Shadow of the Almighty
Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
The word shadow appears more than seventy times in the Bible and as I take a closer look, I find that the term “shadow of death” appears 19 times, “shadow of thy wings”, four times and our text “shadow of the Almighty” only once. We will not be talking about death this time, but we will be talking about the “shadow of the Almighty” only. This morning we will try to see what the Lord wants us to know about this, and how can we apply it into our lives.
I. The meaning of the word “shadow”
A. Comparing other verses and see how they are used in their context, I would say that the “shadow” means shelter, protection, as well as comfort. (Gen. 19:8; Jg. 9:15; Ps. 17:8, Song 2:3 ).
B. It may also mean refreshing presence of the Lord.
C. In a land where the scorching heat of the sun can be dangerous and sometimes fatal, “shadow” is symbolic meaning for care and protection, refreshment, and rest.
I have experienced how it is to be under the sun in the heat of the desert and it’s very uncomfortable. You need a shade to shelter you from the burning sun. People in the desert usually travel at night and take rest during the day under the shadow of a rock or a tree (if there is any). In the desert shadow is very important.
II. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
A. He who has his thoughts always on God is said to “dwell in him”
B. He who has his thoughts always on God is said “make his abode with him”
C. To dwell in Him is to “sit down in his secret place.”
D. The man who “dwelleth in him” has the Almighty, for his constant companion.
III. What is meant by the secret place?
A. The secret of the whole of the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. Therefore to the mind of David, “the secret place of the Most High,” would certainly connect itself with Christ.
C. The Psalmist designates the man who “dwells” in the secret place. It is a beautiful idea—the man who has his home in Christ. It is to have Jesus all round us—our covering, our beauty, our defence, our rest.
IV. The shadow of the Almighty
A. The safest place in the world is a shadow, if it is the shadow of the Almighty.
B. Through Jesus Christ we find safety and satisfaction symbolically under His wings (Ps. 36:7-8; 57:1; 61:4; 63:2, 6-7).
C. Jesus pictured salvation by describing chicks hiding under the wings of the mother hen (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:38),
D. Safety is emphasized in Psalms 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
E. Again safety is assured in Psalms 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
V. Symbolisms used for God and Christ
A. God and Christ are both figuratively presented as a powerful bird like an eagle. (Ex. 19:4, Deut. 32:11-12, Ps. 36:7, Ps. 57:1, Ps. 61:4)
B. God and Christ are both figuratively presented as the great rock. (Deut. 32:4, Ps. 18:2, Mat. 16:17-19, 1 Cor. 10:4)
C. They are figuratively presented as a great tree (Song 2:3)
VI. How they affect us
A. The shadow of a great rock in a weary land brings us rest, protection and comfort.
B. The shadow of the wings of an eagle gives us safety and security.
C. The shadow of a delightful fruit tree, again speaks of refreshment, comfort and rest.
D. All of the above speaks of the protecting, refreshing, satisfying shadow of God’s presence.
One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man approached him and said, “If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies were crying for their mother, who would never come back, you wouldn’t be saying what you’re saying.”
Tragically, a few days later, Tucker’s wife was killed in a train wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the same Citadel for the funeral. After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and then turned to those attending. “The other day a man told me I wouldn’t speak of the sympathy of Jesus if my wife had just died. If that man is here, I want to tell him that Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, but it has a song put there by Jesus. I want that man to know that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today.”
If we are in the shadow of the Almighty we are in the safest place. In Jesus Christ, we can have security, care, protection, rest, and comfort for our tired and grieving souls. Have you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour? If not yet, now is the time