Shelter, Refuge, Fortress and Trustworthy God
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalms 91:1-2
It was my privilege to grow up in a loving home with a soft spoken, but strong dad. My reality was that there was no safer place in all the world than on my dad’s lap. When I was a child, I fit much better on his lap, but even as one with her own children, dad’s lap had the same effect. Being held in his presence had a way of dispelling fear and putting things right-side up in an upside-down world.
One of the many reasons for that conclusion was, no matter how much or by whom we are loved, difficulties come into our lives. There is no getting around it. In a fallen world, there is a need for shelter, refuge, fortress and a trustworthy God.
When David, the psalmist, pinned Psalms 91, the first two verses set the tone for the amazing remaining verse of that chapter. David knew difficulties well. No doubt, it started as being the youngest brother among an admired handsome lot and continued with being envied and pursued as a criminal by King Saul, his father-in-law. Not to mention continual battles with enemy forces, disagreements within the tribes of Israel, personal failure and lifelong internal and external difficulties and tragedies that King David faced.
My simple translation of the key words found in verse one: “He”—whoever, “dwells”—stays put, “shelter”—protection, “Most High”—the Supreme Force of the World, “abide”—live within, “shadow”—covering and “Almighty”—most powerful force of the universe. Yes, whoever stays in the protection of the Supreme Force of the World lives within the covering of the most powerful force of the universe. Talk about Superheroes, David starts right off the bat focusing on the one that not only created the entire world but, has created him and has a plan to protect Him as long as David is close enough to Him to be covered under his presence. A pretty good start for the first verse.
Verse two: “I”—whoever partners with the Lord, “refuge”—safe place, “fortress”—impenetrable by enemy forces, “my God”—a personal, intimate relationship with God, “trust”—a faith journey of fulfilled promises that proves God is trustworthy. So, adding to verse one, while you are focusing on the Most High and Almighty God, He is providing you with not only shelter, but safety, protection and has proven Himself trustworthy and the very best part is; He is your God.
Yes, He is your Father and you can figuratively crawl up in His lap, because you are His child. He will provide everything to take care of you in the midst of your biggest challenges because He is your trustworthy God. The key is seeing God for who He is and letting Him cover you with everything you need to be secure in Him.