Do you want to know what it means to abide under the shadow of the Almighty? If yes, then you need to read this blog. Join us now as we explore how Christians can enjoy the benefits of living under God’s shadow!
You probably have heard about the shadow of the Almighty mentioned in Psalm 91:1. Most, if not all, will automatically think about the God’s protection.
We read in Psalm 91:1:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
The shadow of the Almighty brings to mind how a mother bird would cast her wings over her young to provide shade and protection.
However, I would like us to think deeper about what it really means to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. How does God protect His people and why would the writer of Psalm 91, who is thought to be King David, use the analogy of a shadow to describe the special protection God provides to His children?
Join me now as we study Psalm 91:1 and see what it means to abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Desperate for shade
I live in the Philippines and I would tell you that the sun can be as harsh as it can be.
I ride my motorcycle most of the time when I need to go to different places. As you can imagine, wearing a T-shirt is simply not enough. I need to wear my jacket to obtain sufficient protection from the sun.
But of course, wearing a jacket under the blazing light also means my body doesn’t get enough air circulation to cool itself.
So, there are times when the sun is too strong and I can feel the heat building up inside my body, trapped inside my thick jacket. I could feel the sweat slowly rolling down my cheek, as my helmet prevent any breeze or air cool my face.
As I drive under the tropical sun, I could hear every inch of my body calling for the comfort that a shade could provide. Whether it could be the tender shade of the tree or the shadow of a tall truck, any shade will do.
Now, what I just described to you is something that you will typically experience in a tropical country like the Philippines. Think about the heat of the sun that King David could have felt during His life here on earth. He knew how it feels like to let the sun suck the life out of you.
You might have experienced the time when all you want is to find a shade just to escape away from the sun’s powerful heat.
God’s shadow is like that.
He provides not just protection, but also comfort to His people.
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
The Hebrew word for “abide” from this verse means to literally stop, remain and lodge.
The meaning is clear: if we choose to abide under God’s shadow, we need to stay and dwell with Him.
It is choice we must make. God will not make the decision for you or me. God gave us the gift of free will and He desires that we use this gift in the right way.
Abiding under the shadow of God means choosing to make it our home. We are not just to be temporary dwellers, who just come and go. We must not just strangers who would stay for a few hours.
When we choose to be with God, we have the full intention to stay and never depart!
What can the shadow of God do to you?
Most commentators would say that the shadow of God here pictures how a mother bird gathers her young under her wings.
I would also say this shadow is like the pillar of cloud God used to shelter the sojourning Israelites from the blazing heat of the sun as they travel across the hot wilderness.
There are different things that the shadow of God can do to you.
First, it protects you from harm. God’s protection is likened to a shadow that protects you from the heat of the sun.
God’s shadow provides not just shade, but also a cover. It hides you from harm and it hides you from the sight of your enemy.
Second, God’s shadow brings life. The shadow of God is diametrically OPPOSITE to the shadow of death mentioned in Psalms 23. In God’s shadow, it brings life. It does not bring destruction, but rather it preserves the life and health of His people.
Third, God’s shadow provides comfort. We all know how comforting it is to be under a shade. When we work outside our home, we don’t want to stay too long under the sun. When we play outside, we appreciate it when the sun is not as hot as it is during noonday. We are more comfortable under the shade rather than be in the middle of a dessert.
Fourth, God’s shadow brings inner peace. When you look at any shadow, you know that its source is just near it. In the same way that when we choose to live under God’s shadow, we have the confidence that God is just near you.
He is not miles and miles away from you. He is so close that a whisper is enough for Him to hear your voice. Knowing the fact that God is with you and seeing His shadow, you can’t help but be overwhelmed with peace, because you know that you have the greatest, most powerful, and supreme Protector right by your side.
Fifth, God’s shadow gives joy. When you start to enjoy the benefits of abiding under God’s care, it is just a matter of time when you will be filled with not just happiness, but also joyfulness and blessedness.
When you see how God brings protection, life, comfort, and peace, you can’t help it but be joyful, knowing that you are living the best life ever!
Now, that you have a deeper understanding of what it means to abide under the shadow of God, you need to ask the following question:
- Were there times when you feel that you are too far from God? How does it feel?
- Do you recognize how important it is to abide under the shadow of the Almighty?
- What are the things that you need to do to ensure you are living under God’s shadow?
- What are the potential things that may prevent you from being with God?
- What are the things you can do to ensure you abide by God and not be separated ever from Him?
Please take time to answer these questions. It is extremely vital that you reflect on your answers. Learn from your answers and see how you can be sure that you abide under the shadow of the Almighty.