159 – Psalm 91 9 – Part 2 -Guardian Angels?

There is this popular notion in our culture today that there are Guardian Angels. Though there are sure to be variations of opinions on how exactly they work, the popular thought is at birth every human child is assigned at least one Heavenly being as their unseen protector. This concept is popular in both Christian and Non-Christian circles. If one were to challenge the veracity of such a claim the defendant would immediately say, “the Bible says so”, even though they would be hard-pressed to provide chapter and verse! Well, allow me to kindly provide at least one of the scriptural references that seems to support this conclusion. Psalm 91:11-12.

Psalm 91:11-12

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways.

12 In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

 

Well, there you have it! Seems undeniable. Everyone gets a Guardian Angel! And who knows, maybe some people get more than one, after all, it does say “Angels” plural. Remember that old Bible Study rule context? Here’s the thing about context. If we observe it not only will it help us understand the text before us, but it will keep us centered on the message God intends to communicate. Without context, we can end up magnifying the pigment and never seeing the painting.

At the risk of upsetting the long-held belief that there are Guardian Angels for everyone, let me say that not only is Guardian Angels not the focus of verses eleven and twelve, but it is certainly not the point of Psalm 91. Why does that matter? Because in reading Psalm 91 if you come away thinking it’s about Guardian Angels, then you’ve missed the point of this beautiful Hebrew poem altogether.

Let’s consider the New Testament reference to this verse.

Matthew 4:5-6

5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 

6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

Compare the passage the devil is quoting from the Old Testament.

 

Psalm 91:9-11

9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10 No evil shall befall you,

Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways.

12 In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

 

In the fourth chapter of Matthew, the devil issues a challenge to Jesus. The challenge simply put is “if you are the Son of God”, or in modern-day vernacular, we might say, “prove you are the Son of God”.

If you compare these two passages you’ll notice that the devil quotes the verses in Psalm 91 out of order and he only partially quotes the passage. He leaves out a significant chunk which actually bends the meaning to his purposes. This alone should be a warning to us. We dare not handle the Word of God the way the devil does!

Notice again the challenge, “if you are the Son of God”. The devil is not saying to Jesus, “hey Jesus, you know how everyone has Guardian Angels? Well, they will protect you even if you throw yourself down..”. It seems to me the devil is recognizing Psalm 91 (at least this portion) as Messianic. It’s as if both the devil and Jesus understand that this portion of the Old Testament scriptures is about Jesus. The Angels are given charge over Jesus, not every human being.

Could my conclusion be wrong? Of course. I am only human. Do the work yourself. Compare scripture with scripture. Dig. Then dig some more. Keep things in context historically, culturally, literally. Compare Scripture with Scripture. Then interpret. I would encourage you that if after you do all the work and you reach a different conclusion than you’ve held your whole life let the Bible change your conclusions! Let the Word of God speak even if it is contrary to what you have always believed.

God is so, so good! He and He alone is worthy of all our Praise and Worship!

All Scripture quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print


1 Reply to "159 - Psalm 91 9 - Part 2 -Guardian Angels?"

  • Roger Streifel
    April 30, 2020 (11:09 pm)
    Reply

    Amen to that! Thank you for exposing such wonderful truth.


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