Shelter to Shadow – Psalm 91

Psalm 91 is unique in its expression and guides an individual towards salvation. This Psalm also reveals the privileges that a saved person owns because of the grace of our Lord. The author of this Psalm is not known but scholars opined that the author might be Moses keeping in mind the previous Psalm 90, while others think that the author might be David due to the similarities with Psalms 27 and Psalm 32. This Psalm neither recalls a journey through wilderness nor a life of a fugitive seeking shelter for his life. But it speaks about the Godly people, about their dwelling place, their safety, and their reward.

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 my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalms 91:1-2

To own all the privileges of this Psalm, one should understand the first two verses so that the remaining verses become a cover for those who understand it and apply it in their lives.

The Most High – Our Shelter

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name

Philippians 2:9

This Psalm gives an open invitation to the endangered souls of humans to take shelter in the grace of Jesus who is the Most High. King James’ version calls this shelter a secret place. It means a lot to the people saved by the blood of Jesus, a safe dwelling place not exposing themselves to their enemies. It has an untold warning that they should dwell there permanently and not venture their souls into death-prone areas. This shelter is a place to rejoice in God and proclaim His love to others. We hesitate to tell His love when we are stuck inside our houses for various reasons, such as sickness, poverty, or calamity.

We count our prosperity as an advantage to spread the love of God and poverty as a demerit. The more we proclaim His love and praise His name, irrespective of our situations, the more we will be secured despite our hostile environment. His glory does not depend on our good or bad fortune. It is not us, but the Spirit of God that glorifies His name. Practicing the word of God for facing the challenges in our lives, gives us shelter in Him. If we are afraid of practicing the Word of God, we cannot have this shelter. In the context of the world, hiding means protecting ourselves behind something. In the Biblical meaning, hiding in Jesus is facing challenges by using God’s words as Jesus did in the wilderness.

Another Shelter

People live in vanity, and they want to show off things that they do not have and do not want to disclose the things they have. A poor person tries to present himself as a rich person, whereas the rich one does not care for such a presentation. A coward speaks much of his imaginary brave acts, while the brave keep quiet. A self-righteous person behaves like a righteous one, while the righteous do not reveal their spiritual standard. People build up false images and hide behind these lies to make a convent with death.

You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,
with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
and falsehood our hiding place.”

Isaiah 28:15

In response to the above boastful statement, the Sovereign one says,

Your covenant with death will be annulled;

your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.

When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.

Isaiah 28:18

While we claim the special protections listed out in Psalm 91 during our crucial hours, we might not be covered under those protections if we make falsehood our hiding place and lies our haven.

The Almighty

People have different beliefs and different concepts about God. Some people worship nature, while some others create their own idols in the image of God’s creations. The quest in man to find God ends up in chaos and has become the primary reason for the existence of multiple gods. God is Sovereign, and He made heavens and the earth and everything in it.

Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:3

The creator is not confiscating His creations from His people when they go against Him. Instead, the creator and the ruler of everything caters to His people. He does not have a name as He is the only one God. Followers of this sovereign God sometimes fear darkness and feel suffocated in the presence of idols. On the day we repent and receive forgiveness, our inner appearance changes. “Everlasting Life” is written on our forehead in the place of “death”. For this reason, people living in the darkness who look at us will shiver by seeing the everlasting life in us.

…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Colossians 3:10

Instant Protection

Nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Psalms 91:6

The Psalmist explains the instant protection available to His people from verses 3 to 13 in various areas of their lives and against unprecedented attacks of the evil one. This Psalm does not have any statutory warnings or disclaimers. In the absence of caution, people who do not take shelter in the Most High misunderstand their cover under this policy.

“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.

Psalms 91:14-16

People who decided to permanently take shelter under the Most High will be led by Him to the shadow of the Almighty. This is similar to the teachings of Jesus recorded below:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

The Psalmist had written about the heart of Jesus long before John recorded it in his Gospel. We should understand the mind of God and His plans from His words regardless of when it was recorded. Whether it is the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Epistles, or Revelations, all these writers are telling us about the love of God and are conveying the incontestable truth that Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. The love of God laid down the sins of all people on His Son, Jesus, and Jesus pleaded forgiveness for all people.

Death, love, and forgiveness came together in Jesus at the cross of Calvary, and the“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1 Corinthians 15:54


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