Hedge of Protection // Part 1
On Sunday mornings, we have been discussing the weapons of our warfare – specifically, the armor of God. This is somewhat of a companion study of Psalm 91. The author of this psalm is unknown. Some think the author is Moses since it shares some of the same themes as Psalm 90. Others think the author is David because of its similarity to Psalms 27 and 31. What we do know is that this Psalm is one of the most reassuring in scripture. G. Morgan Campbell called it: “One of the greatest possessions of the saints.” Charles Spurgeon called it a Psalm of “cheer”. It speaks of God’s protection for His children.
To unlock this treasure, let’s take a look at its promise. Psalm 91 uses several terms to speak of the special place that the children of the Lord occupy: secret place – under the shadow of the Almighty – refuge – fortress – under His wings – dwelling place. In Psalm 91:1, Moses spoke of God as the dwelling place of His people. A dwelling place is the habitation or the home of man. This is the privilege of all God’s people. Yet, the psalm seems to take us even deeper into the dwelling place – into an inner chamber of complete security called the “Secret Place”. There are many followers of Jesus Christ who seem to know very little of the secret place of the Most High or what it is to abide under His shadow.
“Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence.” — Charles Spurgeon
David spoke of the secret place in Psalms 27 and 31. Psalm 27 speaks of the secret place as being in the Lord’s tabernacle, which we know of as a place of God’s presence. This psalm includes the great word of prayer in verse 8: “When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”” Psalm 31 speaks about the “secret place of Your presence.” Also remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:6: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” The secret place seems to be tied to communion with God. It speaks of the one who dwells in the secret place – one who abides under the shadow of the Almighty. To be under the shadow of someone, you must remain very close to them!!
It is hard to have faith in God’s protection when you don’t truly know Him! For those who know Him, He becomes their refuge (a place where hunting is prohibited and where procreation is encouraged) and their fortress (place that is built for defense from attack). Now, let’s talk about His wings. Remember what Jesus said about Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37-38? "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.” Desolation was the result of Jerusalem’s failure to recognize her call to submit to Jesus. It is within these wings that we find shelter and healing in times of warfare.
Malachi 4:2 reads: "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” This scripture is a promise that is given to the children of the Lord during a great time of distress. It promises healing and protection to those who fear God’s name. To fear His name means you know who He truly is and you respond in such a way as is appropriate. Do all believers respond in such a way? These promises are made to those who dwell and abide. Both of these terms are well documented in the Bible. This is more than just casual attachment or identification. This is a connection that brings forth a transfer of spiritual power and grace. John 15 speaks of abiding in the vine. Do all those who call themselves Christians abide in the vine? What about dwelling? It means to to sit; settle; inhabit; stay. The implication here being that one stays in good times and bad. When bad circumstances would cause some to relocate, these stay connected. A dwelling is more than just a place to stay. It is a place that you call “home”. A house is where you stay. A home is where you do life. Because of this divine connection, a “Knowing” of God takes place which causes a fear of the Lord to develop. This fear doesn’t cause the dweller in the secret place to run in panic but to abide in trust.
The dweller in the secret place will find their protection in Psalm 91:2: “My God, in Him I will trust.”
- Psalm 91:1-16
- Psalm 27:8
- Matthew 6:6
- Matthew 23:37-38 (NIV)
- Malachi 4:2 (NLT)
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