In the Shelter of the Most High
Have you ever seen small children sheltering behind their parents, clutching onto pant legs as they peek out from behind? That’s a little like the picture Psalm 91 paints of God’s people, promising protection to those who “live in the shelter of the Most High” or “in the shelter of Elyon.”
The setting for the psalm is the Jerusalem temple. Because God chose to dwell there, the Jewish people considered the temple as the place in which heaven and earth intersected. The psalmist recognizes that the safest place to be is in the sheltering presence of the Most High.
History tells us that only God, whose power extends beyond Earth, is capable of protecting us from all the evils that threaten. Though God may not always shield us from physical evils, we can be confident that he will always protect us from the evils that threaten to destroy our souls. As Charles Spurgeon once remarked,
“It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord…. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form.”1
The next time you are afraid, pray through Psalm 91. Instead of obsessing over your fears, take a moment to move into God’s sheltering presence by worshiping him, thanking him for all the ways he has already protected you. Then picture yourself resting safely in the shadow of the Most High.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty….
If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. (Psalm 91:1, 9-10)
- Quoted b y Leslie C. Allen in The International Bible Commentary, F.F. Bruce, General Editor (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979, 1986), 620.