He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High. Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
We live in a day where one thing after another is coming against us. COVID and its many variants; School Shootings; Hate crimes; Police shootings; and random acts of violence or it could be identity theft; predatory lending so many things are constantly targeting our mental and physical health our financial and family’s security. The first step should any of these things happen around us is to immediately Dial 9-1-1 (the emergency services number). With all this chaos around us, don’t you just want to go and find a place to hide? Well, it turns out that we do, a secret place. We have our own 9-1-1 call that we can make when we’re in trouble: Psalm 9-1-1.
Now while the authorship of this psalm has been under a certain level of debate as to who wrote it. We’ve been talking about diving into David, who is a Man After God’s Own Heart, and while some say that it was David that wrote this psalm while others say that this is one that Moses wrote. Regardless of who wrote it, we know one thing, they tapped into the heart of God. Honestly, this entire psalm is one that everyone needs to keep close by because it is so rich. But even in verse 1; there are some significant truths that can benefit us significantly.
1. God Wants Us to Dwell: He who dwells in. The word dwell means to sit down, settle down, abide, or live in something; some might recognize it to mean “to set up shop.” He is not looking for us to be drive-thru Christians, where we are in and out of Church. Sometimes we read and study and sometimes we don’t. Depending on the crowd that is around us, dictates just how saved we are. We need to sit, settle down be still, get quiet. Can I be honest, from the time I get up in the morning till the time I finally close my eyes I can find something, anything, and many things to do. I could do them and think nothing of the Lord whatsoever. It’s a very clever technique that the Devil enjoys using on us. Let’s face it the busier we are, the more important we feel, the more in control we feel that we are. God wants us to dwell with Him, we are His favorites, and we should want to dwell, spend time, and just sit with God.
2. God Wants Us to Know His Secret: the secret place of the Most High: The very fact that the place is secret means that not everyone knows about it or have access to it. This a secret place of Ēl ʻElyōn the Most High God. One can only imagine what that place is like, if God has made a hiding place for us it has to be super special. Here’s the thing, I’m a bit nostalgic, and just about anything that happens in my life, if I think hard enough, I can relate it back to a song I used to sing growing up. There was a song by New Edition called “My Secret.” The song was about a young teenaged boy teasing a girl about his secret, the secret was he had a crush on her. I cannot help but think of the same thing here, God has a crush on us, each one of us. He loves us so much that He gave up His only Son (Jn 3:16) so that we could be with Him forever. Yet he does not keep that a secret and just like this secret place He’s told us all about it in this psalm and now we have a place to get away from all the craziness this world has thrown at us. It’s a secret no more, we just need access to this hidden fortress.
3. God Wants Us Covered: Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Living under the shadow; or in the shade, the defense of the Almighty. “El Shaddai” is the Hebrew term for the Almighty God or God Almighty; the all-sufficient one; Can you imagine just how large that shadow is? He is our defense, a shadow we can all hide behind. Living under His shadow means we have access to God’s protection (Ps 91:4), power (Ps 91:15), and peace (Ps 91:16). Abiding or living under the Almighty’s shadow gives us cover from the storms of life. Literally, like an umbrella protects us from the rain. Another aspect of the Almighty’s covering that is vital for us is the posture of being under authority. Whenever we buck authority, we find ourselves vulnerable to our own heart (Jeremiah 17:9), desires (Jam 1:14), thoughts & ways (Isa 55:8). This is because our hearts are desperately wicked, we’re tempted and drawn away by our desires and our thoughts and ways are nothing like Gods. We open ourselves up to unnecessary attacks and the consequences of any of these decisions. My wife and I have set boundaries for our children and when they submit and trust that we are not just being mean and controlling but we’re protecting their best interest; they are kept from hurt, harm, and danger. In the same way, submitting to God provides protection for us and gives us access to His Secret Place. Submission requires complete trust; this is trust that overcomes our fear of the danger we face. It is normal to have concerns about what we are going thru but Trust in the Lord will allow Him to become our Secret Fortress, Psalm 91:2 God I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” This trust in Ēl ʻElyōn/El Shaddai changes our attitude about the situation and we then speak well of God; He then becomes our place of refuge, the place we go when we need protection, restoration, or just need to be refreshed. The key to really taking advantage of this special place our Father has made available to us; is in what we say of the Lord, “My God, in Him I will trust.”