For He shall give His angels charge over Thee … Psalm 91:11 KJV
For He will give His angels charge concerning you Psalm 91:11 NASB
Because He hath set His love upon Me, therefore will I deliver Him. I will set Him on high … I will answer Him … I will deliver Him and honor Him. Psalm 91:14-15 KJV
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high … I will answer him … I will rescue him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15 NASB
We are all familiar with the events in the wilderness when Satan tempted our Lord Jesus. One of the ploys he employed was to quote Scripture to Him – the words of Psalm 91 concerning the care of angels. He, of course, wilily omitted certain parts, added to it, and conveniently did not mention the destruction of the lion in the very next verse (v 13).
At the cross, Satan placed the very same temptation into the lips of men. Instead of “cast yourself down,” it was “come down and we will believe you.” The very suggestion of defying the Father’s will as to the cross must have grieved the Lord in His spirit.
But is it possible that Satan added an additional barb at the Lord Jesus when on the cross? The words which follow in Psalm 91 tell of the faithfulness of God in delivering the Man Who has brought Him pleasure. There are six promises – six “I will” statements declaring God’s faithfulness in acting toward those who love Him.
God promised to deliver Him, set Him on high, answer Him, be with Him, deliver Him (different word from v 14), and satisfy Him. An implied seventh promise is “and shew Him My salvation.”
In contrast to being delivered by God, He was delivered into the hands of men. Instead of being set on high, He sank in deep mire. The silence of heaven was present and not the answer promised by the Psalm. The Lord Jesus experienced ‘forsaking’ and not the promised presence; deliverance and honor were absent, and He was “cut off out of the land of the living” (Isa 53:8). None of the promises of the Psalm appeared valid at Calvary.
Would it be mere imagination to suggest that Satan, who knows the Word of God so well, would even hurl these promises in the face of the Lord to intensify His sufferings? To suggest that God had totally forsaken Him?
Although we do not have any specific information about how the Lord Jesus was attacked by the hosts of hell while on the cross, we do know that He referred to the cross as being “your hour and the power of (the) darkness” (Luke 22:53).
Satan was allowed free reign to incite the hearts of men to spew out the entirety of his, and their enmity against God at the Lord Jesus Christ. No doubt he himself attacked Christ while on the cross with the same skillfully contrived temptations as he had used in the wilderness. The Lord Jesus, however, in His death and in His resurrection, “stripped-off principalities and powers” (Col 2:15).
Can you think of other O. T. promises which may have been used against the Lord Jesus at Calvary?
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