Sometimes called the “Soldiers Psalm”
or the Service Man’s Prayer
The folklore around this Psalm and military personnel is difficult to verify and very time consuming to authenticate.
Yet I have spoke to commanders and troops that have told me they had a copy of Psalms or at least Psalm ninety one in their sea bag or rucksak while serving in the military.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge-- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
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Armistice Day; Versailles, France
11th .Month, 11th. Day, 11th. Hour, 1918
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
Sometimes referred to as the "Soldiers Psalm"
Verse 16 “Long life and safety”
This is likely penned by David; "Israels’ Mighty Warrior" and now Israel's King.
I pose a thought, we know David fought many battles, winning most. surely this means David as a Soldier then as King makes Him a "war veteran"
May we thus apply verse sixteen to military Veterans as well as soldiers?
As a US Navy combat veteran, from Nov. 2th. thru the 7th. were very intense days off the coast of Vietnam, Tonkin Gulf when our ship was in continious contact with N. Vietnamese shore batteries. Sometimes 10 to 15 minutes can be the longest hours of intensity! Followed by periods of hyper vigilance, any movement, any sound or any sight of something in the air could be life threatening.
I found in our gun mount crew of 6 divers sailors after each encounter was followed by an immediate spiritual gratefulness. (heard the saying “no athists in foxwholes”)
Back to our scripture and David as a veteran. He says in Vrs. 5 & 6 with trust in God we need not fear the things that go bump in the night or even the destruction we see in the light of day. I make note also here that the writer says, “nor the arrow that flies by day.” Another possible reference to the soldier. And to include here “His” “Shield and Buckler.”
Vrs. 7 says (paraphrased) though we see our comrades fall by the thousands and even more die to our otherside when we live through it all. It is because of God, one's personal faith and trust in God; that no evil or plague overcome us. Vrs. 10 “befall thee.” Bible expositor Matthew Henry says it this way: “the care of Divine Providence.”
Vrs. 11 Uses guardian Angel terms to bolster our Divine protection.
Jumping to Vrs. 15 “I will deliver him and honor him” sounds like this would easily apply to us veterans as well as all who “dwell in the secret place of the Most High” and “rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Thus putting all of us that know we are not the Heros, for whatever the reason we lived through those “intense” times thus may be forever “vigilant” knowing (vrs.16) this life we live is to Honor those Heroes that “gave their all !”
R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-14 All rights reserved.