The traditional Jewish thought is that Moses wrote Psalm 91

Moses wrote this during the 40 years of wilderness wandering. He experienced many dangers while leading over a million people through a hot desert without the protection of a large army or a permanent walled dwelling. During those years, Israel did see God’s punishment in the death of thousands. “A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand” (verse 7)

The Psalm list various dangers (fowler, pestilence, plague, terror, arrow, lion, adder etc.) and God’s protecting care. “He shall give His angels charge over you.” (verse 11)

Moses faced literal dangers, but for the Christian, there is a deeper lesson. Referring to the forty years the Apostle Paul says, “these things were our examples.” (1 Corinthians 10:6)  They would be an example of what to do and what not to do. We apply the psalm symbolically to the Christian journey. A Christian is certainly a “stranger and pilgrim” (1 Peter 2:11) traveling towards the heavenly home.

Verse 13 cites two dangers – a lion and an adder. Paul identifies Satan as a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8) In the Garden of Eden, Satan appeared as a serpent, so these are fitting symbols. Satan is most interested in destroying our faith and relationship with God.  The various Christian dangers include unbiblical teachings, morals, values, fears, attitudes, and methods.

Psalm 91 begins by listing protections for the Christian, but only on certain conditions. Help would be for those who “abide in the secret place of the most High.” (Verse one) Moses was instrumental in the building of the Tabernacle. He knew God’s secret place was the Most Holy – God’s presence. It is here that we can dwell in our minds, in “heavenly places.” (Ephesians 2:6)

God, like a mother hen, tenderly and lovingly protects and shelters His children under His feathers. “He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shall you trust.” (verse 4) In verse 14, God says, “Because he has set his love upon me therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high [in the resurrection] because he has known my name.” “With long life [everlasting] life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (verse 16)

Verse 10 may be of special interest. “No evil will befall you.”  Didn’t Jesus and the Apostles have bad experiences?  Is it realistic to think Christians will have no evil?  The greatest evil that can happen to a Christian is to lose their faith and lose their relationship to God. Paul in Romans 8:35-39 mentions many evils but to the mature Christian none of these can separate us from God

Finally, we need to study God’s word. “His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (verse 4). We always want to be close to God and to have His viewpoint and care.

See also the free PDF about how God answers our prayers for help: "How God Answers Prayer"