He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:1-16).
In this very uncertain world sometimes we ask the question, “Can I be so secured in the Lord? If sicknesses spread and plague, pestilence all over, is the Lord able to keep me?” And even as Christians sometimes we doubt, if we are not anchored in God’s word. So, today I’m going to explain Psalm 91 and make some paraphrase to make it clear to you.
Verse 1 : He who dwells in the secret place (or secret shelter) of the Most High
will abide and rest under the shadow of the Almighty.
It’s a very lovely picture, very assuring picture of the protection of God. How do you find yourself in that place? It’s not a physical place and can never be a physical place that you can run to. I want to purpose to you, every time you get a hold of God’s word, you believe and you pray accordingly. For instance if you are fearful of some kind of disease, fearful of some unknown danger that coming upon your life, you feel insecure, then you cling on to this verse, “Lord, I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, I believe in your word, and because I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, I will rest and abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” And as you do that you are already in the secret place of the Most High. You can be walking along the road and you are claiming this promise, where are you? Well, you are still on the road but in effect you are in the secret place or secret shelter of the Most High. Some of you feel some kind of danger upon your life, some of you are afraid of dying young, some of you are afraid of sicknesses come knocking at your door, yes I agree to that but if you say, “I’m going to abide in the secret place of the Most High, I take it as my own right now!” Where are you now? You are in the secret place of the Most High right now! You are dwelling in the very presence of God!
Verse 2: I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
The picture becomes more assuring now. When you stay in the secret place of the Most High, it is a refuge, a place where you can run to but you don’t physically run to that place. When you pray and connect with Jesus, He is your refuge, and fortress, you are being fortified by solid protection. And who is He? Your God in whom you trust.
Verse 3: Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler (or the trapper- the one who hunts, sets a snare) and from the perilous pestilence.
The Bible says, “Surely or certainly” He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. Whether it’s a sickness or a plague that troubles many people or some kind of a danger, God your refuge will help you and deliver you.
Verse 4: He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
He shall cover you with His feathers, now the picture gets cosier and you are more assured. And under His wings you shall take refuge (or shall you trust and find refuge). His truth or His faithfulness or His faithful promises – i.e. the word of God – shall be your shield and buckler (or armour or rampart). You are totally protected.
Verse 5, 6: You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
At anytime of the day and night, where there’s a danger, you are not afraid whether of the terror by night, nor of the plague that stalks in darkness nor of the calamity that destroys at noon time. They may destroy thousands but I believe I won’t be destroyed. This is the real picture. Can you imagine even in the midst of destruction, the calamity that destroys at noon time, it will not affect you.
Verse 7: A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
That’s the word of God! But how do you come to that level of faith? When you read and meditate the word of God over and over and over and over again! There are five things we got to do with God’s words. Firstly, read God’s word as His love letter to you. Secondly, begin to study the word. Read a few versions of the Bibles until you come to some kind of a conclusion. Thirdly, meditate on God’s word. Repeat a verse again and again. Fourthly, internalize the word until it becomes part of your being. Lastly, live God’s word out, believe and apply it.
Verse 8: Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
Some people say it’s hard to be a Christian. When you have an enemy you are not suppose to hate them. And that’s true, we are not encouraged to hate people but encouraged to pray, “Lord, change them, be merciful to them.” But if they are recalcitrant and they stubbornly come against you, with your own eyes you will see the punishment of the wicked. And that is true. The Lord will vindicate you.
Verse 9, 10, 11: Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
Because you have made the Lord your refuge and the Most High your dwelling place, no evil will befall you, nor any plague comes near your home (or tent because in those days most people live in tents). For He gives His angels a special charge over your life. What is that for? To keep you wherever you go, you are not to be afraid. Because the angels receive a special assignment from God about you and they are watching over you to keep you wherever you go.
Verse 12: In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You may not see the angels protecting you but when you are full of the promises of God, when you move in faith, your angels are holding you up. Because they have a special assignment over your life to keep you in all your ways or wherever you go. And they are bearing you up in their arms, lest even one foot dashes against a stone. Remember during Christ’s temptation, the devil quoted this verse out of context. The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, go to the top of this temple, jump down. Don’t you know that it is written in the word of God that the angels will bear you up, lest even of one of Your foot dashes against a stone? But that’s totally out of context, you are not suppose to temp God. But this verse is true! In your everyday walk with Jesus, when your heart is full of the promises of God, the angels are there to bear you up!
Verse 13: You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
All these creatures are representing the devil and demons. You shall trample over them. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).
Verse 14: “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
Because he has anchored his love in Me, I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he knows My name. When Jesus says “I will set you securely on high”, what is that place on high? It’s the same as the secret place of the Most High. In the sense you are high up there, beyond the reach of the enemy. Why? Because you are with the Most High, His feathers cover you, under His wings you will trust and you will find refuge. He sets you securely on high, why? Because he knows My name. What does it mean, he knows My name? He has a personal knowledge of My grace, My love and My mercy. He trusts and relies on Me, knowing that I will never forsake him, no, never! When the soul comes to a point whereby he just know, the Lord will not forsake me! He just completely trust in Him, this person knows the Lord’s Name. All that is represented in that Name, Jesus – He’s The Saviour, The Healer, The Deliverer, The Messiah. You know His name, you trust Him with all of your heart.
Verse 15: He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.
Are you in trouble today? If you are, just trust Him, call upon Him, He’s right there in the midst of your trouble. The trouble is not resolved yet, but He is there. He’s there with you, guiding your mental practices, guiding your heart, clearing the pathway. And you can see some signs of He is being with you and clearing the way because when the events unfold, whatever trouble you are going through, when the events unfold, you know He is there, there are signs He’s has been working it all out. Call upon Him, He will be with you in your trouble.
I will deliver him and honour him. Not only He delivers you, but with the deliverance He brings you honour. Have you been falsely accused? Well, trust God! He will not only deliver you, He will vindicate you, bring justice for you and He will bring honour to you. Just trust Him, surrender to Him!
Verse 16: “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”
He is able to see you through. Not just for a short period of time but over the long haul. As you live long, He’s always there with you in every situation. …and show him My salvation. The word “salvation” or “sozo” in its original Hebrew means not just getting saved and go to heaven, it means God will bring you deliverance, not just your soul but for your total man. If you need healing for your mind, He’s there to bring healing for your mind. If you need healing for your physical body, He brings you the physical healing and deliverance. In other words, I will show you My total deliverance for the total man, and I will keep you and give you long life until you are satisfied.
Now, how do we abide in the secret place of the Most high? Jesus Himself in John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you….that’s how you abide in the secret shelter of the Most High and rest under the shadow of the Almighty, if you abide in Me and My words abide in you. The test is: Is the word of God abiding in your heart? When you face situation, what is your first reaction? Do you go to the word of God and say, “Fear not, the Lord is with me,” or do you say “I’m going to whack him real good!” If it is so, then the word of God is never in your heart. It may be in your head. Do you know that from your head to your heart is just about a foot long or so but it’s a long way, isn’t it? In terms of meditating on the Word, in terms of practising the Word until it becomes a part of you. It’s a long way. Many people can quote the Bible upside down, but where is it from? If the Word is from your head, every time you share with friends, it will be the head reaching the head. But if it is from the heart, it will be the heart reaching the heart. It’s a big difference.
So, Jesus here says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire…This is about answered prayer. …And it shall be done for you…and that’s another benefit, isn’t it? When you dwell in the secret place of the Most High with your heart full of the word of God, Jesus said, “Ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
All of us want to be closer to God, don’t we? But how are we going to be closer to God if we don’t spend time reading His words? It’s just not possible. Now, after reading a message like this, full of promises, what are you going to do with the word of God? Is it more worthwhile to turn to your Bible than to switch the remote control to your TV? You decide.