STANDING IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY
A Psalm. A song for the Sabbath day
When I was younger, my two sisters were always much smaller than I. Lisa was eight years younger than me and Lorri was 12 years younger. So, there was always a big difference in us. We didn’t have many bullies in Chickamauga, but anytime there was a problem or difference of opinion concerning my sisters, anyone who had a problem with them knew they would never be able to get to them if they were standing close enough to me to be standing in my shadow. Standing in big brother’s shadow was a safe zone for Lisa and Lorri.
I know sometimes Bill Walker may feel like he’s standing in the shadow of John Wesley. If you ever want to know something about John Wesley, Bill is your man. He doesn’t just know about John Wesley, he understands the motives and depths and studious mind of John Wesley. When Bill is in our Bible Study the contributions he makes sometime just amaze me. I always learn something when I’m talking to Bill about John.
Psalm 90 is a Psalm of death. Psalm 91 is a Psalm of life; it is a messianic Psalm and gives a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Protector. It reveals a wonderful place of protection and security for us. It is a Psalm that is very popular among God’s people of all ages. And many have been greatly blessed by it.
While we were in quarantine, I watched Facebook more than usual. Ordinarily I would only be on Facebook about 15 minutes every Sunday morning to send out the broadcast, the invite for everyone to join us at Bostwick UMC. Eventually you run out of productive things to do in quarantine. I noticed more and more Psalms being quoted on Facebook. And the one that I saw quoted the most was Psalm 91. More and more people seemed to be getting relief, comfort and support from that part of the Bible.
Now, my shadow is nothing like, nothing close to being like Standing in the Shadow of The Almighty. I particularly like the Name “The Almighty.” There is something powerful about it. There is something all-encompassing and all-powerful about it… The Almighty. As one of our choruses says, “There’s Just Something about that Name.”
Look at the first two verses of Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge
and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” (NIV)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare of the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I am trusting him. (NLT)
I’ve included two translations of the first two verses the New International Version and the New Living Translation, for an aid for us to see, even more clearly, how we can approach this Psalm. The underlined words are where I want us to pay attention. This Psalm has 16 verses, and we could spend weeks studying those 16 verses, but today let’s just concentrate on the first two.
There are several phrases in here that just jump out at me. He who dwells… Those who live… every one of us, all of us who claim to be His, who claim His Name, are dwelling there, living there. We all have dwellings, places where we live. I’ve always been fascinated by what some black people phrase a common question. If I wanted to know where your house is I would say, “Where do you live?” But in the black community usually many of them would ask, “Where do you stay?” Do you see the subtle difference there? In Psalm 91 we are seen as abiding with Him, Living in Him, Dwelling in/with Him. We are depending upon Him for our Shelter, our Safety, our Sustenance.
dwells in the shelter… rest in the shadow the word shadow is key in this passage, but shelter says so much, also. He is our Shelter from the storms. The Storms of Life that so often plague us. We have just passed through one of those storms. We were separated for a season, but we are back together again. And in the Spirit, as has been revealed to us, we will be together forever.
And we’re not talking about just any shelter, we are dwelling in in the shelter of the Most High. The spell check on my laptop doesn’t want me to capitalize Most High. But there is no other way to write it. You can’t capitalize it enough. I can’t get off that phrase, the shelter of the Most High. The Most High God. Our God. Our Creator. Our Savior. Our Lord. How can we praise Him? How can we not Praise Him?? How can we Glorify Him? How can we not Glorify Him?? How can we Worship Him enough? How can we Love Him enough? The Most High. The Almighty. Our Strength and our Refuge.
9/28/2020 Bostwick UMC
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.”
Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the Lord, who is my refuge — then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.” (NIV)