Psalm 91:1-4 - 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." For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
A familiar hymn calls our God "a mighty fortress." In the psalm on which that hymn is based, the psalmist uses the refrain, "The God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:7). In the above verses, the psalmist again says that God is "my refuge and my fortress." These descriptions may bring to mind images of towering stone walls and medieval castles. But in this psalm the sheltering might of the Most High God is also described in a different way. Sheltered by the power of God, we "abide in the shadow of the Almighty." Just a shadow—although on a hot summer day or on a desert hike, a restful shadow is no small thing—but the shadow of the Almighty is more than enough. Another picture of the Most High's sheltering might is not formed of immovable stone, but of feathers, the spreading wings that hide us just as a hen covers her chicks. These shelters—shadows and feathers—appear to be weak so far as protection goes, but they are far stronger than we could ever imagine. What seems weak is not weak at all, for as Paul said, "the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Corinthians 1:25).
When we were caught, like frightened birds in a fowler's snare, in the trap of sin and death, we could not free ourselves. Through the weakness of the infant in Bethlehem's manger, through the helpless weakness of the Savior on the cross, God delivered us from Satan's deadly snare. The Most High covers each of us with His sheltering love, as if with wings, and refreshes us with His forgiveness, as if in a cool shadow on a hot day.
The psalmist lists some of the fearful things we may face in life: "the terror of the night ... the arrow that flies by day ... the pestilence that stalks in the darkness ... the destruction that wastes at noonday" (see Psalm 91:5-6). In all of these circumstances, even in the face of death itself, you can be certain, as the psalmist is, that God's faithfulness covers you like a shield. You do not need to be afraid "because you have made the LORD your dwelling place" (Psalm 91:9). By God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, you stand, today and forever, in the refreshing shadow of the Almighty, in the shadow of the cross.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the sheltering love and forgiveness that are ours through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us by our witness to extend to others the strong and welcome shadow of Your love. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you sense that you are under God's protection during the day? How so?
2. What do you think it means to dwell "in the shelter of the Most High"?
3. Though God's protection is mighty, Jesus certainly was vulnerable in this world. Does that say anything about how God operates?
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