He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” ~Ps. 91.1-2
In our culture there is a negative aspect to living in someone’s shadow. We want to live in full light, not under the influence or cover of another. Yet here the psalmist suggests that we should seek to dwell in God’s shelter, in His shadow.
Is it possible to be sheltered and not be in a shadow? Not really. A house offers us shelter from the storms and in the process casts a shadow. A window lets light it, but itself acts as a filter. And on its own, the window offers little protection. It needs the larger structure of a house or other building that casts a shadow to function.
We likely live in shadows far more often than we realized. As children we lived in the protection and shadow of our parents. As students we live in the protection and shadow of our teachers and schools. As citizens of the United States we live in the protection and shadow of our government. The same is true of many other countries. Yet a quick survey reveals that while not every country protects its citizens in the same way, each does, indeed, cast a shadow.
We find shelter in God Himself, so His is the shadow we live in. God is our shelter – not another structure He created, but God Himself.
- Peace and quiet are not my shelter, though they can feed my soul.
- Order and organization are not my shelter, though they do make my life easier.
- A good book, fun food, or an evening with friends are not my shelter, though each has an appropriate place.
I can use all these to medicate and create a shelter of my own making, but not one will ever provide the protection and comfort I find when I shelter in God.
Shelter In The Most High
Sheltering in God is not a fantasy, but a promise God makes to all who seek Him.
- My presence goes with you. Ex. 33.14
Not only can I seek the shelter of God, but His shelter, His presence, goes with me. Shelter is not a place I go to, but a presence that goes with me, sort of like a turtle’s shell.
- Hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent. Ps. 27.5
God’s shelter is of His making, not mine. He hides me from the storms of life. This does not mean I don’t experience the storm, but I have protection from the full brunt of the storm, sort of like a boarded-up house during a hurricane.
- Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. Ps. 143.9
God has resources no one else can ever match. When I take shelter in God, especially when my enemies abound, I take shelter in the one who never, nor ever, will be defeated, sort of like Captain America.
Why would we not seek the shelter God offers, especially when our salvation is dependent on God anyway? He provides what we cannot, what we will never be able to. Best of all we don’t have to beg for God’s protection. He freely offers it to all who seek Him.