Abiding in God’s Shadow – Psalm 91:1

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While trimming hedges in the hot sun last week, our miniature schnauzer taught me a lesson. Each time I looked over at her, she was standing in a shady spot, watching me. Smart pup, I thought. Here I am, working hard in the heat of this brutal Florida sun while she’s got it made in the shade.

Then I thought of Psalm 91:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Welcome Shade

I thought about our visits to Israel, where this Psalm was written. Each time our tour guide stopped at a site to explain its biblical significance, my mind shifted to a high-priority need – Where is the shade? I had to seek reprieve from the sun’s merciless heat. Whether it was by the side of a building, under a tree, or the scant shade of a palm frond, that’s where I stationed myself during the guide’s discourse. Remaining in the shadow of a branch in Israel offers a welcome reprieve from the blazing heat.

Where is God’s Shadow?

While meditating on the first verse of Psalm 91, I developed a deeper appreciation of its meaning. Where is the shelter of the Most High God? Quite simply, it’s very close to Him.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve had perfect, uninterrupted fellowship and communion with God. But after they sinned in Genesis 3, they distanced themselves from God’s presence as He walked in the garden, and hid among the trees. Isn’t it something how they exchanged the sanctuary of God’s shadow for the shade of trees? Sin always distances us from God as we hide from His presence.

How to Stay in God’s Shadow

But when we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). His unmerited forgiveness is not based upon anything we do or don’t do. Instead, His cleansing is based upon everything that Jesus did – his perfect sacrifice of shedding his sinless blood to pay for our sins (Ephesians 1:7).

Every time we acknowledge our sin before God, the blood of His Son cleanses us from all unrighteousness. God’s continual cleansing through Jesus Christ brings us back into His presence, abiding in His shadow. Close by His side, we can enjoy fellowship with Him and receive the fulness of His blessings.

In His presence we can enjoy rest, protected from a world that seeks to rob our peace. As we continue to dwell in God’s protective shelter, we are so close to Him that we remain in the refreshing shade of His shadow. Just as my pup knows, there’s no better place to be.

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