The Hiding Place
The Psalmist David wrote, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 (NASB95) Those words have brought comfort to my heart many times over the years. They are words of assurance and peace. We know that David was a man that knew what it was like to be in trouble. As a boy, he was a shepherd and had to defend his flock from lions and bears. Then after he was anointed as king, the previous king sought to kill him and chased him around the country. David was a man of war and had gone through many battles.
When David wrote this psalm, the Hebrew word he used that is translated as shelter by many versions is the Hebrew word sether. It means a hiding place. In those days, people didn’t have banks or safes to keep their valuables. What they did do was build a hiding place in their homes. This is where a family would put their children when the house was under attack. David’s home likely had such a hiding place. As David writes this song/psalm, he thinks about that place as shelter from anyone who would seek to harm him.
As a young boy, we had a cellar in our home in northwest Iowa. There were many times that my dad would wake us up in the middle of the night and send us to that hiding place for protection from the storms coming to our farm. In my mind, I can see that cellar where we hid. I also remember feeling secure in knowing my Dad was watching out for us.
Another way that the Hebrew word sether can be translated is covering. The Most High God is covering us. David continues this thought when he says, “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings, you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Psalm 91:4 (NASB95)
As believers, we have a hiding place. That hiding place is under the Lord! I remember those brooding hens we had on the farm. They would have all their chicks under them, and to get at them, you needed to go through the mother. That is actually what David is saying. God covers us whenever a threat arises. Just think about that! The Most High God, the Most Powerful God, the Most Knowing God, Is our covering. This is not a covering made of hands. This is not a covering that has limits.
Peter, James, and John saw this covering on the Mount of Transfiguration. Luke 9:34 tells us that a cloud overshadowed them. This was the same cloud that overshadowed the Israelites on their journey. The Bible showed evidence of a cloud that stands between evil and God’s people.
In my 70 years on this earth, I have been through many physical and spiritual storms. I have never seen the world in such turmoil as I see today. We can build our shelter, which Peter wanted to do on the Mount of Transfiguration. He wanted to build shelters with his hands. Or we can run to the Father and find an all-encompassing refuge from any storm that arises. How do we do that? First, we need to acknowledge who our God is. He is a God that loves us without limits. He gives to all His children, those who have surrendered to Him, the invitation to come under His covering, the hiding place He has for us. In doing so, we realize that He is faithful. He is not going to turn us away. He is not going to say sorry; the shelter is full. Run to Him today! He is able!