Sunday, December 9, 2007

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 is a song that seems good to sing on the eve of battle. I can see and hear God's warriors singing this on the march that takes them toward the enemy's camp.

To me, the sonorous melody and insistent -- almost ponderous -- LM rhythm of Old 100th ("The Doxology") in combination with these words evokes a mental image of an advancing band of men not to be trifled with.

 1  The man who once has found abode
Within the secret place of God,
Shall with Almighty God abide,
And in his shadow safely hide.

2 I of the Lord my God will say,
He is my refuge and my stay;
To him for safety I will flee;
My God, in him my trust shall be.

3 He shall with all protecting care
Preserve thee from the fowler's snare;
When fearful plagues around prevail,
No fatal stroke shall thee assail.

4 His outspread pinions shall thee hide;
Beneath his wings shalt thou confide;
His faithfulness shall ever be
A shield and buckler unto thee.

5 No nightly terrors shall alarm,
No deadly shaft by day shall harm,
Nor pestilence that walks by night,
Nor plagues that waste in noon-day light.

6 A thousand at thy side shall lie,
At thy right hand ten thousand die
But thou unharmed, secure, shalt see
What wicked men's reward shall be.

7 Because thy trust is God alone,
Thy dwelling-place the Highest One,
No evil shall upon thee come,
Nor plague approach thy guarded home.

8 O'er thee his angels he commands,
To bear thee safely in their hands;
To keep thee in thy ways each one,
Nor dash thy foot against a stone.

9 Thy foot shall crush the adder's head,
On lions and on dragons tread;
And since on me he set his love,
I Will his constant Savior prove.

10 Because to him my name is dear,
I'll him exalt above all fear.
To me he'll lift his earnest cry,
And I will answer from on high.

11 I will be near when troubles press;
I'll save him, and with honors bless;
With life he satisfied shall be,
And my salvation he shall see.

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