Tag Archives: Abide

Singing with the King (64) – Where Your Home Is

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

cross and shadowThere are two very important words in this verse: dwell and abide. The word dwell in Hebrew is used for a lot of words. It can be translated as some form of inhabit, sit, stay, remain, and even married. Do you get the impression that dwelling in the shelter of the Most High is a place where not only do you want to stay, but it is a place where you are welcome. And it is a place that is close, maybe even home.

And though the Hebrew word for abide doesn’t have quite so many definitions or appearances in the OT, some of its translations are spend the night, abide, and lodge. There is within its definitions an aspect of rest. So, abiding also gives you a sense of a place where you can find rest.

The word shelter can also be a hiding place or a secret place. The same word appears in Psalm 32, which you may recognize: You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. (v.7) So now we see the LORD God welcoming us in a place of safety, a place known only by Him.

The word shadow can also mean protection or shade. It is important to note, as we read in James, Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. You see, there is no shadow with in God, it is not part of his nature; but He certainly can cast a very long shadow, and has been known to use darkness, as seen in Psalm 18: He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. (v.9)

I’ve thrown a lot more definitions at you than I typically do; but I want you to understand what it means to dwell and abide with the Most High. It is a place of rest and safety. It is a place where you are welcome and you can call home. And most importantly, He is there.

There’s one more aspect to the word abide that I want you to see. We find it in part of Christ’s teaching to His disciples at the Last Supper:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

From this passage, we learn that abiding in Christ is a living, organic, intimate condition. In the Greek definitions, you still get the aspect of resting, remaining, staying, and even being held. But it also has the meaning of standing fast in a battle, holding your position. Understand that home is not a static place. If you abide in Christ, He is your home. Then you can join with the psalmist in the very next verse of Psalm 91: “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.”.

Singing with the King (43) – A Psalm of Extremes (2)

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.Psalm 103:12

Cross and StarsHere is the next verse which also reveals the scope of His actions.

David uses another distance metaphor not to illustrate a navigational feat, but how measureless His mercy really is. East and west, unlike north and south, and not fixed points—they are headings. They are in opposite directions, and they never meet. They are, in the extreme from one another.

Another way this could be stated is: as far as the sunrise is from the sunset. When using this variation, more analogies come into play.

  • The difference of day and night
  • The extreme opposites of our 24 hour day
  • The hope of a new day
  • Even death and resurrection (darkness and light)

And those extremes are how far our sins, and therefore the associated punishment, are removed from us.

The Hebrew word for removed means to set or put far away, and to be gone. So the verb is consistent with the picture.

The question arises: How forgiven do you feel? How far are you delivered from your past sins? If you feel that they are lurking around the corner, then you have a problem with the extent of God’s forgiveness. May you find strength and comfort that your sins have been removed, put far away, and are gone.

Father, help me to abide in you, and far away from my sins. Amen.

Singing with the King (8) – Be Still 1.2

Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

Abide

Other definitions for cease striving or be still are to sink down, relax, and let down, like sinking down into one of those old-fashioned over-stuffed chairs. Place yourself into the bosom of the Father, and wrap yourself up in His cloak. There you will find comfort; there you will know the intimacy, and the love of our Heavenly Father.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

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’…He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. (Psalm 90:1-2)

Are you bringing something to do with your hands or all they full of stuff? Be still also means to let go, to go limp, and lay down the stuff, so you can hold on to your Heavenly Father.

“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. (Isaiah 1:15-16)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. you. (James 4:8-10)

Be still also means enfeebled and frail. You are incapable of lifting your hands for rescue—or for worship. When we are too weak to do anything, He shows Himself to be strong.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

May you be still before Him today.