Is Psalm 91 true? It doesn't seem so


Psalm 91. “He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. … For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.” [New Living Translation.]

Well, just a few hours ago I was driving in town in a car less than a year old when an inattentive young driver rear-ended me. The accident was her fault (she was cited) and my insurance agent believes her’s will cover everything. But there’s still damage to my rear bumper and who knows what else. I attend mass regularly and believe in Christ’s divinity without question. Yet this still happened. Does this mean we worship a God who doesn’t keep his promises? :eek:


We aren’t promised bad things won’t happen. We are promised bad things won’t triumph.

After all Jesus was crucified. The absolutely worst thing that ever happened. And yet God the Father permitted it and Jesus CHOSE it. Why? Because he knew of the good things that will come from it (his death, resurrection and ascension.)

So when bad things happen to us our first reaction should be “OK God, how do I use this to your benefit?” In your case, perhaps, this meant reacting to the accident in a kind and Christian manner. An opportunity to demonstrate concern for the young driver as opposed to your car (we’ll at least until you were sure the driver was OK). It MIGHT have resulted in the driver telling friends “it was all my fault but the driver I hit was Catholic and was so nice and forgiving! If that’s what Catholics are like I think I’ll find out more about being one!” (Or something.)


Happen or triumph? Respectfully that’s splitting hairs. And after all, Christ’s martyrdom was a path chosen by Him–and by the Father–literally from the very beginning. Horrible as it was, it had to happen. And God made a covenant to us–his people–that long predates the Passion. That’s what the psalms are. They are clauses in a pledge that God has made to his people. Yet it’s a pledge that God constantly seems to break. He can be a difficult God to worship for that reason. Even children have a hard time respecting a parent who cannot keep his or her promises.


It’s about Jesus rising from the dead, not about car accidents.



God sometimes allows certain unfortunate things to happen in our lives so that we come closer to Him and more closely rely on His Love and His Goodness, for He is “our rock and our refuge.”

In addition, Jesus has said that we mist “take up our cross.” He never promised that bad things wouldn’t happen; however, He has revealed that bad will never triumph in the end and that the grace of God will be victorious over all.

May God bless you all abundantly and forever! :slight_smile:


I sympathize with you so much. I was hit by a prescription drug user who switched lanes without signaling. It was very time consuming and aggravating to have to deal with the insurance companies & repair shops. But there are many positives here!

The car accident wasn’t fatal.
You are not injured.
You were not at fault.
The young person was not an uninsured driver.
You live in a country where the responsible party is ticketed as a means of justice.

I think God did protect you from it being worse!!

I know it is super unfair & inconvenient but the Bible says the rain falls on the just & the unjust. People who attend Mass regularly and believe in Jesus and worship God get in car accidents just like non-believers do. Just like there are faithful Catholics getting beheaded on beaches by ISIS. As long as God allows people to have free will and get distracted and harbor hate, etc. bad things will continue to happen. I have had the same questions as you and I don’t understand it either. But I know that God is a loving Father and that He can be trusted with our lives. He will take care of us no matter what He allows to happen or why.


Well, from the Psalm alone, it DOES say “rescue” - which means we will fall prey to those, and He will ‘deliver’ us from them. The car needs to crash first, in order for the rescue team to come ‘rescue’ us. :stuck_out_tongue:

Jokes aside: He ‘rescues’ us from the traps, while ‘protecting’ us from the fatal plague. I believe this pertains to sin and damnation as a whole, and not from mere pebbles we happen to kick around, or even serious injuries we might suffer - we are mortal, bad things WILL happen. He is protecting us from things far worse than our physical death… :thumbsup:


The Psalms are songs of praise or lamentations.
It’s easy when reading Scripture to get caught up in literalism. The Psalmist is singing about his trust in God regardless of circumstance.
There is an interesting story related to Psalm 91 and WWII.
The Commander of the 91st Regiment (US Army) had his soldiers keep a copy of the Psalm 91 in their helmet. Although the 91st Regt. saw some of the worst fighting of the War, they sustained the fewest casualties.

When reading Scripture, read it in its entirety. God has His eye on the sparrow. Not one falls to the ground without His knowledge.
While it is true that God has commanded His angels to watch over us. While 10,000 may fall to the side. It is also true that sparrows fall from trees. Saints are martyred for the sake of righteousness. Nobody knows the mind of God.


I don’t think God promises that bad things will *never *happen to Believers. (Have you ever read the book “Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?”) If for no other reason than free will; the other driver was free to drive inattentively, right? But God did come through for you - you weren’t hurt, your car wasn’t totaled, her insurance will pay for the damages. I think you have SO MUCH to be thankful for!!! :slight_smile: Praise God!


What traps will He rescue you from? The “snares of the devil.” What plague will He deliver you from? The plague of mortal sin. What stones will His angels protect you from hirting yourself on? The stones of venial sins.

And He does do these things for us all the time :slight_smile: How wonderful He is!!!


Any accident that you can walk away from is a good accident. Are you thankful that you didn’t break your neck and have to endure the life of a cripple?


People who drive in AZ don’t seem to signal very often. They just scoot on.

I was rear-ended yesterday by an elderly lady who was fumbling with her air conditioning at the time of impact. I got out of the car and looked, but there was no damage at all. I was happy about that.

I looked in her open window, and said, “What a cute little dog! Is it a Yorkie?”

She said it was. I told her I didn’t see any damage. That was a close call, though. My insurance already went up two years ago when a box on the highway was in my lane and I couldn’t move away from it since other cars were coming. I thought it was just a cardboard box, but was I wrong! It had something heavy in it, and my front end was damaged.

Anyway, for the time being I am OK. Driving is rather dangerous, though. They did not have cars in the Old Testament days. Nor the New Testament days. Maybe they were better off. (and their donkeys were cute!)


Things could have been much worse. Be thankful that you and the other driver walked away.
You do realize that in the big scheme of things, a minor car accident is, well, minor. Sure it is an inconvenience, but so are all sorts of things. It was an accident. Accidents happen, we aren’t perfect. :twocents:


I think other posters have made some good points on giving this passage of Scripture not just a literal meaning but a spiritual meaning. The CCC#115 says that there are two senses of Holy Scripture, namely, the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses.

No, we do not worship a God who doesn’t keep his promises. Jesus has promised us eternal life if we keep his commandments. The eternal salvation of our soul is our most important work here on earth. The spiritual life and state of our souls here on earth should be our chief concern obviously even if it cost us our temporal lives on earth. There is no proportion between eternity and the temporal. God also is chiefly concerned with our eternal salvation. Accordingly, there are many texts in Scripture that have not only a literal sense but a spiritual sense with the spiritual three subdivisions and I think the Psalm in question is one of these texts. Literally, God only knows how often our guardian angels may have prevented us from accidents or some kind of evils even from the onslaught of the demons in our daily lives. God doesn’t prevent every evil or accident from us, we need to follow the way of the cross of Jesus, for by these trials and such we show our love for God and our faithfulness. Our hoped for reward is exceedingly great, indeed, infinitely great as it is life on high with God himself for all eternity.

Jesus had to reprimand the apostles at times for their dull and slow understanding. They sometimes took his words in a too literal and temporal manner when Jesus meant something spiritually. For example, that time when the apostles thought Jesus was talking about real bread when what he actually meant was the teaching of the pharisees. The kingdom of God which Jesus established on earth which is the Catholic Church is in this present time a spiritual kingdom. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12). At the end of the world though, Jesus, our eternal king, will definitively establish the kingdom of God in a new heavens and a new earth for all eternity, when God will transform and renew creation as the prophets of the Old Testament foretold.


I agree! :slight_smile:


All I have to say is life is fragile. if this is the worst that has happened to you I would say you are doing well.


God never inflicted anyone with disease or anything listed under the curse.
Satan was and always has been the one who kills, steals and destroys. See John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Some theologians claim that suffering and misfortune is caused by a lack of faith. Sadly, it seems that intensity of faith is almost a talent, or at least a gift not given to all. Since many of us are only able to muster a certain amount of faith at or above the minimum, no matter how earnestly we try, we are not able to ward off hardship or prosper as well as we otherwise might.


I always considered the 91st psalm was about the devil tempting Jesus on top off he temple .


A good read would be the encyclical by St. John Paul: “On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering”.


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