Are You Hiding in the Secret Place?
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The 91st Psalm starts out with this comforting declaration. And then this amazing Psalm continues by describing what will happen to the person who stays in this secret place.
Verse 3 declares that if you love God, you will be delivered from the traps of sin and from the perilous pestilence. If you follow the Truth the Lord will cover you with His wings! Verses 5-8 goes on to remind you that you don’t need to be afraid of anything, the terror by night, the arrow by day, the pestilence that walks in the darkness or the destruction that lays waste at noonday. The believer won’t ever suffer the reward of the wicked.
More comforts and promises are lavished on you if you trust God. No evil shall befall you or any plague will come near your home. Verse 11-12 promises that Gods’ angels will watch over you and keep you from all harm. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra and trample the serpent underfoot. And because you put God first He will answer your prayers, give you long life and honor you and give you His Salvation.
We all know Christians who love God and have had many troubles. In fact Scripture tells us that we will share in Christ’s sufferings. And certainly we have all been sick. We can’t walk over serpents and lions! And where were the guardian angels when tragic accidents happen to children of God? What is this 91st Psalm trying to say?
We believe that these wonderful promises are addressing who we are spiritually. We are so much more than flesh and blood. Jesus said, “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends: and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost.” - Luke 21:16-18. What is Jesus saying here? If not a hair of our head is harmed but we are put to death –how can that be? Surely the Lord is not saying that our physical bodies ( hair on our heads) aren’t harmed in death!? He seems to be telling us that even death can’t hurt who we really are in Him. Jesus speaks again about this, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul,”- Matthew 10:28.
Jesus spoke often about His kingdom. But his followers didn’t seem to understand that He was talking about a heavenly kingdom. They kept believing that his promises of a new kingdom were about money and power and the here and now. Soon Jesus would overthrow the hated Romans and free Israel, they thought. “ My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus told them. But they didn’t seem too understand. And we don’t always understand either. Psalms 91 is promising God’s children active deliverance. Part of that deliverance is for our physical well being of course, but we believe that Psalms 91 is addressing its’ most glorious promises perhaps to our spiritual security. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” Matthew 6:9 I believe that the dramatic promises in Psalm 91 are about keeping us away from the traps and bondages of sin and delivering us from evil. What stories our guardian angels may have to tell us when we reach the other side! Were there times when we might have been taken in by Satan’s lies but were strengthened and protected by unseen forces?
Other passages in this Psalm state that we will tread upon the lion, the cobra and the serpent. Some Fundamentalist Christians take those passages literally and actually handle poisonous snakes and serpents. –often to their own detriment! But I believe that the Lord meant so much more! Through Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit we can tread all over Satan – we can stand up against strong temptation, and walk right over the pit. Through Christ we will not be overcome with evil but we can overcome evil with good!
Psalms 91 describes the one who is blessed with these many glorious promises and protections, - this blessed one who is hiding in God’s secret place. What has this special person done to deserve this honor? We are told that this blessed person trusts God.-Psalms 91:2. He has made the Lord his refuge,vs.9 and she has set her love on God , vs. 14. This person doesn’t have to win the Olympics or be a special hero to dwell in God’s secret place. If we want to be that blessed person according to Psalm 91 we just need to love and trust the Lord and come to Him. And we can even ask Him to help us do that. He does it all. We can’t do our salvation ourselves. We just have to be willing to be willing. So what are we waiting for?