If you were to read this Psalm in total, you will find a God who protects from physical danger, from damage in warfare, from plague and pestilence. This is a God who will protect you from all harm at all times because you are His child.
That sounds awesome!
This is also he Psalm the devil quotes to Jesus in an effort to tempt Him to jump off the Temple’s pinnacle. He quotes this Psalm saying that God will protect Him from dashing his foot against a stone. Jesus’ response is simple. Dt 6:16 “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Don’t try it.
This is the same Son of God who was crucified, after being scourged mercilessly, on a Roman cross and then died. Surely, if anyone deserved the protection promised by this Psalm, wasn’t it Jesus?
Yet even reminded of this Psalm, Jesus refuses to play into the Devil’s hand. If I speculate, I’m sure Jesus would have been just fine had He cast Himself from that height, but that wasn’t His purpose, showing His raw power like that to get followers. That’s not how you build God’s church.
He also may have died, an overly common death, with no meaning. It would not have accomplished the later purpose of salvation through His blood. He couldn’t have risen with the same aimlessness, because this was giving in to temptation. That wouldn’t work either.
All of that to say that Jesu’s response ought to be our response. If you are tempted to tempt fate as it were and cast yourself upon the promises of this Psalm and demand that God protect as He promised, Jesus’ words come back to us. “Don’t test Him.”
I would be interested in your thoughts below.