Psalm 91:1 NKJV
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Finding Protection in God’s Word in Psalm 91:1
Here are other translations of this verse:
- “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]” (AMPC).
- “He who takes refuge in the shelter of the Most High will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty” (The Voice).
- “He who dwells in the shelter of Elyon, will abide in the shadow of Shaddai” (TLV).
Note: “he” is not in the Hebrew. It could be translated, “the one who dwells.”
Psalm 91:1 tells us two things we need to do:
- Dwell in Hebrew also means to sit down, to remain, to settle, to marry, inhabit, live or sit enthroned. The word dwell in Greek means to occupy a house, inhabit and remain. It is used in the following verses. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants to say to you from them.
- Psalm 4:8 (ESV): “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
- Psalm 23:6 (ESV): “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord”
- Psalm 27:4 (ESV): “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
- Romans 8:9 (ESV): “The Spirit of God dwells in you.”
- Romans 8:11 (NKJV): “The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.”
- Abide in Hebrew means to stop (usually overnight), to stay permanently, continue, dwell, lodge, remain, tarry (all night). This is a place of rest.
- John 15:4 (TLV) says, “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. The branch cannot itself produce fruit, unless it abides on the vine. Likewise, you cannot produce fruit unless you abide in Me.” The Greek word for abide has similar meanings to the Hebrew. We are to remain in the Lord, live in Him, make our home in Him, remain in life union with Him. For a more in-depth study on abiding in John 15, go to the Appendix.
- Both words, dwell and abide, are long-term; they are not just visiting. What does that say to you?
This verse gives us two names of God:
- The Most High, Elyon, עֶלְיוֹן. In Hebrew it means an elevation, lofty, the Supreme, and the upper(-most). Our God is the supreme God above all gods.
- The Almighty God, Shaddai, שַׁדָּי. This name is actually just Dai in Hebrew. God is the all-powerful One.
- What do these names of God mean to you today?
This verse has two places for us to live:
- In the shelter or secret place of the Most High. Shelter in Hebrew is סָ֫תֶר, sater, meaning a cover, covering, hiding place, protection and secret place. This word is used in the following verses.
- Psalm 27:5 (ESV): “He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
- Psalm 31:20 (CSB): “You hide them in the protection of your presence; you conceal them in a shelter from human schemes, from quarrelsome tongues.”
- Psalm 32:7 (WEB): “You are my hiding place. You will preserve me from trouble. You will surround me with songs of deliverance.”
- Psalm 61:4 (AMP): “Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”
- In the shadow of the Almighty. Shadow in Hebrew is צֵל, tsel, also meaning shade or defense. The Almighty God is a protection, a defense, a place to hide and a place of rest. These verses have the same Hebrew word. What do they say to you?
- Psalm 17:8 (AMPC): “Keep and guard me as the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
- Psalm 36:7 (AMP): “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”
- Psalm 63:7 (ESV): “You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”
- Psalm 121:5 (NASB): “The Lord is your protector; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.”
- Song of Songs 2:3 (CJB): “Like an apple tree among the other trees in the forest is my darling among the other men. I love to sit in his shadow; his fruit is sweet to my taste.”
- Are the shelter and shadow two separate places or are they both describing the same place? It seems that we can’t abide under the shadow of Shaddai unless we are dwelling in His shelter. Think about that.
- In the secret place, there is protection, as well as intimacy, safety, rest, peace, hope and so much more. How often are you in the secret place with the Lord? Is there anything you may need to change?
What is God saying to you today through this verse?
It is important for us to learn to live continually in the secret place, close to God. As we do, we will experience all the promises in this psalm. What do you do to dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty?
We need to learn to be aware of His presence every moment of the day. We can talk to Him about anything and everything, but we also need to take time to hear and recognize His voice. This takes spending quiet time alone with Him.
I’m continuously learning to live in the secret place with the Lord, enjoying His presence, finding His protection and provision, seeking His advice on decisions, including the little ones. I need to be so in tune with the Lord that I can hear what He tells me to do. One time I wanted to go to Mount Hermon, the northernmost point in Israel. As I turned my rental car north on the highway, almost immediately I had a very strong sense of God telling me to turn around. I obeyed. The next day I found out there had been fighting a few miles up the road that day, with at least nine people killed. I could have been in the middle of that.
What might you need to do to live more consistently in the secret place with the Lord?
A Prayer for You based on Psalm 91:1
Most High God, El Elyon, thank You that I can live in Your shelter, in Your secret place where You hide me, keeping me safe and secure, out of reach of anything that may come against me. What a privilege it is to live with You every moment! I’m grateful that I never have to leave that place. Would You give me a craving to seek to always live in Your shelter, seeing Your face? Clear my eyes and ears so that I can see and hear You more and more clearly. Teach me how to live in Your shelter, Your secret place, and how to stay protected in Your shadow.
An Affirmation to Make
Since I live in the secret place of the Most High I will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Pray Psalm 91.
Actions to Take
What might you need to do to apply this verse in your life? You could also write your own prayer, expressing what God is revealing to you today.
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© 2021 Relationship Resources. Excerpted from Hidden from Harm: Powerful Promises found in Psalm 91.