Since retiring from “corporate life” and going full-time at my church, Mondays have become one of the most appreciated benefits of the transition. They are my down day . . . the day Sue and I know we are going to get some “quality time” together. Mondays are the day I sleep in . . . the day I just accept I’m going to move at a slower pace . . . the day devo’s happen sometime before noon . . . and, most often, the day when I can take a little longer to hover over the Word of God and let it sink in. This morning, Psalm 91 did some sinkin’ . . . and I’m doing a bit of thinkin’ . . . about those who see His salvation.
Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation. (Psalm 91:14-16 ESV)
Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty . . . so begins the songwriter’s song. It’s a song to those who “have made the LORD your dwelling place” (v.9) and what they might expect as they live in “His shadow.” And it’s not the absence of struggles, trials, and battles. There will still be terror in the night . . . arrows that are shot at them by day . . . pestilence stalking in the darkness . . . and destruction laying waste at noonday (v.5-6). Nope, it’s not necessarily a danger free or easy place in the shadow of the Almighty, but it is a safe place. It is salvation’s place.
During small group last night, we talked again about the nature of our salvation. The salvation we’ve known in the past, the deliverance from the penalty of sin. The salvation we are waiting for, that day when faith gives way to sight and we are delivered from the presence of sin. And of the salvation we are experiencing right now.
The salvation that God works day in and day out in us and around us. The rescue that battles the power of sin. Whether that sin is from within, the old man doing war with the Spirit abiding in us. Or the sin that is around us, used of the enemy to persecute and oppose us . . . seeking to make us a little less “salty” and wanting to dim our light. Or the general effects of sin in our fallen world which assault us . . . discouraging us . . . causing us to doubt. That’s today’s battle. And that is the present day salvation God is working out in our lives . . . victory over the power of sin. And it’s that salvation that I imagine being sung of in this song.
“I will deliver . . . I will protect . . . I will answer . . . I will be with . . . I will rescue . . . I will honor . . . I will satisfy . . . I will show my salvation!” Thus says the LORD to him who lives in the shadow of the Almighty.
And what does living in the shadow look like? I see three things in this closing stanza of the song. Those who live in the shadow: 1) hold fast to God in love; 2) they know the name of God; 3) and, they call to God in time of trouble. And to those, He shows His salvation . . . the very real, day in and day out commanding of His angels (v.11) to assist in the battle and provide victory over the power of sin in and around us.
No promise the battles will cease this side of glory, but assurance that for those who cling to Him and have set their love wholeheartedly towards Him, there will be “air cover.” That for those who set their face to know the Name which is above all names and pursue intimate communion with Him who makes Himself known to His creation, there will be protection and they will see “the recompense of the wicked” (v.8). That for those who, by God’s grace, do not lose heart and continue to call upon His name in the time of trouble believing that in His time and according to His perfect will He will answer, they will see His blessed salvation.
Wondrous life in the shadow . . . glorious hope in the Beloved! O that I, by the grace of God, might be among those who hold fast, know the Name, and call upon the God who desires to show His salvation.
That I might know victory . . . that He might receive all glory!