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The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

Discussion in 'General – Faiths' started by Principled, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    This is one of my favourite Psalms. I wasn’t sure whether to post this in the Judaism pages (as it’s from the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament) or the Christianity one where it was before it was deleted a couple of days ago, along with some ohers, but have decided to stick to this one.

    The 91st Psalm is one that has literally saved the lives of many people. Probably its best-known line is "He shall give His angels charge over thee". One day, I hope to get people’s accounts of protection and healing from it and compile them in a book – so if anyone there reading this can add, please post your experience!

    I once had a wonderful experience during a flight when I prayed with it and it has always stayed towards the top of my list of favourites. Thank you King David!

    I was working in the back galley one day, flying to Milan (which meant we had to fly over the Alps). The other two crew had left the galley with the duty free trolley and were right up in the front of quite a large aircraft, so I was alone. I had a call from the Cabin Service Director to say that other aircraft ahead had warned of severe turbulence and that I was to stow everything and strap myself in.

    As is usual, I turned immediately to God, divine Love and put us all in Her care. I thought of those everlasting arms of Love that were all around us. Once I had finished stowing all the equipment, I grabbed my Bible from my cabin bag and strapped in, opening it to the 91st Psalm which starts:

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide 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.
    Surely 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.


    and continues:

    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.
    For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.


    Well, I became engrossed in reading it and really praying with those words, knowing that they were true, that they had been proved countless times. A feeling of indescribable peace came over me and I knew that only harmony was present. I felt at one with God. I forgot all about the expected turbulence – there wasn’t any, it was like a mill pond. After a while, the seat belt signs went off and we returned to our duties.

    Later on, in the hotel in Milan, we met for a drink before going out to eat. The Captain kept saying "I can’t understand what happened during our flight" (how many times I’ve heard those words!) He explained that other aircraft, just minutes in front of us, in exactly the same airspace were experiencing such severe turbulence that the pilots were unable to read their instruments, yet it was like a mill-pond to us. Not even a ripple. We were near an enormous thunderstorm that the Captain said had the power of about 200 atomic bombs, and he just could not understand why we had not been touched. Where was that "power" when confronted by Truth (God)?

    I was thrilled when the March 31, 2003 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel featured the Psalm and now they've put one of the articles on line. There are three accounts of how people were helped through its protecting truths but the one I found most interesting is about half-way down, called

    When two parachutes failed to open
    "They shall bear thee up in their hands . . ."

    By Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks

    As I jumped, a gust of wind hit the aircraft, moved it through the air, and instead of being an aircraft's width from the guy on the other side of the plane, I was, in fact, about three or four feet from him, and just behind and above him.
    This is all military jumping, so it's "static l
     
  2. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    Mary Baker Eddy said of the 91st Psalm:

    "This Psalm contains more practical theological and pathological truth than any other collection of the same number of words in human language except the Sermon on the Mount of the great Galilean and hillside Teacher."

    Here is that wonderful collection of words taken from the King James Version of the Bible. In the next few days, I'll give you some other translations and spiritual interpretations which help make the meaning clearer. This psalm has it all - protection from terror, deadly epidemics (pestilence), destruction, evil, plagues, accidents and even death. This psalm tells us that in order to experience this protecting power, we just have to put ourselves in that secret place of safety - we do that by staying close to God, good, in our thinking and not giving in to fear and other negative emotions.

    "Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited."
    Mary Baker Eddy (Miscellany 210)

    PSALM 91

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide 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.

    Surely 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.

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

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

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

    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.

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

    With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  3. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

    I’ve looked up some other Bible translations and here are some other versions of this first line:

    Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High…

    He who dwelleth under the protection of the Most High shall lodge in the shelter of the God of heaven.

    He who lives in the secret shelter of the Most High lodges in the shadow of the Almighty.

    He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand)


    To dwell is to stay fixed and stable and rooted for a long while.

    So what is the Most High? To my understanding, everything is divine Mind (God) and we are either thinking out from (AS) the divine Mind, at one with reality, at one with the Source, or we are thinking of ourselves as separate from good, thinking of ourselves (and others) as limited, vulnerable mortals. What we believe in, we bring into our experience. So to me, the Most High is the most high thoughts, in other words, the consciousness of good only.

    Almighty? Well, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience – God, (Good). Other synonyms for Good are Love, Truth, Life, Spirit, Mind, Soul and Principle. There are many more – in the Q’uran there are 99 names for Allah.

    As I will discuss shortly on another thread, there are three types of prayer – of petition, of gratitude and of affirmation.

    Petition shows that you are seeing yourself as separate, incomplete and needy, therefore asking for what you perceive you do not yet have – quite frankly, this way of praying is not very effective and yet sadly, it’s the most common form.

    The prayer of gratitude is invaluable and the prayer of affirmation is the most effective.

    So, I’ll put this first verse into the prayer of affirmation:

    Because I dwell (put myself, stay fixed, keep my thoughts) in the secret place of the consciousness of good, therefore I am sheltered within the protection, the security, of everpresent, omnipotent Love.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  4. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

    Here’s another translation:

    "You are my sheltering haven: my God whom I trust."

    What is a lord? – a supreme ruler, one holding dominion over others. So, Life, Truth and Love (synonyms for God, good) are what hold dominion over us, not Bush, Blair, or terror; or evil, contagion, disease and death or fear, poverty, injustice etc.

    The US dollar has written on it "In God we trust" but we all need to ask ourselves what it is that we really trust in.

    Mary Baker Eddy encourages us to
    "Trust Truth, not error; and Truth will give you all that belongs to the rights of freedom. The Hebrew bard wrote, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Miscellaneous Writings 298)

    Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.

    A snare is a hunter’s trap. One translation has:
    "He it is will rescue thee from every treacherous lure."

    What lures? Tempting thoughts.

    and from the noisome pestilence.

    The noisome pestilence is very current – it is a deadly epidemic, also a wasting disease.

    I’ve been thinking about how fear is spreading the belief in avian ‘flu. The root of the word influenza is influence. That is what contagion is – it’s a mental suggestion, accepted into our thought and objectified on the body.

    Some words on contagion from Mary Baker Eddy:

    "We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have smallpox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood, we shall be more careful of our mental conditions, and we shall avoid loquacious tattling about disease, as we would avoid advocating crime. Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error's advocate." (Science & Health 153)

    Here’s a thoughtful article on this subject:

    You are exempt from the flu
    http://tinyurl.com/dsulz

    To continue with Psalm 91:

    He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:

    Here’s another translation:

    He will safeguard you with His strength, and you will find shelter within His protecting power.

    We could also think of this as "Love covers us with Its omnipresence, and under Spirit’s omnipotence shall we trust."

    His truth shall be thy shield and buckler:

    Here’s another translation:

    "His truth will encompass thee with armour"

    My translation: "Truth’s omnipotence is our defence"

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  5. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    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.
    King James Version.

    Some other translations:

    You will not need to be afraid of any nocturnal terror
    nor of any danger that is abroad in daylight.

    You need not fear the plague that lurks in the darkness
    nor the epidemic that devastates at midday


    Those words can be translated to mean that though thousands may die in an epidemic, with the understanding of our immunity through Truth and therefore the conquering of fear (which is an element of all dis-ease) we shall be untouched.

    God's law is in three words, "I am All;" and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law. (No and Yes p. 30 by Mary Baker Eddy)

    This was proved again and again in the pandemic of 1918 called the Spanish Flu. It swept through the world just after WWI (another time when people’s thoughts were filled with hatred, anger and despair) and over 30 million people died. At this moment of time, the medical are making predictions and filling thought with fear of another pandemic. We are told that the world is "overdue one" – why?

    But we are NOT helpless victims. Trusting in God’s All-ness (therefore the nothing-ness of anything unlike goodness and harmony), countless numbers brought healing right in the middle of this virulent epidemic and were able to pass through untouched. I was reading for instance of a troop ship where one of the men fell ill. The Christian Science Chaplain on board prayed, affirming that God is the only power and God is ALL therefore, disease has no power, no history, no intelligence, and not only did that man recover, but no-one else went down (which was considered a miracle.)

    I have been doing some research in the periodicals of 1919, reading articles and testimonies of healing connected with the Spanish Flu pandemic and there are so many reports in newspapers at the time of Christian Scientists being free from the flu, helping out in hospitals as there were not enough staff, being quarantined with men suffering from it, but not being touched and here for example, are the words of a health official, Dr. W. C. Witty in Des Moines, Iowa, writing in one of the city’s newspapers:

    That verse from Psalm 91 has also been proved in another way – when men were literally being fired at, not with arrows, but bullets. Again, I have read so many accounts of troops under attack, where even by just one man putting the whole company in that "sacred place" mentally, the ground was pitted in a circle all around them, but not a scratch on any of them. How we think and believe makes all the difference.

    Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. (Science & Health 261)

    Here are a couple of accounts from WWI:

     
  6. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    Sorry that I still haven't shared inspiration about the final verses, but meanwhle, here's a story of protection I found today on www.spirituality.com that mentions the 91st Psalm.

    Finding safety anywhere

    http://tinyurl.com/dzstl

    There's also this quote from MBE:

    Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, discussed this mental journey. She wrote, “The ‘secret place,’ whereof David sang, is unquestionably man’s spiritual state in God’s own image and likeness, even the inner sanctuary of divine Science, in which mortals do not enter without a struggle or sharp experience, and in which they put off the human for the divine.”

    The term Science refers to the spiritual laws of the universe, including man. This is a definition from the Glossary at the back of her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

    Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony.

    Love and peace.

    Judy
     
  7. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Banned

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    Beautiful Judy thank you for sharing.

    being love

    Kim xx
     
  8. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    RE: The Psalm of Protection - the 91st

    I thought it was time to get back to this Psalm!

    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.

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

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


    We’ve covered the plague bit above, but here we are at probably the best known and loved words from this beautiful and powerful Psalm:

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

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


    The parachute experience I posted at the beginning of this thread certainly brought out that protection which belongs to us, always, but we need to realise that the top line on this page is part of the equation:" Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee……….

    We have to consciously put ourselves under that care and protection. Know that we are one with God, one with Love. Love fills all space and we are incuded in that Love. We are guided and protected by Love. In Psalm 20 are these words:

    Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

    The "name of the Lord" means the nature of God - in Hebrew, "name" was another word for the qualities, the nature of a person (or God) I understand God to be infinite, divine Life, Truth, Love, Spirit Soul, Mind and Principle. If we think of the qualities that are expressed by each of those aspects of God and we identify ourselves with them, (for after all, we are one with God, one as divine Mind's idea, as the expression of God's being), then we can see, that we have all the life and living of Life, God. God, cannot be destroyed, therefore, neither can Life. Life's reflection eternally expresses vitality, freshness, continuity, renewal etc - try it with all the synonyms.

    This wonderful experience I found on www.spirituality.com exactly illustrates how, when our thinking is close to God, we will find protection:

    My cycle hit an oil slick—and I felt God's care
    http://tinyurl.com/mold8

    I was moving from the center to the inside lane when I hit a small oil slick. I immediately lost control of the bike, which skidded to the right, across three lanes of traffic. I was ejected from the bike and flew through the air.

    Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. But throughout the experience, I had no fear. I felt the tangible presence of good. I felt the presence of God so deeply that I felt surrounded by Him.

    I bounced three times on my helmeted head, my legs straight up in the air….


    Sorry folks, but you’ll have to read the article to find out what happened!

    Actually, I looked up Psalm 20 in the Message Bible and it starts off this way:

    GOD answer you on the day you crash, The name God--of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,...

    It’s worth reading it all – I’s not a long Psalm, but as usual, it comes across in a very fresh way!

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm 20 ;&version=65;

    Another re-cap:

    Because I live (put myself, keep my thoughts) in the secret place of the consciousness of good, therefore I am sheltered within the protection, the security, of everpresent, omnipotent Love.

    Because I know and understand that Life, Truth and Love are what hold dominion over my life and I trust Truth’s omnipotence for my defence, therefore I have immunity over every fear-filled suggestion of danger or disease. Because I dwell in the secret place (the consciousness of good) no suggestions of harm can come near me or touch me.



    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  9. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone. Because of the pandemic of fear that has gripped the world today, I've decided to "resurrect" this thread too.

    I went quite deeply into the 91st Psalm and don't have the time to do it all again. However, as with the 'flu thread, many of the links no longer work, as spirituality.com is now JSH-online
    I'll try and re-post the links later but there are several helpful articles on the JSH website from Economic security, to immunity to overcoming fear.

    Here's one active link - it's an audio, an hour long:

    How does prayer protect against influenza or bird flu?

    With love and peace,

    Judy
     
  10. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    A kind friend went through all the links on this thread that no longer work - apparently the one I shared above doesn't work either. So here they all are together:

    How does prayer protect against influenza or bird flu?

    Prayer in mid-air
    (This is a later version of the article "When two parachutes failed to open.)

    You are exempt from the flu

    Finding safety anywhere

    My cycle hit an oil slick — and I felt God's care

    The 91st Psalm really is such a wonderful prayer in times of fear and danger. Here's an article I've just found which mentions praying with the 91st Psalm and it's clear and simple and helpful (I think!) Here are excerpts from the beginning and end of the article:

    When flu strikes, most people feel that there isn't much to be done except to stay in bed and ride out the barrage of symptoms. People spend vast sums each year trying to reduce the discomfort, but medicine offers no cure for this periodic scourge.
    The fact is, we aren't helpless victims of disease...


    ...Within minutes the symptoms disappeared, and I was completely well. What's more, I never again suffered from influenza and have been totally free of it the last twenty years, despite repeated exposure to it....

    Sickness isn't inevitable

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
    #10 Principled, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020

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