Psalms 91 – Part 1
Psalms 91 and the Secret Place of the Most High have been a refuge for believers throughout the ages of the church. The Psalm promises God’s protection in times of trouble. Millions have gone there for strength and encouragement. Close examination of the words of this Psalm show it has special meaning for the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the end-times. We referenced it in THE SIXTH SIGNPOST: THE ABOMINATION. There we discussed how it was a picture of God’s protection during the flight of the righteous in the great tribulation.
It is a wonderful Psalm to memorize. A famine of God’s Word is coming (Amos 8: 11-12.) There will be a day when the only scripture we have to guide us and comfort us is what we have memorized. God’s Spirit has impressed on me to do a study on this Psalm for those in this ministry to help us all unpack its meaning.
The Secret Place of the Most High
He who dwells 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 I will trust (Psalms 91: 1-2 NKJV)
I have always been fascinated with the concept of a “secret place.” In Hebrew the word is bə·sê·ṯer. It means the hidden place, the hiding place, the covered place and the covert place. It is mentioned numerous times in the scripture. This passage in Psalms 27 specifically speaks of the time of trouble.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. (Psalms 27:5 NKJV)
Abigail traveled down a secret path (also the word bə·sê·ṯer) on the mountain to meet David and his men.
So it was, as she rode on the donkey that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. (1 Sam. 25:20)
Psalms 31 is also specific about hiding us from the conspiracies of men. This passage reminds me of Psalms 2 when the nations rage against God and his Messiah.
You shall hide them in the secret place of your presence from the plots of man; you shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Psalms 31: 20)
Finally in Song of Solomon we see another reference to the secret place. This passage also mentions the fig tree which has definite overtones of Jesus’ teaching in the Olivet Discourse.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff. Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice (Song of Solomon 2: 13-14 NKJV)
Taken together in context, these four scriptures paint an amazingly consistent picture.
- The secret place is mountainous and is a hiding place within the clefts of the rocks.
- Several of the passages mention a tent or pavilion
- God will be present with us in our hiding
Jesus’ instructions about the flight of the church echo the mountainous aspect of this picture.
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. (Matt. 24: 15-17 NKJV, emphasis mine)
The aspect of living in a tent or pavilion seems consistent with what may occur in the end-times. Once the Mark of the Beast is instituted, those who refuse the Mark will not be able to buy or sell. This will affect their ability to buy food and clothing but will also affect housing. Even if a person has paid off the mortgage on their home, without the Mark of the Beast, they will be unable to pay taxes. All people refusing the Mark will become homeless. Tents may be a very practical physical shelter for those fleeing from the Antichrist.
Shadow of the Almighty
Although we may “dwell” in the secret place, we shall “abide” in the shadow of the Almighty. The Hebrew word translated “shadow” is bə·ṣêl which means “under the protection of.” Some scriptures picture this type of protection as the shelter provided by a roof. Other more intimate analogies show a mother bird’s wings covering her young. All of these are pictures of how God will protect us, his people, at that time.
In Isaiah, there is a very special picture of how God held and hid Jesus in the shadow of his hand until he was ready for ministry.
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me (Isaiah 49:2 NKJV)
I believe in the same way, God’s hand will hide his people from the Antichrist. Despite all the drones and GPS systems available, God’s hand will block and frustrate the Antichrist. The Man of Evil will not be able to hunt down the elect.
The Secret Place of His Presence
“Abiding” in Jesus is the key to the Christian life. In the end-times and especially during the flight of the elect, it will be the only thing that sustains us.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4 NKJV)
Jesus’ Spirit will be present with us every minute we are in hiding. Being connected to him intimately will be our only means of survival and sustenance, both physical and spiritual. It is essential for Christians to begin living and abiding in Jesus in just this intimate a way right now. We learned in THE PRICE OF OIL that the “oil” of a relationship with Jesus is not something we can “purchase” or be given by others. It is something we need to acquire now.
Because Jesus’ Spirit will be with us that entire time, wherever we are will be the Secret Place of His Presence. Wherever we are, Christ will be with us and will protect us in the shadow of his hand. God’s presence will be our secret place.
I don’t believe we need to begin scouting out mountain retreats in which to hide. We will be given two wings of a great eagle at that time to lead us to our place of hiding. What we do need to do immediately however, is to place all our trust in God alone.
He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust (Psalms 91: 2 NKJV)