He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1, NKJV)
Psalm 91 is probably one of the more often quotes passages in the Bible. It offers promises of safety and protection in times of trouble, and we find its words assuring and comforting. They give us hope when life gets rough.
What can a shadow do? We can’t pick it up and put it in a box. We can’t feel it with our fingers. We can’t weigh it. We can’t move it unless we move the object causing the shadow. While the shadow itself may seem insubstantial, the object causing the shadow has substance.
Numerous verses of Scripture describe the shadow of the Almighty as a place of safety for us. Within its shade we feel protected and secure. That shadow can shield us from the intense rays of the sun, or it can hide us from a foe. It is our safe place.
To better understand how we find protection within God’s shadow, let’s look at some of the key words we find in Psalm 91:1.
- Dwell. When we dwell somewhere, we make it our residence. We stay, remain, continue in that place. To dwell speaks of permanence. It is home.
- Secret. Something secret is covered or hidden out of sight. The more valuable it is, the greater the security covering it. A trinket may be tossed in a drawer and forgotten, but diamonds or other valuables are kept in a vault or under lock and key. We are valuable to God. He will hide us securely in His shadow.
- Abide. We choose to abide in comfortable places. Because we feel secure there, we can rest without worry or fear. Think of how a hen pulls her brood under her wings to protect them. The chicks nestle there and feel secure by her side.
- Under the shadow. To stay under the shadow of something, we must remain near the shadow for it to cover us. That’s why it is essential for us to remain close to the Lord. When we drift away from His side, we remove ourselves from His protection.
Remember Bezaleel? He was the Old Testament craftsman who made the articles for the Tabernacle. God endowed him with great wisdom and placed a creative spirit within him (Exodus 36:1). He sounds like an amazing man who used his God-given talents to fashion the items needed for Tabernacle worship. What I really like is the meaning of Bezaleel’s name: “in the shadow (protection) of God.” The spirit of God covered Bezaleel, just as it will cover all of us when we dwell in that secret place close to Him.
“I will be a permanent guest in your home; I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. (Selah)” (Psalm 61:4, NET)
(Other verses of Scripture to study: Psalm 17:8, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 57:1, Psalm 63:7, Isaiah 4:5-6, Isaiah 25:4, Isaiah 51:16.)
Lord, thank You for allowing me to hide myself under the shadow of Your wings. I feel safe and secure when I stay close by Your side. You are my protection, my refuge in times of trouble. I trust in You.