Deeper Christian Life Ministry – Search The Scripture 6 June 2021 (Lesson 1003)
Topic: The Secret Place Of The Most High (STS 6 June 2021)
MEMORY VERSE: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1,2).
TEXT: Psalms 90:1-17; Psalm 91:1-16
1 (A Prayer of Moses the man of God.) Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
The text opens with the revelation that God is eternal. Moses was inspired to write this truth during the wilderness journey of the children of Israel to the Promised Land. Psalm 90, Moses’ piece in the collection of psalms, focuses on the brevity of life and appropriate response of the wise to this truth, which includes living in the secret place of the Most High. Thus, Psalm 91 reveals the joyful state of the godly dwelling under the shadow of the Almighty. God is a Refuge for all who establish relationship with Him. The Scripture reveals that all who repent of sin and receive salvation are new creatures “in Christ” and their lives are “hid with Christ in God” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:3). They are secure and need not fear or fret as long as they “dwell” or abide in Him. While the first psalm reveals the danger of exiting the divine presence, the second shows the immense benefits of continued abidance.
Question 1: How can one enter the secret place of the most High?
THE ETERNAL GOD AND THE FRAILTY OF MAN (Psalm 90:1-12; Proverbs 8:25; Job 26:7-11; Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 40:6; Deuteronomy 32:39,40; 33:27; Revelation 11:17)
“LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:1,2). Moses begins his prayer in this psalm by exalting God’s eternality, immutability and faithfulness to all generations of His people. Existing before any time-related beginning, God is the Creator of all things both visible and invisible (Nehemiah 9:6; Genesis 1:1; Job 26:7-11). He has neither beginning nor end. He says, “I lift my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever” (Deuteronomy 32:40). He is unchanging and faithful as Refuge to different generations of His people (Malachi 3:6). As eternal and immutable Creator of all beings and things, there is nothing He cannot change, renew or restore in our lives, health, families and circumstances. There is nothing impossible with Him; He is forever dependable (Luke 1:37; Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 1:12). Men can therefore trust Him and hide under His protective arms (John 10:29). Like Moses, believers should learn to worship and exalt Him for His might, majesty and dominion before presenting their requests to Him. The Scripture admonishes us to, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4). Christ also teaches that, “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…” (Luke 11:2). The psalmist explores the frailty and transience of human life and compares that to the eternality of God. Man’s existence is so brief that it passes away like a sweeping flood and withering grass and is soon forgotten. Moses recalls that many Israelites were not wise to make the most use of their short existence on earth, given the fact that many of them died under divine wrath. “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:9,10). The brevity of life is designed to teach man the need for purposeful living. This underpins the all-time relevant prayer of Moses that God should “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). It is wise to consider two realities – brevity of life on earth and endlessness of afterlife in hell or heaven – and set our priorities right by spending our time and resources on things of eternal value. In living a purposeful life, Christ teaches all to, one, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33) through repentance and faith in His atoning sacrifice; two, obey God’s word on restitution, holy living and other areas of life (Matthew 5:24; 7:24-26); and three, rescue souls into God’s kingdom before they perish (John 9:4; 4:35). After restoring Peter to first love of feeding His sheep, Christ highlighted the frailty of man as reason he should make wise use of the privilege of his agility before getting disabled by old age (John 21:18). Paul also harped on the shortness of time available for soul-winning and the need for commitment to rescuing perishing souls (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
Question 2: What can believers learn from the brevity of human life?
THE ENTREATY OF THE GODLY AND FORMAT FOR PRAYER (Psalm 90:13-17; Exodus 32:31-33; Psalm 51:1-4; Nehemiah 1:3-9; Deuteronomy 32:36; Luke 18:1; Ezekiel 22:30)
Moses continued his prayer in this psalm by appealing for restoration of God’s presence and favour to His people. “Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:13,14). He prayed that God would pardon their transgressions and satisfy them with His goodness. God is merciful; He pardons all who truly repent and forsake their sins and removes their guilt, condemnation and consequences of sin. Sinners and backsliders should urgently seek His forgiveness because He “…is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Moses’ plea for the manifestation of divine presence, power and glory extends to the future generation of His people. He says, “Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:16,17). Here, believers learn to pray for restoration of divine mercy, presence, glory and beauty upon the present and succeeding generations of the Church.
Question 3: What can believers learn from Moses’ plea for restoration of divine presence and favour to His people
God does not want anyone to sever relationship with Him, as that is tantamount to forfeiting all attendant privileges of security, fruitfulness, provision and other blessings. Individuals have the responsibility to ensure they abide in Christ through regular intake, meditation on and obedience to His word, holy living, communion with God in prayer and fellowship with His people. Christ says, “Abide in me, and I in you… He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:4-6). The prayer of Moses was necessitated by the backsliding and suffering of the children of Israel. This is reminiscent of the prodigal son’s plight before his restoration. Thus, our security in Christ is conditioned on abiding in Him. Though God promises forgiveness and restoration to the prodigal who penitently returns to Him (1 John 2:1; Hosea 14:4), all who are restored to divine presence and favour must abide to continue to enjoy His blessings.
Question 4: How can believers abide in the secret place of the most High?
EVERLASTING GUARANTEE OF THE FATHER’S PROTECTION (Psalms 91:1-16; 27:5; 126:3-8; 27:1,2; Acts 13:36; Jeremiah 36:26; Lamentations 3:22,23; Esther 4:15,16; 7:1-6; 9:1; Luke 4:28-30; John 17:4; 2 Corinthians 11:25-27; 2 Timothy 4:18,6-8; Acts 12:5-11; 2 Peter 1:14; Luke 1:74,75)
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” This reveals the position and security of the believer who abides in divine presence. The shadow of the Almighty is only a reflection of His presence. The word, “dwelleth” is in its present continuous tense and signifies continued stay or abiding. Dwelling in the secret place of the most High requires entering into personal relationship with Him. This is clarified by the psalmist’s use of personal pronoun in his affirmation that “the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:2). Entrance into the secret place is through salvation by grace and faith in Christ. Thus saved, the believer is made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Having enjoyed the blessedness of divine presence, protection and deliverance, the psalmist did not hesitate to declare that the same provisions are for all who seek refuge in Him. He identifies those who abide in Him as believers who trust Him, imbibe His truth and make it their shield and buckler; they fear no evil, make God their habitation, engage in spiritual warfare, set their love upon Him and carry out responsibilities of love, know the potency of His name and commune with and pray to Him always (Psalm 91:4,5,9,13-15). He enumerates the blessings of abiding under the shadow of the Almighty as follows: one, deliverance from the snares of foul spirits (verse 3); two, preservation from noisome pestilence or pandemic; three, preservation from evil and hardship (verse 4); four, courage of faith against terrors, evil arrows and destruction both day and night (verses 5,6); five, immunity from premature death that claims many lives (verses 7,8); six, divine hedge around the believer and his dwelling (family) against evil occurrence and plague (verse 10); seven, angelic guards and entourage everywhere to prevent accidents (verses 11,12); eight, empowerment to tread on lion, adder and dragon or Satan (verse 13). God confirms the psalmist’s exhortation by saying, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high… He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16). Thus, there is deliverance with promotion, answer to prayers, divine partnership in trouble, honour from God, long life and revelation of present and final salvation for those who abide in His secret place. God’s promises to believers do not rule out the importance of prayers, which is the means of getting them actualised (Ezekiel 36:37). God’s promises never fail, though “Heaven and earth may pass away…” (Matthew 24:35; Psalm 89:34). David was preserved when Saul attempted to terminate his life and destiny. Job also had the divine hedge around him, his family and all that he possessed. Ruth was honoured by God “under whose wings” she came to trust; she became an ancestor of Christ. The courage and boldness of unlearned and ignorant Peter and John baffled their religious antagonists who immediately recognised “that they had been with Jesus”. However, there is need for watchfulness, proper knowledge and understanding of God’s promises with the conditions attached to avoid falling into Satan’s temptations. The reason is, Satan and his agents know the promises of Scripture and God’s faithfulness to fulfil them; thus, they try to deceive their targets. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11 incorrectly to tempt the Lord in order to achieve his devious plot but He overcame him with the truth (Matthew 4:6,7). Like Christ, believers must commit to living, upholding and propagating the total gospel in order to overcome Satan and his arsenal of falsehood.
Question 5: What blessings do believers who dwell under the shadow of Almighty enjoy?
David, Jeremiah, Esther, Christ our Lord, Peter, Paul and other saints in Scripture enjoyed divine security while serving God until they accomplished their commission. So, we need not entertain any fear of evil or premature death as God is committed to delivering and preserving us to continue to serve Him all our days.
Flatimes’ Notice Board: Until you are born again, God ever abiding presence will never be with you. You must be born again to enjoy continuous victory. Please say the displayed prayer below in faith:
Lord Jesus, come into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Personal Saviour. I believe in my heart You died and rose from the dead to save me. Thank You Lord for saving me, in Jesus name Amen.
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