Speaker(s): Mat Gehret, Josh Johnson
6:30 PM on 3/20/2022
Josh Johnson –
Hello, everybody. I recently bought a bicycle and I was going to – yeah. Because the gas prices are so
high. I was going to ride it to church tonight but it’s the wrong religion! I don’t want to look like
a Mormon! So, let’s look at the notes here.
Here’s a question I’ll ask you guys. When love is revealed to us from God, what does it look like?
What is the love of God supposed to look like? We’ll turn in the Scriptures to Proverbs 15:17.
Here’s love in the house and it’s just I have this mental picture in my mind that it’s just simply a
plate of vegetables on a table with two chairs around it in a small little house but there’s love
there. There’s no dramatic display. There’s nothing super impressive that you would find in this
house. It’s just God is there and love is there. Love is present in the house.
We’ll look at Isaiah 53:2 to continue this thought. It says talking about Christ. So, if we are in
this house with the vegetables on the table and we’re looking for God, how do we find him?
How do we see the love of God? And it’s in this that we see God when we look at Christ, and
Christ is a root out of parched ground. He has no stately form or majesty. But still in that house,
God is present somehow. Where are all the angels? Where’s all the grandeur that we imagine,
and yet love is there and God is there because it’s Christ. Christ is God.
I was walking around the parking lot yesterday and I saw this little four-leaf clover poking up
out of the parking lot. It’s like the root out of dry ground. You could easily step over it. You
wouldn’t even notice it’s there. That was Christ on earth. He was a man, but he had no – it
wasn’t like you could recognize him. You know the Catholic pictures of Christ with the halo
around his head and he’s like walking around. That’s not what he looked like. He was a man just
like us. Nothing super special about him. He simply looked like a Jewish man. He could blend
into the crowd. He blended in so much that Judas had to identify him with a kiss. He’s just a
Jewish guy walking around. He’s the root out of parched ground.
To answer the first question that I asked, what does God’s love revealed look like? It looks like
Christ in Jn. 20:26 when he’s talking to Thomas. This is what the love of God looks like towards
us. Here they are in the house with the vegetables on the table just to go back to the first verse,
and Christ goes through the walls and he talks to Thomas. He says, reach here with your finger
and see my hands and reach here and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving but be
believing. This is my edification towards you guys would be not to think that we have to bring
something before God. If you guys just have a plate of vegetables at your house, it’s okay. Love
can be there and God can be in your house. We rejoice in the foolishness of the cross in this
way. So, thank you guys for your time. We’ll pray for the offering.
P. Mat Gehret – Good evening, everyone. I don’t have any funny jokes to start out to give you,
but that was a good one. He’s like half way there with the way he’s dressed, right? Psalm 91 is
going to be our text tonight. We’ll spend most of our time right there and hopefully get through
the whole thing. Let’s go ahead and pray as you turn to Psalm 91. (Prayer).
Psalm 91, I’m going to attempt to go verse by verse here, so we’ll see how that goes. Vs. 1. Some
key words in this verse that we could dive into a little bit – it says he that dwells in the secret
place of the most High. The word “dwell” can have many definitions in the Hebrew. One thing
when you start to study the Bible you will see you start to look at words in their original
languages and you see holy cow! Our language doesn’t come anywhere close to what they are
trying to say half the time.
So, when we see the psalmist here, we don’t know who the psalmist
is. Some debate that it could be Moses. Moses definitely wrote Psalm 90. We’re not sure about
Psalm 91. Some people think it could be David based on some of the things that were said in it.
But when we see the author write the word “dwell” in here, you have a couple things you could
The person who sits, sits in the secret place. The person who remains in the secret place. The
person who makes their abode, their dwelling place, their living place in the secret place of the
most High. If you want an example of this in terms of a visual, you can turn to Luke 10 at the
end of the chapter and you’ll see the story about Jesus coming to Mary and Martha, and you
have Mary doing the needful thing, resting, sitting, and making her home at the feet of Jesus
Christ. That’s kind of what we are going for here. He that dwells, he that rests in the secret
place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The secret place is the
hiding place. It is the covering so the person who is sitting, resting, making their home under
the protection, under the covering, under the guidance of the most High will abide under the
shadow of the Almighty.
This person – interesting word for “abide” – this person trusts. This person trusts in the shadow
of the Almighty, the protection of God. Okay. That’s verse 1. Let’s read it again with all of these
thoughts in our mind now. All of these different ideas that can come with this verse. He that
makes his abode in the protective covering of the most High shall trust in that covering. If you
are trusting in that covering, what are you doing in that covering, Psalm 37:7. You’re resting in the
Lord. Matthew 11:18-20, you come unto Christ and he gives you rest. You don’t want to go from that.
You don’t want to leave that place. You’re dwelling. You’re making your home. You’re setting
up pillows all comfortably. You’re getting ready to just lounge at Christ’s feet and be
overwhelmed with his love, his presence, his protection.
Now the psalmist switches gears in the second verse. He says and I want all of you to say this in
a second – but he says okay based on this truth, this is what I have to say. This is how I want to
respond. Vs. 2. Could you guys say that back to me? The psalmist hears the truth of verse 1,
even though he’s the one writing it down. He hears the truth and he has to respond and he
writes it in the first person. He says on the count of three – one, two, three. Vs. 2. Does the
psalmist say my refuge is in idols? Does the psalmist say my refuge is in my own goodness, my
own generosity, my own good heartedness, good nature-ness or whatever you want to think
about? Did he say it is in any of those things? No, he says it’s in my refuge and my fortress. He is
my refuge and my fortress, not myself, not lies, no idols.
If you turn to Psalm 115 very quickly, you get a great picture of idols. Psalm 115:4-6. They must have
been affected by covid or something! Vs. 7-8. But who makes us? God makes us. Who does he
make us to be like? Himself. We are made in the image and likeness of God in Ge. 1:26. After
his image, after his likeness means we have his qualities. We have his personality. We have
different gifts according to how he gives us to reflect who he is.
But when we go and make our own little idols, we go and make our own little things we trust in.
We try to make them like us, but we are just copying actually the one who made us to begin
with. And ultimately we are reverting back to him when we realize this thing has a mouth but it
doesn’t say anything. I can talk to it all day but it doesn’t hear a word that I’m saying. It has
nothing good to give me. No wisdom to give me. It can’t even speak. He is my refuge. Are lies a
refuge? Isaiah 28. The fool has said in his heart that there is no God in Psalm 14:1. It’s a refuge
of lies. Isaiah 28:14-15. How many people are like this today?
They just believe somehow that they are going to be spared in some way from death, from destruction, from hell, from consequence, from sin in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. And they make this whole
system up for themselves. It’s like their own idol. It’s this own system they make for themselves and they say, no. Nothing will come near to us. Nothing will happen. But what happens when
God moves in vs. 16-18? We have a totally different promise here in Psalm 91 as we continue to
Completely different promise than the person who makes their refuge lies. Than the person
who just believes in the false security of their own merit, their own goodness, their own – plug
in whatever you want right there. Psalm 91:3, the fowler here could be a picture of the devil. The
fowler, they make reference to demons in the New Testament as birds who make their homes
on the branches of the righteous. The fowler, the one setting the trap, the one setting the trap
for the birds, wanting more to be with him in hell, wanting more to be demonically charged. It
could be the devil here. So, what is the snare of the devil? Surely your refuge, God, will deliver
you from this snare. What are some snares of the devil? In Zechariah 3:1, he stands right next to the
high priest, Joshua, and it says in vs. 1 that he resists him. In Revelations 12:9, it says that he’s the
accuser of the brethren day and night. Day and night.
The snares of the devil. Resistance,
accusation, condemnation, the father of all lies, John. 8:44. What else? What else? Fear. Fear.
Proverbs 29:25, the fear of man is a snare. Who incites fear into our lives? It’s the fowler. It’s the
devil. Temptation, Proverbs 7:6 to end of the chapter. Who is the one that gets behind that? The
devil charges that. What does God do? It says surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the
I looked at this word “surely” and I was so excited when I went to go study it, and I found out
it’s just a conjunctive word. It just takes you from one thought to the next. I was thinking, oh,
this is going to be about God and his steadfast love and his ability to deliver us from all things,
but it’s really just saying because God is your refuge, the fowler has no place in your life or
ability to set a snare for you. Still amazing. Still amazing. Vs. 2-4. You can think of a mother hen
covering her young.
Vs. 4. Another very interesting use of the word “truth” here in vs. 4, it actually means God’s
steadfastness, his firmness, his unchanging, James 1:17, his non-variableness, not having any
shadow of turning. Okay. His truth, the fact that God doesn’t change, the fact that he stays your
refuge once you make him your refuge, will secure you. He will be your shield and buckler.
Then look at all these benefits. To the person who has the refuge of lies, the refuge comes
tumbling down. But to the person who has God as his refuge, look at all these benefits in vs. 5-
7. With God as your covering, your faithful, non-changing, never stopping, never quitting, never
giving up on you, covering protecting you. Nothing can touch you. Can you think of some things
that we see here? Vs. 5. Naturally speaking, robbers, thieves, depending on where you live in
the country natural disasters storms. Anything. Things like that.
“Nor for the arrow that flies by day.” The common random occurrences of destruction that sin
allows for this world to have doesn’t come near us, doesn’t come near us. The pestilence that
walks in darkness – think of the Egyptians in Exodus. If you’ve ever seen the Ten
Commandments or maybe more recently the Prince of Egypt that creepy, really cheesy looking
visual effect but still creepy nonetheless. That green pestilence, the angel of death that comes
through and takes out all the first born.
Vs. 6. If you’ve ever heard of the word “entropy” you’d understand that things are just falling
apart day by day, day by day. We look at the world and we can see it. Vs. 7. Why doesn’t fear
consume us with all of these things that are against us? Why doesn’t fear consume us? 2 Timothy
1:7. In 1 John. 4:18 it says his perfect love casts out fear. The fear is what has the torment. The
snare of the devil would have you shaking in your boots, freaking out about these things in vs.
5-7 all on your own. But because you have God as your refuge, his perfect love, his presence,
his overwhelming goodness and justice and righteousness, just is there for you to take all of
that away. His perfect love casts out the fear.
When you read it shall not come near you in vs. 7, none of those things will come near you. I
can’t help but think of the fact that we’ve been gifted with the Holy Spirit in our lives. Why does
that, how does that connect? How does that make sense? I’m not sure if it really does but let’s
look at it for a second anyway.
You have been given power and authority when you made God your refuge. When you said I
believe in Jesus Christ, you turned away from your sins and you looked to him for your
salvation, for your covering. What happened? You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30. You were sealed by the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus say to the disciples at
the end of Mark 16? He says I’m going to give you power to go out and to anyone who believes,
they will have power to overcome. If they are bitten by something poisonous, if they drink
something poisonous, it will not harm them because they have my power. They have the power
of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 again to his disciples, why do none of these things touch us? Why
do none of these things touch us?
Because you are protected by the Holy Spirit. Vs. 8. Romans 8:10-11, we got to turn there. You have to really think about this verse. Really think about what these verses are saying before you dismiss the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. Romans 8:10- 11, You have power by the Holy Spirit.
When Paul went to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, he said I didn’t come to you only preaching
in word. I came preaching in power and the Holy Spirit, and that Holy Spirit that God gifted to
me, he gifts to every single person who believes. We take that in and we go back to Psalms 91 if I
can flip there in a quick enough manner. And all of these things – the terror by night, the arrow
that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness, the destruction that wastes at noon day,
people falling at our left and our right and ten thousand people – none of that comes near you.
None of it comes near you. You were sealed unto the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit of
Vs. 8-9, the psalmist is making it personal again. Vs. 10. In Revelation 20, we’re given a very
distinct picture of the White Throne judgment, the last couple verses, 10-15. John says I
watched and I saw those who were in the book of the dead given unto hell. I watched and I saw
the devil being cast into hell, but at no point does John say that he was going anywhere near
that place. Revelations 20:11-12, this hit me so different today. This hit me so different today when I
read this. How were the unrighteous judged? According to their works. According to their
works. How are the righteous judged? Is it works? No, what is it? Grace. It’s according to grace.
If we are going to base our entire walk with God on our works, we are going to be judged
according to our works and we probably haven’t met God the way that we need to. But if you
have received grace – let’s see.
Ephesians 2:8-9, I think it has both those words in there. Back to Revelations 20:12-15, what does it say to those who make God their refuge in Psalm 91? This is amazing. This is beautiful. I don’t understand it but I’m so grateful for it. Vs. 8-9, 11-13. I don’t know if that resonates with you but the fact that this psalmist is telling you that angels watch
over my everyday life is kind of a comfort, kind of a beautiful thing. This is something that the
devil tempted Christ with in the wilderness. He said cast yourself down from the pinnacle of the
temple because doesn’t your word say that angels will come and catch you before your foot
touches a rock? He tempts Christ with that. He’s always trying to lay the snare. Vs. 13. Go way
back to Ge. 3:15 and what does it say about our seed and the devil’s seed but we will trample the devil’s seed under our foot. We will bruise his head; he will only bruise our heel.
But the word for “bruise” in the Hebrew is actually crush. We will crush the devil’s head. The young lion
– maybe that’s the antichrist. The dragon, the devil, Revelation 12, he’s listed as the dragon.
Now this part the psalmist transitions again. Hopefully, I can wrap it up with by finishing the
psalm. I have something I think needs to be said here these last couple verses. He’s speaking
again like he was in vs. 2, like he did for a moment in vs. 9. He’s speaking again. He’s saying
because he – speaking about God – because God has set his love upon me, therefore I will
deliver him. That word deliver, it looks a little funny. Whenever you read the whole psalm and
you get to this last part, you’re a little confused about what’s going on. You’re not sure who’s
speaking and what the point is and what’s being said.
He said because God has set his love upon me, like God’s love has motivated me to deliver him,
to proclaim him, to say his name out loud, to – what does it say in Romans 10:9-10? To believe in
your heart but to also confess the Lord Jesus Christ. I will set him on high, not my idols, not my
refuge of lies, but I will set God the one who I dwell in the secret place under his shadow – I will
set him on high because he has known my name. God knows your name in heaven greater than
any other person on this planet will. It says in the book of Revelation that you have a stone that
he writes a brand new name only you and him will ever get to read. He knows your name. vs.
Now, verse 15 that first half, think about that for a second and we’ll end here. Vs. 15. I will be
with God in trouble. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t it be that God is with us
when we are in trouble? It says I will be with him in trouble. What does that mean? We’re
talking about the secret place of the most High. We’re talking about where you choose to dwell
on a daily basis. Now is ever single day that we have on earth, is it like a fun time? Is it? Is there
lots of good things happening in life? Yes, of course. But there are also lots of trouble
sometimes, lots of times when things don’t go your way and you have no idea what’s going on.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul explains it like this. Vs. 8-9.
Why? Because he that dwells in the secret place of the most High, shall abide, shall trust in God’s protection under the shadow of the Almighty. It doesn’t matter what trouble comes upon you. John. 16:33 says in the world you will have trouble. You will have tribulation, but fear not. I have overcome the world. If your heart is condemning
you, 1 John. 3, God is greater than your heart.
Whatever trouble you have facing you, God has already overcome it, and all he asks for any of
us to do is to dwell, make our abode, make our home, take a seat, rest in the Lord, trust in him.
Prov. 3:5, one of the most overquoted Bible verses of all time next to John. 3:16. If it were up to
your own understanding and you were in trouble, you would collapse. You would fall away, but
in his presence – we just sang the song tonight. In his presence, we can be broken. We can be
undone. We can be at the end of ourselves and he’s accepting and protecting and loving and
caring for us. Do you want that in your life? Man, I want that in my life. I want a God who does that. I want a God who doesn’t reject me. I want a God in Psalm 51:16-17 who when you have a
contrite heart, he doesn’t turn you away. He doesn’t despise you. Psalm 34:18 he will not send you
the other way.
He will welcome you in because you have chosen to dwell in the secret place of
the most High and abide, abide, trust, stay, remain, believe, have faith in the protection, the
shadow of the Almighty.
Now, we read that troubling passage in Revelation 20. We read that troubling passage, and that’s a
very stark reality for many people in the world. But we have within us the love of God who
compels us to share how he has taken us from that place and put us in a different book, in the
Lamb’s book of life. He has written our name down in a place that it will never be taken away. It
will never be disannulled. It will never be swept away by hailstorms or storms or anything that
comes at us. It will remain forever. “Your word is forever settled in heaven, O God” in Psalm 119.
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