He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!"
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
Psalm 91:1-4 (NASB)
Hymn: "Jesus Shall Reign" Isaac Watts
This will be short, as I'm coming down with something and it is deeply affecting my mental clarity. I'll just give an overview and some passages and encourage you to read them further.
The primary thrust of today's reading was about God marking and protecting those who are His. Psalm 91 is a general promise that God is with His people, to ensure that no evil lays hold of them. The motif of staying safe and secure while terror rages around the people of God is also found in Exodus 12, where Moses begins in verse 21 to direct the people concerning the first Passover, in which the people were marked as God's and calamity passed over them to afflict the Egyptians around them. While specific interpretation may vary, Revelation 7 begins with the account of 144,000 individuals marked as belonging to God. In Matthew 18, Jesus condemns anything that causes one of His people, especially a child, to stumble; even if the thing causing one to stumble is their own body. But this is all contrasted with the cry of Job in Job 3, when he curses the day of his birth and asks why he was even allowed to grow old if this was all that was in store for him.
Was God not protecting Job? Well, yes, He was. The most overt thing is that God places limitations on what Satan can do to Job in chapters 1 and 2, protecting Job from the full scope of Satan's trials. More to the point, though, none of these passages suggest that hard times and great trials will not come. Matthew 18 especially focuses on the fact that things will arise to be a stumbling block in the path of His people. But God will rightly judge all those things which cause trouble for His people, and will deliver His people ultimately out of the full scope of evil's reach. We will endure some pain in this life, but the greatest weapons evil has against us will never prosper. If we are His, He will see to our ultimate rescue.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation