Thu. Jun 24th, 2021

By: Jack Tanner

Psalm 91:1-2

1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

There are two main branches of God’s authority. One is God’s delegated authority such as in and through the office of a pastor or a prophet. The other is God’s direct authority. It is this direct authority of God that we will focus on in this chapter.

This direct authority of God is conveyed to us through His Word. Accepting His authority and flowing with it in our daily lives produces immeasurable blessings. To contest or reject His authority is to set in motion tensions that undermine a person’s peace and tranquility. Such rebellion eventually leads to chaos and ultimate damnation.

The above scripture verses make it crystal clear that there is a place of very special covering and protection. It is “under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Hebrew word for Almighty is El Shaddai. It literally means the Strong-breasted One.

Wow! What a place of refuge! What a secure fortress! Under the shadow of the Almighty! Do you want a special covering over you? Do you crave protection? There is nothing offered anywhere else in the world that can match abiding under the shadow of the Almighty!

 

The Pre-requisite

There is a pre-requisite for “abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.” Notice that the first part of Psalm 91:1 stipulates the condition necessary. We must continue to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.

It is absolutely impossible to dwell in God’s secret place if there is insurrection and lawlessness operating within us. To think otherwise is total deception. To put it succinctly to be under God’s special covering of protection, a person must be under God’s authority!
One of the root causes for the difficulties that many persons experience, even in the church, is that they are not truly submitted to the authority of God’s Word (this truth is worth a few extra moments of reflection).

Most rebellion in the church is not blatant; it is subtle. However, the ultimate outcome of subtle rebellion to God’s Word is no less devastating than that of blatant rebellion.

Adam and Eve

Consider the case of Adam and Eve. They enjoyed an exhilarating freedom and unequaled protection in the Garden of Eden. They were both naked and yet felt no twinge of shame or embarrassment. (Genesis 2:25) The reason – they were under God’s authority and, thus, had a unique covering that no sense of guilt could penetrate.
Observe the first thing they did after they stepped out from under the authority of God and selected the authority of self.

Genesis 3:7

“At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.”
(NLT) [Emphasis added]

Adam and Eve were not only uncovered by this act physically, they also were now out from under the shadow of the Almighty spiritually.

Our entire relationship with God is regulated by whether or not we are submitted to His authority. It is extremely precarious to live even a few moments out from under the shadow of the Almighty.

The True Definition of Sin

I John 3:41

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”
(NIV)

To put it simply, lawlessness is not submitting to the authority of God. Lawlessness is placing self-will above God’s Will. It becomes a lifestyle of disobedience.
The practice of lawlessness is cause to be barred from Heaven, even if a person does a lot of religious and charitable work. Jesus Himself made this clear.

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (NKJV) [Emphasis added]
These are folks who have developed a pattern of placing their agenda, personal pleasure, or family plans ahead of the commands of the Lord.
We cannot do enough religious service or good works to nullify lawlessness. We cannot worship, dance, or shout enough to make up for disobedience. No amount of money can be given, regardless of how substantial, to justify rebellion.

Practices to be Avoided

James 1:22
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
“And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. So don’t fool yourselves.”
(TUB)

This scripture indicates that when a person only hears the Word of God and doesn’t obey it, deception enters their heart and mind. Pause to meditate on that. When a person disobeys the Word of God clearly revealed to him or her, a veil slides over his or her heart. Said veil obstructs the spiritual view and often begins to distort his or her thinking.

Usually the next step taken is to justify wrongful actions and thinking. The result of this defensiveness – instead of repentance – is that the individual will begin to suffer the loss of any feeling of conviction. It ultimately leads to him or her becoming a reprobate.
The usual reason that folks don’t obey is that they elevate their personal reasoning above the Word of God and the authority of God. This is the very thing that caused God to reject the sacrifice of Cain. God is more pleased with obedience than He is with sacrifice. Don’t ever forget this…the highest form of worship is obedience!

The Special Covering of Protection

Psalm 91:1-2

1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
These two verses use four different Hebrew titles to identify God. Let us review them and their meanings and implications.
* The Most High (Hebrew = Elyon)/The Possessor of Heaven and earth or The Possessor of everything
* The Almighty (Hebrew = Shaddai)/The Strong-breasted One or The Provider
* The Lord (Hebrew = Jehovah)/The Self-existent One and The God of covenant and promise
* God (Hebrew = Elohim)/The Creator or The God of power
Notice also the four sanctuaries listed in these two verses as being provided for God’s children.

* Secret place
* Shadow
* Refuge
* Fortress

 

Psalm 91:3

“Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”

This one verse lists two very different kinds of disasters. The snare of the fowler refers to a concealed and baited trap set to catch a bird. This prison waits in silence. The unsuspecting fowl has no idea of impending danger until the trap door is sprung and clicks shut. Then the bird is hopelessly trapped. The scope connoted here is of a single or isolated tragedy.

The other type of disaster mentioned here is the noisome pestilence. The word noisome literally means offensive to the point of arousing disgust; foul. The word pestilence means a usually fatal epidemic disease. The idea here is of a plague that is public and far-reaching. This is a regional or national tragedy involving many persons.

The special covering of protection promised here applies to both kinds of assaults. To be under God’s authority offers a protection in this world that no insurance company can provide. No sum of money can guarantee this kind of assurance. Only God can give it.

Psalm 91:4

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

The feathers as mentioned here connote cushion and softness. The Psalmist also refers to being under His wings. This same concept is stated even more graphically in another verse.

Psalm 61:4

“I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.”
Carefully reflect on the word covert. It refers to the smaller feathers under the wing that cover the bases of the longer feathers on the bird. The covert feathers under the wing are the softest feathers on the bird.

It is in the soft and cushiony place that the Lord promises to secure us during the times of disaster. Oh, what a special covering of protection!

Psalm 91:5-8

5 “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.”
It is worthy of our attention to re-examine the potential attacks listed here.

 

* Terror (or terrorism)
* Arrow (assault weapons)
* Pestilence (fatal epidemic)
* Destruction (devastation)

In spite of all these major concerns, God says that His children do not have to be afraid. Our lives and times are in His hand. He alone can offer protection in such situations and circumstances.

Psalm 91:9

“Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;”

The key to such provision and protection is to make the Lord one’s habitation. The connotation here is that you live in Him. These promises are not made to fair-weather friends of the Lord. These promises are to persons who reside in Him. This also clearly intimates that they are under His authority.

Psalm 91:10-12
10 “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

What awesome promises!

* No evil
* No plague
* Angelic oversight
* Carried by angels

Sometimes God chooses to deliver us in or through some trials. Other times He delivers us from them. In any case, He has promised to always be there. He has firmly declared that He will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Psalm 91:13-16

13 “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
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.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and shew him my salvation.”

There are four species of trials noted in verse 13. We will identify each of them.

* Lion
* Adder
* Young lion
* Dragon

The lion is a type of an obvious and old problem. Should you meet a lion while out on a Sunday stroll, you would instantly know that you are confronted with a real and an immediate emergency. Some trials in life are precisely like this.

The adder is analogous to a surprise problem. The adder referred to here is the rock cobra. These creatures hide in crevices in stone walls and strike at unsuspecting victims who happen to pass by them. Some trials in life suddenly spring upon us, catching us off guard.

The young lion speaks of a recent or new problem. Life has these kinds of trials, too.

The dragon refers to life’s imagined problems. You see, the dragon is a very large creature with a long tail and fire coming out of his nostrils. However, the dragon doesn’t really exist. It is a fictional character. This represents attacks upon our minds and the ploy of Satan to bog us down in worry and negative thinking.

The special covering of protection that God offers cannot be purchased anywhere. There is only one place that a soul can find this kind of solace and security. It is under the shadow of the Almighty!
Just remember – it is submission and obedience that keeps us under this special covering of protection.

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