He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” Psalm 91: 1-2 (NASB)
Yesterday as I was seeking of the Lord what to write next I found myself reading “My Life In Our Father’s World”, the blog of Barbara a sister in the Lord. In her recent post she issued a challenge to write a devotional commentary of Psalm 91, then I felt that familiar still small voice stirring in my heart! Here is the result of that inspiration.
The author of this psalm is not known for sure, there are good cases for both Moses and David. In my time reading and meditating on this psalm I came to the conclusion that it stands perfectly well regardless of who wrote it. It is without any doubt a beautiful account of blessings of those who trust in God Almighty – El Shaddai. The psalm takes the structure of a conversation involving three parties; the psalmist, his friends and God himself having the final Word.
The psalmist begins the conversation (verses 1-2 : A declaration of blessedness) declaring that those who trust God will know His protection over their life, and proclaiming that therefore he trusts God – his shelter. As I read this it reminded me of woodland camps that we built as kids; they were our shelter from the world. I like the KJV here referring to the shelter as “a secret place” which is very personal and exclusive, just like our camps in the woods. The beauty of the psalmists shelter is that is not made of branches and foliage, it is God Almighty (El Shaddai) Himself that is the shelter! If we trust in Him each day, he will shelter us from the world around us. Let us with the psalmist shout of our Lord (Jehovah) and God (Elohim) – the self existing Almighty One. He alone is our castle and eternal hope.
The conversation shifts to the friends (or a chorus of friends) of the psalmist (verses 3-8 : A reassurance of blessedness) who concur with the declaration of the psalmist. Do our friends see our blessedness under the protection of God? God’s protection covers us like the wings of a mother hen over her chicks in times of danger (Luke 13:34), as if surrounded by a mighty impregnable rampart. Be reassured brethren, under His protection we need not fear the schemes of the evil one day or night. As the psalmist did we look around and see many falling foul of evil and mourn their fate without God, but we are secure in Him. Seeing the wickedness of the world should motivate us to share the Good News with those perishing around us, seeking to bring them under His protection.
The ninth verse is a joint declaration of blessedness by the psalmist and his friends. The Lord (Jehovah) is our refuge (secret place) and hope for the future no matter what the world throws at us. Our present “dwelling place” is temporary as we look forward and upward to our future Tabernacle with Him, in Heaven. Hallelujah!
The protection of God is total for the psalmist and also for us who love God, covering all afflictions or adversity (verse 10). From our home to wherever we go each day He covers us with His impregnable wings. He gives His angels the duty of guarding our welfare (verses 11-12), protecting us from mortal harm. With such security we are safe and able to stand against the wicked schemes and temptations of Satan (verse 13).
The psalmist has been saving the best part to the last in verses 14-16 ( God’s confirmation of blessings). “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.” (verse 14). El Shaddai Himself has His say, confirming the endowment of His glorious blessings on the psalmist and also on us His children who love Him. Our comprehension of the presence, love and power of our Almighty Father at work in our lives is limited by circumstances. Through reading His Word and communion in prayer we can grow our understanding and thus our faith in Him. By desiring more of Him, clinging lovingly to Him every day we secure our lives and eternal future (verse 15). The final promise of God in this psalm is that we will witness His provision, of deliverance and prosperity (not just wealth but in life itself!) in our lifetime.
Dear reader, do not deny yourself the delight of meditating on this psalm for yourself. In it you will encounter the depth of the Love that is showered on you daily, and the very real blessings that come from trusting El Shaddai.