Psalm 91 oozes with God’s promise of protection, presence and peace. In life, particularly at present, we are often battered by disappointment, stress, bereavement, fear and illness. Here in this Psalm we discover how to access God’s Hiding Place for us.
The first 2 verses of this Psalm are key:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
The word “dwell” indicates an abiding, an arriving or staying in a particular place or relationship. ‘Dwell’ is the key, relationship is the requirement. In this verse God asks us to take up permanent residence. He reminds us to stay in His presence, for it’s a permanent place of living. His Word says if we do that, we will “rest” in the very “shadow of the Almighty.”
This reminds me of the beautiful song ‘the Overshadowing’. Shadows by definition are a place of protection or covering, they provide relief from the direct heat of the sun. If the heat is severe, the shade is the place we run to. It diminishes what we actually feel in the intensity of the heat.
This is a reminder for us, especially in tough times, that we never walk alone. When we feel the full heat of troubles bearing down hard, it’s a struggle at times to keep trudging through it all and pressure and stress can seem as stifling as a hot afternoon summer sun. Yet God whispers truth, strong and sure, “Walk in my shadow, up close to my side.” It’s in the safe place that brings confidence; for when we are resting is God’s shadow, we will never face the full heat of our difficulties. He shelters us from that pain. His shade, His shadow, diminishes what is actually felt in the intensity of all the heat. Rest, peace, and calm rise up strong, right in the struggling mess of life, and we’re assured, He’s in control.
This entire chapter of Psalm 91 is filled with the goodness and power of God. There are great reminders that He faithfully works on behalf of those who love Him and at the end of it all, God gives 8 reasons of why we do not have to fear:
He promises to rescue us, protect us, answer us, be with us, deliver us, honour us, satisfy us and bring us salvation.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
There is great blessing as we seek after God, and choose to walk in His ways. In the midst of great darkness in this world, living in it all without His Truth and freedom, would be like wallowing in the pit. Not much hope to be found there.
Yet God’s reminders are sure, strong, and true, assuring us that in all that we walk through in this journey, His call is always to rise above. He reminds us we’re not alone. And though He never says that we won’t face hard times, He does say He’ll be with us in it, rescuing us, and shining His favour over us.
So we must not doubt. God works on behalf of those who love Him and honour His name. He is so good to us. We may never fully know, this side of heaven, how very much He has sheltered us from in this life.
Today, we may not always see God, we might forget He’s there at times, or even wonder if He’s left us to fend for ourselves in the heat of hard situations in life but His protection is real; He doesn’t, He can’t, forget or ignore us. If we belong to Him, His love is too great to leave us on our own.