)

"Over" is a preposition that can also mean:  to, towards, belonging to, according to, etc.  It shows "direction," not motion.  The "care" of these angels is focused toward the child of God who rests under the Wings of Almighty God!

To "keep" is to guard or watch or protect!  This little verb is a "Qal" infinitive, which suggests on-going action also.  YOU are being guarded day in and day out by the angels of God!

And the noun "ways," ("derek" in Hebrew) has the idea of a road or a path.  It's speaks of a frequented route.  (ALL thy ways is a startling term here!)  It could only be given to one who has learned to constantly dwell in the secret place of the Most High!

Now you all know that God can protect His Own children without having to have the angels' help!  Why does He allow them to participate in this great plan of safety?  THEY ARE HIS SERVANTS!  And God seems to love to give us all a calling, a vocation which we can follow for His Glory!

We had better remember what ONE angel can do in a night's work!  (Like slay 185,000 enemy soldiers!  2 Kings 19:35)

Christian, this verse today ought to be memorized by every one of us!  It is a sweet "tasty" delight for our souls!  CHEW on it throughout the day!  The week!  The year!  Your whole life!

Now, that's a "nugget!"

                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 12 ...

"They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

The "they" of our verse has reference to the very angels of God!  They DO help protect Believers in our Lord Jesus Christ!  They (the angels) are "ministering spirits."  Hebrews 1:14 asks (expecting an affirmative answer) --- "Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

By the way, as you study this verse today, I want to remind you of something. The very Eyes of Jesus have fallen upon these words!  (So have the very eyes of Lucifer!) This verse was part of the "battle" (which Jesus won) during His days of temptation while He was on this earth! (Matthew 4:6 and Luke 4:11)

Did you ever think about the "hands" of angels?  Well, for the first time this morning I am realizing that we are not only in Jesus' Hands and not only are we in the Father's Hands ... but God has also placed us in the hands of angels for safe keeping!

The verb translated "bear thee up" means to lift and carry!  The "time" sense of the verb represents continuous action!  IF ONE DWELLS WITH THE MOST HIGH ... AND ABIDES UNDER GOD'S ALMIGHTY SHADOW ... THE ANGELS DO CARE FOR HIM OR HER METICULOUSLY!  Now this does not mean that trials will never come your way! (They came to Jesus and to Paul and to Jeremiah and to every other Christian.  But it DOES MEAN God will lovingly be with you and you'll not be harmed by evil!)

To "dash" is to strike or to hit.  We are being told here that God can keep us from stumbling (Jude 24)!  The noun for "stone" can mean either a large or a small rock! Just think of all the "stumblingblocks" out there on the spiritual path we walk!  And God promises to his faithful saints victory over them all!

Again, may I remind you that these promises may not be for EVERY BELIEVER.  BUT IT IS DEFINITELY FOR THOSE WHO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF VERSES 1 AND 2 AND 9 AND 14!

Some of the "stones" you may avoid:  "Hurt feelings!"  "Church splits!" "Worldliness!"  "Broken marriages!"  "Liberal preachers!" And so many more!

Read Isaiah 63:9 in the light of our verse today:  "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old."  (Wow!)

Now these promises of safety do not mean that you ought to go somewhere and jump off a building or sit in the middle of a busy highway!  (Those are silly examples but some Christians do some rather strange things under the guise of divine protection!) This is exactly what the devil tempted Jesus to do!  AND JESUS REFUSED!

Now you know one more reason WHY you have not "fallen" along the way as so many others have!  (It was not YOUR great strength, after all!)  It was God's Protection at work in your lives!

Folks, we ought today to "praise the Lord" as never before!"

That's our "nugget" for Monday!

                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 13 ...

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet."

This is the verse satan DID NOT quote to Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4 and Luke 4)! 

In Matthew 4:6 the devil stopped quoting at verse ten!  "And (satan) saith unto Him (Jesus), If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."  (The devil likes to use parts of Scripture. The parts that are convenient to him!) 

Why would the devil stop there?  BECAUSE treading on the lion and adder are pictures of our victory over satan himself!  For the devil to emphasize those verses would be a bit like "satanic suicide!"

The devil's "preachers" to this day like to "pick and choose" only the verses (or parts of verses) that suit their evil goals!  Some of those reprobates this very day are scouring the Bible to try to validate sinful activity and false belief!  They will find something, too.  But only because they have not "rightly divided the Word of Truth!"

In the past two verses of our 91st Psalm here, God has promised protection from stumblingstones, lions and snakes!  What a passage!

The verb "tread" means to stomp upon (obviously) but also can mean to "march forth." The idea may be not that we just stand around and and look for an enemy to tread under foot ... but that as we travel our Christian pathways ... any lion or snake that comes along CAN BE DEFEATED via the Power of God! The dictionary in Strong's concordance says our verb also means (not just "to tread or to walk") to string a bow (as in bow and arrow)!  To do so someone had to put his foot on the bow and bend it in order to "string" it!  (Maybe the Lord is saying that by "treading" upon these enemies we are just preparing the future weapons we'll need to assure final victory!)

The noun "lion" it is believed comes from a verbal "root" meaning to ROAR!  That no doubt is a frightening sound!  God can handle our fears!  Of course according to Peter the lion is a picture of the devil!  (1 Peter 5:8 --- "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.")

An "adder" is a snake.  It comes from a verb meaning "to twist" and probably pictures the contortions of a poisonous serpent called an asp or cobra.  (This does not mean we are to go out and start handling snakes either!)  But if the devil comes to attack ... step on Him!

Now here's something strange about our verse.  We've already had the Hebrew word for lion ("shachal") ... but added to that is another word for young lion ("kephiyr"). The word originally meant a village covered by walls.  It is thought that here it pictures a (young) lion covered by a healthy glistening mane!  (The root idea is "to cover.") Maybe it implies that the devil comes often "under cover" to attack us.  God can give victory to an old devil or a young devil!  A lion attacks overtly.  A snake attacks secretly! 

I was taught that old lions have worn their teeth to the point they can't attack and kill as well!  They must hide and depend upon the paralyzing effect of their roar ... then attack their prey.  While the young lion is strong and can outrun nearly anything.  It looks to me like God has us protected either way!

In the King James Bible "dragon" is translated as "serpent, sea monster, and even whale!"  (Sea snakes or land snakes ... God can handle either!)  Whatever it is, it's BIG! And deadly!  (And defeated ... through the Power of God!)  In the New Testament also the dragon is a picture of the devil (Revelation 12:4).

To "trample" is "to abusively stamp upon!"  It's what happened to Jezebel in 2 Kings 9:33 --- "And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he TRODE her under foot."

This is sort of a bloody verse today!  But the Christian is on the winning side (again)!

Did you notice that the Lord did not promise there would be NO serpents or lions or dragons?

BUT He did promise victory over them when they came!

I've got a few "nuggets" here today. When we finish this Psalm (Friday, the Lord willing), I'm going to have enough "nuggets" to go into the jewelry business!

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 14 ...

We're nearing the end of our journey through the great 91st Psalm!  Today study with me verse 14.

"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."

It certainly seems to me that at this point (and for all the last three verses) the LORD speaks!

No longer does the Lord speak OF us (as He has done for 13 verses), He now speaks TO us!  Bask in the sunlight (Sonlight) of His great Love as you ponder these words!

"Set his love" is a verb (in Hebrew) that means "to cling, to join or even to delight in!" (Another lexicon says "to be attached to.")  It is only found 11 times in the whole Bible!  It's a Qal stem verb ... indicating simple active voice.  Here's the Believer CLINGING to His Lord!  The "action" sense of this verb is "perfect," which means it is based upon a "one-time" past decision.  When our psalmist got "saved," he set his love upon the Lord!

"Deliver" (a verb) is in the "Piel" stem.  That makes the action INTENSIVE!  God vigorously protects and "brings into security" the trusting Christian! (Only found 25 times in all the Scripture!)

To "set him on high" means to be made inaccessible!  The action here is on-going. God places him on high again and again.   (Perhaps it is saying that God keeps the trusting believer on high!)  Job 5:11 says that God sets on high those who were low! Job 36:22 adds that God "exalteth" (our verb here) by His Power!  It's translated "defend" in Psalm 20:2!  And in Psalm 148:13 our word is rendered "excellent!"  (The Lord's Name alone is "excellent!")

"Hath known" translated the verb "yada," which implies knowing experientially (even knowing intimately)!  It suggests (again) habitual (lifelong) action.

What a verse!

What a bunch of "nuggets!"

We all should praise the Lord all day!

He's done so much for us!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 15 ...

Today we study the "penultimate" verse of Psalm 91.  (That's a Latin term meaning "next-to-the-last.")

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.    Psalm 91:15

As was so yesterday, the LORD is still speaking.

(It almost seems that the Lord is just "thrilled" with the faith of this godly man who "abides under the Shadow of the Almighty!")

God already knows that THIS man (or woman) will "call upon Him when trouble comes!  This little verb "call" (qara in Hebrew) can mean "to cry out loud!"  (It's all right to verbally call on the Lord!)  Vine's Word Dictionary says the verb may imply (not just the act of calling out, but ...) the specification of the NAME on which one calls!  When we pray, should we be specific which Name of God we use?  He is ONE GOD ... but has many Biblical "Names!"  (Lord, God, Almighty, Saviour, Jehovah, Etc.) The verb indicates continual prayer also!  (Not just "calling" on Him once)

When the troubled man calls ... God promises that He will "answer!"  The verb defined: "to eye, to give attention to, to heed, to respond, to sing, to shout, to testify, to announce!"  Glory!  The lexicons say that this "response" (answer) is not necessarily verbal either!  If can be a movement of God's part other than simply words!  (Doing something!)  It thrice even means "to invite!"  (And the verbs match here!  As long as the man calls ... God answers!)

Look at the next phrase:  "I will be with him in trouble."  (See the italics!  The King James translators were so accurate.  Their use of italics here means that those italicized words were supplied to enhance the meaning of the sentence.  The Hebrew says that God declares:  "I WITH HIM IN TROUBLE!"  (This reminds me of  Isaiah 63:9 where God says that "In all their affliction He (God) was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.")  When we hurt ... God hurts! Remember Daniel 3.  When the three Hebrew young men were "in the fire,"  God was in there with them!

"Trouble" simply means "tightness" and is a picture of things closing in all around you!  (Constriction!  Pressure!  Stress!)  Ever been there? 

Furthermore God promises that He will "deliver" the poor troubled (but trusting) believer!  Of the 44 times this verb is used in the Bible, it is translated "delivered" 15 of those times!  But watch this!  Eighteen (18) times it is translated "armed men" or "army" or "armed soldiers" or to "arm" with weapons!  (WOW!)  It's in the "Piel" stem which intensifies (!!!) what God is doing!  It can mean that God is putting on His armour to defend his trusting child!  Isaiah 59:17 describes God putting on His armour!  "For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke."  Or perhaps the word is teaching us that God will equip us with proper armour for the troubles ahead!

Lastly, God says He will "honor" this blessed Christian!  The Hebrew verb "kabad" here means "to be heavy!"  (The word picture is that of giving "weight" to a person in some way.  Treating them with gravity and care!)  Just think of that!  If I do what the Psalm says ... God Himself will "honour" me!  But that's exactly what Scripture says elsewhere.  The Lord says in 1 Samuel 2:30 --- "For them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."  (See the idea of "weight" here?  Lightly esteemed!)

Four great promises are here!  Trust the Lord ... pray to Him ... dwell with Him ... AND HE WILL (1) ANSWER YOU!  (2) BE WITH YOU!  (3) DELIVER YOU!  AND (4) HONOUR YOU!

What a series of "nuggets" today!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PSALM 91, VERSE 16 ...

Today we have the privilege of looking into the last verse of the great 91st Psalm.

"With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."   Psalm 91:16

Let's study this great promise.

Now remember that this promise does not apply to everyone!  Psalm 91 is clearly talking about the man (or woman) who meets the conditions of verses 1 and 2 and 9 and 14!  (He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty, makes God his Refuge and Fortress and Habitation, and has "set his love" upon the Lord!)

The Subject in our verse is God Himself!  This verse presupposes God as the Giver of Life and Salvation!  (He IS!)   This proves our God to be altogether Creator and Redeemer and Deliverer, doesn't it?

The verb "to satisfy" ("saba" in Hebrew) means "to have enough" or "to be satiated (full)."  The word several times (in its 95 occurrences) means to be filled to the point of wanting or needing no more!  Proverbs 25:16 gives us such an example:  "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."  This is being filled to the point that one has a desire for no more! 

What is it with which the Lord plans to satisfy (fill) his trusting saint?  LONG LIFE! That little noun for "life" literally means days, years or time!  If this verse is true, God holds the "key" to man's longevity.  (Our "times" are in His Hand!  Psalm 31:15)

Several other Bible promises deal with "long life."  Exodus 20:12 --- "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."   And Proverbs 3:1 and 2 which say:  "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee." 

For an example of some who were "satisfied" with their length of days, see:  Luke 2:20 where godly Simeon said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word."  (he was ready to die!)  Or even Paul in Philippians 1:23 when he said "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better."

God can so satisfy his children with life down here (on earth) ... that they are ready to go enjoy life over there (in heaven) with Him!

The verb "shew" ("raah") means to "look" or to "see."  It can even mean to inspect.  But in the Hiphil stem (which we have here) it means "to cause to see."  God is literally going to display His so great Salvation!

But do remember that our word salvation here can also mean "deliverance, aid, or victory!"  Let me show you what I mean.  When God was about to part the Red Sea and allow Israel safe passage from Egypt, He had Moses say "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever." (Exodus 14:13)

God all the way through this 91st Psalm has been promising final and ultimate victory.  This last verse is simply re-stating that commitment.  TRUST God and He will show you the victory!

Lastly, that word "salvation" is the Hebrew word "Yashuah."  It is in the Old Testament also a name (Joshua)!  That Name in the New Testament is JESUS!  Get it? TRUST GOD AND HE WILL SHOW YOU "JESUS!"

That's almost like saying "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!" Romans 10:13

Thanks be unto God!  He has certainly filled my heart with "nuggets" this morning! How about yours?

This is the end of our Psalm 91 study!  Someone e-mail me with some kind of an evaluation of our journey through this great passage of Scripture.  (All 16 "lessons" are still displayed below for your Bible study pleasure.)

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter


Copyright ©2003 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.

Hosted by ChurchWebDesign.org

The Fundamental Top 500