TO CHEW ON: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
I love the beautiful picture of someone hidden by God “in the secret place” and under the “shadow of the Almighty” that begins this psalm. Many believe this psalm was written by Moses. He experienced the hiding ability of the cloud that overshadowed Israel by day and night, that “shadow of the Almighty” that had actually hidden the Israelites from the Egyptians the night they crossed of the Red Sea. He knew firsthand “the secret place” of the Tabernacle.
The thought of being hidden by God took me on a search for other places in the Bible that speak of God hiding us.
David asked God to hide him various times and for various reasons.
- When hassled by “those who rise up against” him, he prayed, “… hide me in the shadow of your wings” - Psalm 17:8.
Warren Wiersbe says of this image:
“The phrase 'under the shadow of thy wings' sometimes pictures the mother hen protecting her young (Matt. 23:37), but often it refers to the wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle (Ex. 25:18-20). David asked the Lord to make his hiding place into a Holy of Holies, the place of God’s throne and God’s glory, protected by the angels of God (see Psalm 36:7, 8; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; Ruth 2:12)” - Warren Wiersbe, BE Bible Study Series, commentary on Psalm 17 (accessed through Biblegateway.com).
- David asked God to hide him in His “pavilion” in the “day of trouble,” from the “plots of men” and “the strife of tongues,” - Psalm 27:5; 31:20.
[Pavilion—ohel—is a nomad’s tent, symbolic of wilderness life; also the sacred tent of Yahweh, the tabernacle.]
So it seems David was asking to be hidden in God’s very "holy of holies" presence, as Mr. Wiersbe refers to above, the same place Moses referred to—that tent where no one but the priests were allowed to enter.
- On another “day of trouble” David begged God to be his “hiding place” and surround him with “songs of deliverance” - Psalm 32:7.
- In Psalm 64:2 he prayed for God to hide him from the “secret plots of the wicked” and “… rebellion…”
- He asked God to shelter and hide him from his "enemies" in Psalm 143:9.
And when Jesus came to earth, God’s angel told His earthly father Joseph to go into hiding with Jesus literally; to flee to Egypt until Herod’s search for Him was over - Matthew 2:13,14.
As those who still experience days of trouble, the plots of men, the strife of tongues, rebellion, can we still hide in God? I think so. Here are some ways:
- By spending time with Him in the hidden place before our day gets loud and crazy.
- By entering the secret place of prayer, bringing our problems and needs to Him any time, all the time, even when we’re in the midst of trouble.
- By activating our faith to remember that no matter how it looks or feels, He’s got us. We’re sheltered under His wings, perhaps even “hidden” from the enemy in some miraculous way.
- By memorizing promises of God’s presence and help that we can bring to mind (our “shield”) when we need the assurance of being under His cloud, under His wings, and within His tent.
- By listening to intuition, common sense, the voice inside us that sometimes says, Leave. Go, Get out of here! (Like Joseph left Bethlehem with Jesus and Peter left Jerusalem after the angel sprung him from prison - Matthew 2:13,14; Acts 12:17).
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for hiding me in You, under the cloud of Your presence, under Your wings, in Your tabernacle, behind the shield of Your word. Help me to take these images with me through this day. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.