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Psalm 91:8 Please explain this verse.

Please (translate) Interpret Psalm 91:8

I trust that you only want an interpretation and not a translation. At least, that is what I will attempt to give. Here is the verse:

Psalm 91:8 - "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."

This psalm refers to God as a protector and deliverer to those who love Him. Verse 3 states, "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." As you read the psalm, you can see that He is promising protection to His own. In fact, the psalm continues in the vein even after the verse in question. Satan quotes verses 11-12 to Jesus in Matthew 4:6 when he tries to get Him to jump from the temple. They state, "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Throughout the psalm, the Lord is watching over His own people.

Verses 9-10 state the reason for this protection: "Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." God delivers them because of their love for Him. They made the Lord their habitation.

Verse 8 (the verse in question) goes with the verse before it. Together they say, "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked." In these verses, God assures His saint that evil may occur all around him but he will not be touched with it. He will see the wicked fall all around him, but the evil will not touch him. He will only see the wicked receive their reward with his eyes but will not go through the judgment himself.

The real problem comes with knowing how to apply this promise. Certainly, the saints of all ages have experienced the evils of this world. They know what it is to go through trials and suffer various afflictions. Yet, there are some lessons for us in this passage.

  1. Nothing can happen to us that God does not allow. We must trust Him.
  2. God often protects from the evils that would come on us without that protection. We must be thankful.
  3. Those closest to the Lord will receive the best care. Moving away from God removes the person from some of His protective care. We must strive to be close to Him.
  4. There will be a day when the saints of God will be protected from all the evils of this world. We will see sin judged, but we will be spared from its judgment. We must make sure of our eternal salvation.