Welcome to Welling for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. This series is called “The Enfolding.”
I want you to sense that you are enfolded by God. He’s the enfolder. You are the enfolded in the enfolding.
The series is based on Psalm 91, one of my favorites. It’s been a favorite to believers of all time, because it’s not attributed to one author. It’s not limited to anyone. It’s being generally applicable to all who love the Lord Jesus, all who are known and know His name and all who call on Him. These have been some unusual times for the world, of danger, of distress, of disease and death, and destruction, all kinds of developments. The enfolding allows us to know that we are the enfolded by the enfolder.
The psalm is a prayer. It’s a plea. It’s an expression of trust and confidence on the one who is the enfolder. And we are the enfolded, and He does the enfolding.
It is a favorite prayer of mine and a psalm of mine because, in my fifth grade, fifth standard, I was in a competition to learn the psalm by heart. Gratefully, at Mrs. Roberts’ class, I was able to deliver it without error, and she gave me the prize, not knowing that 60-some years later, this psalm would come to my memory in appreciation. And as I go through these treatments for early stage prostate cancer– I’ve got 12 more treatments left– this psalm has sustained me because of the one who is the enfolder. I am the enfolded, and He does the enfolding.
I immersed myself in the psalm. And over these 30 times of five weeks, I’ve dwelled in the hiding place. I have dwelled in the psalm– the enfolder, the enfolded, the enfolding.
This psalm is part of a three-set psalm, which can be called a collection– Psalm 90, 90 91, and 92. Some time ago, I did Psalm 90, which asked for God’s blessing and favor in establishing the work of our hands. Psalm 91 is also the promise of God’s blessing and favor as he enfolds us in life’s dangers. Psalm 92 is the praising of God’s blessing and favor as he enables us to bear fruit throughout the whole life that He gives to us, even in the latter years of our life.
Psalm 91 is simply a declaration that the sovereign God enfolds you. He secures your well-being. We are enclosed. We are surrounded. We are protected. We are enveloped by Him. He embraces us.
As you look at the structure of the psalm, it’s essentially a dialogue, perhaps between a priest and a worshipper. But the more I look at the psalm, it seems like it is a self-talk– my talk about God the enfolder, and His talk about me, the enfolded, and together, they make the enfolding. That word is beautiful. It has several layers of meaning, just like the folds which protect us.
We are surrounded. We are covered. We are clasped. We are encircled.
There’s a famous chicken chain in the world which advertises what they called a Double Down Sandwich. And instead of the bread, it is a bunless, breadless sandwich, where two cutlets– fillets of chicken, pieces or slices of chicken, they form the top and the bottom of the sandwich, under which are cheese slices. And then there is a centerpiece, which is made up of bacon– and in halal places, they make it of turkey bacon– all joined together by a secret sauce proprietary to the chicken chain. And during COVID, they started advertising an edible sandwich wrapper, so that there’s no waste and it could be pure. There’s no sogginess, either, as you take it out for your meal.
In our case, the edible sandwich wrapper is a mood and a theology that covers the psalm. The conviction of the psalm, it’s good theology, and we’ll talk about it. The two chicken pieces are the front end and the back end of the psalm. The cheese slices, they are that which give bridges to the bacon, the center of the psalm.
Verses 1 and 2 and verses 14 to 16 are the chicken pieces. Verses 3 to 8 and verses 10 to 13 are the cheese slices. And the bacon is found in verse 9, which looks back at verses 1 and 2, and sets up verses 10 to 13.
As we open up this meditation on Psalm 91, the enfolding, let me read the chicken piece that’s the front, the top, and at the end, the bottom. Please listen to me as I read out the beautiful verses 1 or 2, the top part of this Double Down Sandwich.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'”
And then the bottom piece of the sandwich, verses 14 to 16, “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.'”
There, my friend, is the enfolding of you and me. The sovereign God enfolds you. He secures your well-being.