"You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the destruction that destroys at midday."
As we remind ourselves that Psalm 91 is "the Protection Promise" of God, these verses detail just what we receive protection from. First, you will notice that verses 5 and 6 cover an entire 24-hour, or day's, protection. The psalmist lists four categories that cover every evil known to man. Let's take a look at them:
The terror by night - this encompasses all the evils that come through man. It includes kidnappings, robbery, rape, murder, terrorism and wars. This verse represents the dread, the fear, the alarm, the panic that comes when you are faced with what man can do to you. But notice that the verse says You will not fear .... this is God telling you that you don't have to be afraid of these things, because they will not come near you. Also notice that fear is the first thing that God addresses, because that is the most natural human response to such evils.
But we must remember that God is bigger than all these terrors. So how do we keep from being afraid? By realizing that we can't provide the protection ourselves. The protection is already there .... it is in the redeeming power of Jesus's blood. When you confess out loud, "I am protected by the blood of Jesus," and believe it!, then the devil cannot come in. Remember what 91:2 said? "I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress ....". Believe it in your heart and confess it with your mouth, and you will have the protection of God. That is our spiritual weapon. Fear comes when we are confessing things other than what God said. The next time you sense fear creeping in, say this verse aloud and defeat the dark forces in the spiritual world.
The second category of evil is the arrow that flies by day - this is anything spiritually, physically, mentally or emotionally that pierces or wounds you. Have you ever noticed that the Devil always seems to know the areas of your life that are the most vulnerable or sensitive? Well he targets those areas precisely because he knows you can not easily defend them yourself. That's when you call on God! Remember the verse in Ephesians 6:16 that tells us we have a "shield of faith" to extinguish the flaming darts of the enemy? In this part of verse 5, God wants us to ask and to believe by faith that He will pick us up and deliver us from these attacks. We have a covenant with God telling us not to be afraid of the arrows that fly by day. There will be attacks, but we are not to be afraid. God has promised to protect us, and further promised that the arrows won't hit their targets. But we must do our part by asking and believing.
The third category of evil that God names in Psalm 91 is pestilence that stalks in darkness - Notice that this is the only evil He mentions twice! God doesn't do anything by chance, so there must be a reason that he specifically repeats his protection from this evil. It's as though God is saying, "I said it in verse 3, but did you really hear Me? Just in case, I'm saying it again in verse 6! You do not have to be afraid of the deadly pestilence.
Diseases and epidemics are rampant in our world, and are, naturally, causes for great alarm. In Bible days, this meant diseases such as leprosy. Luke 21:11 tells us that among the signs of the End Times is an outbreak of pestilence. AIDS, cancer, heart disease, "Super Viruses" all meet the requirement. Once again, we must simply believe and claim the promise of protection. When you are faced with "pestilence" it can be difficult to accept this promise. But I would remind you that what we allow our minds to dwell on is our choice. If we are going to operate in this protection covenant, we must take authority over the negative thoughts and emotions.
I'm sure that this Psalm 91 protection from plagues and pestilence reminded the Jews of Israel's complete immunity from the Egyptian plagues in the land of Goshen. The Destroyer could not come in where the Blood was applied. Neither can he destroy today.
The final category of evil is listed as the destruction that lays waste at noon - these are the evils over which man has no control; what has commonly become known as "acts of God" .... hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires. But these destructions did not come from God. Remember in Mark 4:39, when Jesus rebuked the storm and it became calm? Jesus never would have contradicted His Father by rebuking something sent by Him.
There is no place in the world where you can go and be safe from every destruction or natural disaster. BUT, no matter where you are, God says run to His shelter where you will not be afraid of the destruction. It will not approach you! I have heard numerous testimonies from friends regarding this protection, but one stands out in my mind. Friends heard the warning on TV that a powerful tornado was headed right for their neighborhood. They heard the winds and saw the darkness outside. They immediately began saying Psalm 91 aloud, claiming the protective powers and seeking the shelter of the Most High. For several terrifying moments, they felt the winds raging outside, but kept repeating the Psalm. When the storm finally passed, they went outside and there was devastation all around them; trees down, roofs gone, but their home sat undisturbed .... like an island of safety in the midst of devastation. This family laid claim to the promise of protection from the destruction that lays waste.
So in summary, every extreme evil known to man will fall into one of these four categories: terror, arrows, pestilence or destruction. But God tells us in Psalm 91, "You will not be afraid of these evils because I have said in My Word that it will not approach you --- if you are obedient to dwell in My Shelter and abide in My Shadow. That's an offer we should not refuse!