In the Lord’s Shadow
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
Have you ever looked for shade?
Set up an umbrella at the beach? Had a picnic under a tree?
A shadow, especially in summer, is a place of refreshment and relief from the heat. That’s also what our God is like. In Psalm 91, the Psalmist tells about the refuge that God’s people can find in him when they abide “in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Just what is this shadow of the Almighty? We know that only physical and bodily things have shadows, while our God is spirit and invisible. Yet Scripture speaks of God casting a shadow, because for his people the LORD is a welcome refuge.
This Psalm speaks honestly about the difficulties we can face (vv. 3-6). In this life, there are the constant temptations from the devil, the attacks of unbelievers, and the weakness of our own nature. There can also be serious troubles with your loved ones, with your health, and with money. But in such times, you can find in the Most High your shade. In such times he’s promised to be near you, and to protect you from what threatens.
For this God is very close. In the Old Testament when the LORD dwelled in the tabernacle and temple, this was the ready “shelter” that the people could run to in prayer and worship.
Today, amazingly, the LORD is even closer to us. For in Christ, God dwelled on earth in the form of man. Christ is Immanuel—“God with us”—so that by his shed blood and through his Spirit we can again enjoy true friendship with our Maker. Now our life is hidden with Christ in God! (Col 3:3).
But realize something important: you have to walk very close to a person for his shadow to fall upon you. If you’re far from God, then you won’t benefit from his gracious presence. If you stray from his ways, his protecting shadow won’t help.
The Psalmist says we have to “dwell” in God’s shadow. Remain with him! If you do, you’ll find true rest. You won’t be shielded from every trial or sorrow or temptation, but even in the midst of these difficult things, God will give refreshment and a renewal of hope.
So live in fellowship with him. Be at home with God.
Because of the Son, the LORD always has us in his shade.