1. He that has made his refuge God,
Shall find a most secure abode;
Shall walk all day beneath His shade,
And there at night shall rest his head.
2. Then will I say, “My God, your pow’r
Shall be my fortress, and my tow’r;
I that am formed of feeble dust
Make Your almighty arm my trust.”
3. Oh happy man! your Maker’s care
Shall keep you from the fowler’s snare;
From Satan’s wiles, who still betrays
Unguarded souls, a thousand ways.
4. Just as a hen protects her brood,
From birds of prey that seek their blood,
The Lord his faithful saints shall guard,
And endless life be their reward.
5. If burning beams of noon conspire
To dart a pestilential fire;
God is their life, His wings are spread,
To shield them with a healthful shade.
– Psalm 91:1-7 (paraphrase)
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The text is from Isaac Watts (1674-1748). It was taken from his paraphrase of Psalm 91, in the book The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship.
The original subtitle to this paraphrase was: “Safety in public Diseases and Dangers,” which fits well to the content and practical use of it.
This Psalm has a special application to those who will live through the time of the Seven Last Plagues, mentioned in Revelation 16, since they will be unharmed by the various plagues and disasters that accompany the outpouring of God’s wrath.
Like the Hebrews in Egypt during the 10 plagues that fell at Moses’ command, the children of God will be safe because they are faithful and obedient to God’s commands.
The following paragraphs from The Great Controversy (p. 628-629) describe their experience during this time:
[The plagues] will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy.
In that day, multitudes will desire the shelter of God’s mercy which they have so long despised. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11, 12.
The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that “walketh righteously” is the promise: “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” Isaiah 33:15,16; 41:17.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor 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 shall they that fear Him “rejoice in the Lord” and joy in the God of their salvation. Habakkuk 3:17, 18.
“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.” “He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 121:5-7; 91:3-10.