2 Next, the one speaks of his own trust in God. It is this personal testimony that gives the words that follow trustworthiness. He speaks from a position of deep personal faith. The theme is the same as v. 1: God protects. This first person speech also provides a frame for vv. 3–8 and divides this section into two messages.
the response (v. 2)
The psalmist determines that he will seek this wonderful blessing. He will make the Lord his refuge and fortress. He will trust in him.
Ver. 2. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.—The soul’s experience of God:—
- A soul’s experience of God. The humblest child of God has as great a weapon forged for his defence of spiritual truths as has the most learned: they each have an experience of God, and that is a weapon which can never be blunted by any intellectual parrying.
- The wealth of such a soul-experience of God.
- He is my refuge—from trouble, sorrow, despair.
- He is my fortress. The forces arrayed against the soul are not merely powers which need to be coerced if they are to yield their best, but some of the forces are in antagonistic opposition to the soul. At such times as these, what a fortress was to the people of ancient days—a place of secure defence—so God was to the psalmist.
- He is my God. This is an advance upon the other two utterances. It is a grand thing to be able to say of any one, “He is my refuge.” It is a better thing to be able to say, “He is my fortress, my protector.” But it is the acme of happy experience to say, “He is my friend, my companion, my confidant.”
III. The result of his soul-experience of God. “In Him will I trust!” Trust, or faith in God, is the experiment of the soul in spiritual things, and the only way to a fuller knowledge and a more blessed experience. No longer need the scientist sneer at the faith, the experiment of the Christian, for the man who trusts God in all the circumstances of life is as rational, and proceeds from as rational a basis, as the scientist who, starting from the known, goes on by experiment to discover the unknown. Let your experience of God, of the Christ, of the Holy Spirit, never alter, except to be enlarged, purified, and intensified. This is the will of God concerning you. What are you to do in order to obtain that better experience? Why, this: you must experiment with God—“In Him will I trust”—along the lines He shall reveal. (W. A. Todd.)
My God.—My God:—
To try and preach from this text is like trying to carry honey in your hands. Ere you can reach your friends to whom you would give it, you will find that a large part of it has oozed out between your fingers: or that you failed to convey to others what was so delicious to yourself. My text has been to my own heart sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Have you been in the Alps, or in some other region where the scenery is peculiarly impressive, and where you have witnessed some transcendently beautiful and sublime view, have you tried to tell your friends what you have seen? How utterly you have failed, your words are all inadequate to give them any satisfactory idea of the glorious spectacle you have seen. Now, the unspeakable beauty of these two words is such that I feel I cannot fully convey it to you. I have seen in these two words such a wonderful display of the Lord’s condescension, of His favour to His chosen, and of the intense delight which springs therefrom, that I feel all incompetent to set it forth to you. However, may God the Holy Spirit give His help, and our meditation shall be sweet. Think—
- Of these two words together. Now, to get at them, let us think of some of the special occasions in which God’s children have used them and have said, “My God.”
- This is the young convert’s early confession. See Ruth’s word to Naomi—“thy God, my God.”
- The statement of the Christian belief. There is one creed and confession of faith. See Thomas—“My Lord and my God.”
- They have often been used to declare the determination of the believer when he has been surrounded by opponents and persecutors. See old Micaiah when the false priests were around him. “As the Lord my God liveth.”
- They express the secret vow of the believer as he consecrates himself to the Most High. See Jacob at Bethel—“then shall the Lord be my God.”
- They have been the deepest possible comfort to children of God in times of terrible trouble. See our Lord upon the cross, when all the waves and billows of judgment were going over His soul—“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
- And in times of great deliverance. Hear Miriam’s song—“He is my God and I will exalt Him.” Daniel to Darius—“My God hath sent His angel,” etc. May these words be the frequent language of our lips.
- The first word, “my.” “My God.” How can I call God mine? How can I call that mine which I cannot even conceive? If my thoughts cannot compass it, my heart shall possess it. Love possesses what reason cannot even look upon. But this daring appropriation means—
- That I own God to be my God.
- That I do personally recognize him. He is not a god in cloudland to us; He is intensely real and true.
- That we have come into personal relations with Him, and—
- That we have appropriated Him to ourselves.
III. The last word, “God”—what does it mean? But that is more than I can answer. There is no defining the Incomprehensible One. Yet we can call Him “My God.” But reflect upon His being near as to—
- His nature, His person, His essence.
- His attributes.
- In what He has done I do not know, but I seem to myself to have talked away and to have missed my aim and object altogether, compared with what I have felt in meditating in private upon these dear and blessed words, “My God.” It is a deep well, but the water is cool and sweet if you can draw it up. “My God”—there is more than satisfaction in the words. If you have no money, never mind; you are rich if you can say, “My God.” If the husband is buried, if the children have gone home to heaven, do not despair, thy Maker is thy husband, if you can cry, “My God.” If your friends have forsaken you, if the unkindnesses of men drive you to say, “My God,” you will be a gainer by them. Anything which weans from earth and leads to heaven is good. I saw yesterday a park in which they were felling all the trees, and yet there were the poor crows building on elms that were marked to be cut down. I thought to myself, “You foolish birds to be building your nests there, for the woodman’s axe is ringing all around, and the tall elms are tumbling to the ground.” We are all apt to build our nests in trees that will be cut down. We get to love the creature, and to say, “My this,” and “My that,” and from this weakness our sharpest sorrows arise. If you build nowhere but on the tree of life, which can never be felled, your happiness will be eternal. For this you must be able to say, “My God.” (C. H Spurgeon.)
2. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress.” To take up a general truth and make it our own by personal faith is the highest wisdom. It is but poor comfort to say ‘the Lord is a refuge,’ but to say he is my refuge, is the essence of consolation. Those who believe should also speak—“I will say,” for such bold avowals honour God and lead others to seek the same confidence. Men are apt enough to proclaim their doubts, and even to boast of them, indeed there is a party nowadays of the most audacious pretenders to culture and thought, who glory in casting suspicion upon everything; hence it becomes the duty of all true believers to speak out and testify with calm courage to their own well-grounded reliance upon their God. Let others say what they will, be it ours to say of the Lord, “he is our refuge.” But what we say we must prove by our actions, we must fly to the Lord for shelter, and not to an arm of flesh. The bird flies away to the thicket, and the fox hastens to its hole, every creature uses its refuge in the hour of danger, and even so in all peril or fear of peril let us flee unto Jehovah, the Eternal Protector of his own. Let us, when we are secure in the Lord, rejoice that our position is unassailable, for he is our fortress as well as our refuge. No moat, portcullis, drawbridge, wall, battlement and donjon, could make us so secure as we are when the attributes of the Lord of Hosts environ us around. Behold this day the Lord is to us instead of walls and bulwarks! Our ramparts defy the leaguered hosts of hell. Foes in flesh, and foes in ghostly guise are alike baulked of their prey when the Lord of Hosts stands between us and their fury, and all other evil forces are turned aside. Walls cannot keep out the pestilence, but the Lord can.
As if it were not enough to call the Lord his refuge and fortress, he adds, “My God! in him will I trust.” Now he can say no more; “my God” means all, and more than all, that heart can conceive by way of security. It was most meet that he should say “in him will I trust,” since to deny faith to such a one were wilful wickedness and wanton insult. He who dwells in an impregnable fortress, naturally trusts in it; and shall not he who dwells in God feel himself well at ease, and repose his soul in safety? O that we more fully carried out the Psalmist’s resolve! We have trusted in God, let us trust him still. He has never failed us, why then should we suspect him? To trust in man is natural to fallen nature, to trust in God should be as natural to regenerated nature. Where there is every reason and warrant for faith, we ought to place our confidence without hesitancy or wavering. Dear reader, pray for grace to say, “In him will I trust.”
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
 Tanner, B., & Jacobson, R. A. (2014). Book Four of the Psalter: Psalms 90–106. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (p. 700). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.