Ray Lewis, one of the most feared men in the NFL for the better part of two decades, gave us a Bible lesson Sunday -- Psalm 91 in particular -- following his final home game as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
After the 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, the soon-to-be-retired linebacker took off his jersey and pads to reveal a black sleeveless T-shirt with “Psalms 91" printed in small, gold print on front.
The shirt received plenty of exposure as Lewis took a victory lap around M&T; Stadium, surely sending many to their Bibles or computers to learn exactly just what message the two-time defensive player of the year was trying to convey.
Basically Psalm 91 is known as a psalm of protection during hard times or a prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the Lord. Lewis, playing his first game since suffering what was then considered a season-ending triceps tear in October, said later that he felt no pain in recording a game-high 13 tackles as he extended his playing career at least one more game.
“If my effort can give you hope, faith and love then so be it and today was about me giving everything I got. No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it,” said Lewis, who invoked the name of God several times during his postgame news conference. “If you can push through it, you’ll encourage somebody. Today, hopefully somebody was uplifted.”
Here is Psalm 91, via BibleStudyTools.com:
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; 4 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation, 10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. 11 For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. 14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.