24th Mar


Living Securely in an Insecure World – SHELTER!

The theme of Psalm 91 can be summarised like this: despite the uncertain and often dreadful circumstances of life, safety and security are to be found by those who reside and abide in the presence of God.  In these times of uncertainty, especially as fears relating to the coronavirus threaten to send us into a flat spin, this Psalm offers a much-needed lifeline.

Verse 1 sums it up beautifully: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (NIV).  Some other bible versions talk about dwelling in the “secret place” of the Most High and “abiding” in the shadow of the Almighty.

In this week’s blog post, I’d like to look at the first half of verse 1, about dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.  This verse begins with “whoever dwells”…  What a great opening to the psalm! The word “whoever” indicates there are no barriers that exclude people on the basis of, say, their age, gender, race, or social background.  “Whoever” includes you!

But there’s a problem…  Not everyone chooses to dwell, or to make their home, in the shelter that’s described here.  Sadly, I’ve spent much of my life as a follower of Jesus not dwelling in the shelter of the Most High and not resting in the shadow of the Almighty.  I’ve certainly visited this shelter on several occasions and spent some time in this shadow, but I can’t honestly say that for all of my life as a follower of Jesus I have remained there, stayed there, lived there.  And there’s a huge difference between merely visiting a place from time to time and actually living there.  James and I love to spend time in Chicago whenever we get the opportunity.  We enjoy being there, catching up with friends and going shopping!  But we are visitors, not residents.  Although it’s great fun being there for a couple of weeks now and again, it’s not our home.  So, we don’t experience the full benefits of actually living there.  And verse 1 of Psalm 91 speaks of living somewhere… in a shelter.

However, this is no ordinary shelter.  This is the shelter of the Most High.  The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the Hebrew word translated Most High is Elyon, meaning He is higher than anyone or anything; He is supreme over all.  And this shelter, this secret place, belongs to the One who is higher than any other.  This reminds me of the Chris Tomlin song, “Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God You are higher than any other…”  And the amazing thing is, as we make our home in this shelter, God promises protection from the overwhelming fear and panic that threaten to destroy our peace of heart and mind.

But how do we set about making our home in “the shelter of the Most High”?  Join me next week to find out!