I Am Thy Refuge, pt.1

Imagine being lost at sea, in a perilous storm. You feel alone, uncertain of everything, and thrashed about by wind and waves in every direction.  The navigation system and all forms of communication are severed. You’re crippled by the thought of one wrong turn at the helm with the fear of capsizing the ship in the darkest of night. As you reach for your life jacket, your Bible falls and opens to Psalm 91 and you’re personally invited to pause and ‘dwell in the secret place of the Most High’ by the Master and Creator of it all.

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For over a year and a half, God has been so faithful to consistently lead me back to Psalm 91. Each time, I’d be amazed to find the same Psalm, it would bring joy and comfort to my heart with much anticipation, wondering what storms I might be approaching. Recently, God has begun illuminating Psalm 91 more deeply.  He knew I’d need this security and in preparation for the rough waters ahead but He also wanted to show me where to find this safe haven amidst adversity. My heavenly Father knew that I needed to be reminded of His refuge that can only be found under His everlasting wings. I now see that each and every time I sought His face in humility, He was bringing me to Psalm 91 as an invitation to dwell with Him in this secret place. By God’s grace and extreme patience with me, He continued guiding me. Through further study of His Word and careful examination of my heart, I finally entered into and dwelled in this secret place that Psalm 91 describes! Both during and succeeding this divine revelation, the troubles of life paled in comparison to the heights of protection and care of where I inhabited with my Lord. What an honor it was to be dwelling so closely, under the majestic shadow of the Almighty.   

Beginning in Psalm 91:1, the refuge is referred to as ‘the secret place of the most High’ and covered by a ‘shadow of the Almighty.’ When viewing the remainder of the Psalm from this vantage point, a whole new perspective of the security of the godly is gained. The exact location and its benefits are illustrated throughout the chapter while the mystery of this place is provoked simultaneously. I used to imagine residing in a nest of a proverbial tree, sheltered by the wings of an eagle but this isn’t thinking largely enough. Even the tallest tree on the highest mountain top does not reach this precious place. Further mediation led me to imagine being secretly hidden between the palms of our Creator’s mighty and pure hands: out of reach from the world, held closely to His heart, and preserved by the Holy of holies. However, we can find comfort in knowing that this place is even more intimate than in the palm of His hand! ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress.’ The Lord, our God IS our fortress, we have the ability to access this place at any point in time!

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

There are 2 appearances of names of God in this verse. The “most High” could be interpreted 2 ways: positionally or reverently. Dwelling with God here creates a strong sense of being protected or shielded from that which is below us. Just as heaven is high above the earth; separate and untouchable by the world, so is our Lord. In this verse, God is also viewed as the Highest or reverently as the Greatest,  deserving all worship and praise, for there is none else like Him.  

 עליון,H5945 in Strong’s concordance for the most High, ʿelyôn; an elevation that is lofty; as title, the Supreme: Most high, uppermost.  It is comforting to know that there is no place that is higher than the secret place of the most High, El Elyon.  

שַׁדַּי, H7706 in Strong’s concordance for Almighty, šaday; almighty, most powerful.  El Shaddai, ‘the God of mountains’ is the only One who is all-sufficient and the source of all of our blessings.

Both names of God were used in the miracles of Abraham. This is a great reminder that God is the possessor of heaven and earth, life and death, and He has the power to and will keep all of His promises to all that know His name. He is the Sovereign, omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) God who deserves all of our trust because He is in control of everything that we experience; there is nothing and nobody greater! When we are in the presence of the Most High, Almighty One, we acknowledge and accept this truth wholeheartedly, despite the current circumstances surrounding us. By surrendering everything to Him, we gain His power. In addition, if we search thoroughly enough, we can see His hand in every situation, despite our opinion or feelings. If He is all-knowing then we can thank Hi and trust that He is at work!

To be continued...

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