Psalm 91

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”    Psalm 91:1-2

I ran across this interesting YouTube video by Dr. Michael S Heiser.  He talks about how you never read anything in the Old Testament about demons being cast out.  It simply didn’t happen.  The question he then poses is if people saw Jesus casting out demons and thought that this is what the Messiah did.

He explains this using Psalm 91, which is about God being the psalmist’s refuge and fortress.  Verse three starts a listing of all the things God will protect us from:

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.

Psalm 91 has a unique story behind its discovery among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It was in a jar among four other psalms not included in the Bible.  Those other four are exorcism psalms.  That begs the question of why Psalm 91 was stored with those.

All the things listed in Psalm 91 starting in verse three are phrases that, in Hebrew, denote false gods, demonic beings.  The Septuagint records it as a Psalm of David, although he is not credited in our common Bibles.  David and Solomon were thought by many to have had power over evil spirits.  When Jesus came along and started casting out demons, the thoughts of many were indeed that this must be the Messiah, heir of David.

Heiser also reminds us that this is the psalm Satan quotes to Jesus to convince Him to tempt God and leap off the temple.  Heiser says that this wasn’t just a temptation by Satan.  He was fishing for information.

His is a principle that we seldom recognize; God is omniscient, and Satan is not.  God can see throughout time, and Satan cannot.  He knew who Jesus was and what His purpose was, but not the specific plan itself.

Satan tries to put Jesus into a dilemma over how to respond without tipping His hand.  If He says, OK, I’ll do it and the angels indeed save Him, Satan will think Jesus can’t be killed.  Killing Jesus would then be off the table in Satan’s own planning.  But Jesus being killed is the plan!  He needs to let Satan wonder what’s going to happen and how to deal with Jesus!

So Heiser finds Satan’s tempting Jesus is more than a simple case of temptation.  It was part of the chess match between God and Satan.

I encourage you to follow the link above and hear the whole explanation from Heiser himself!

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