Today's Word of Encouragement
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
Monday, April 27, 2020
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalms 91:1).
The English translation of this verse lacks the richness of the Hebrew text. For instance:
- To ‘dwell’ means to sit down. Since it is a preposition, it conveys the idea ‘to remain sitting’. This word speaks of personal fellowship with someone – to sit in one’s presence.
- A ‘shelter’ is a secret place where an outsider cannot gain access unless he is invited. This could refer to the Holy of Holies, which was a highly restricted place, but the Rabbis believed it referred to the ‘bosom’ or ‘heart’ of God.
- The ‘Most High’ is El Elyon and refers to God as ‘the Exalted God’, the ‘Inaccessible God’ who cannot be reached by man.
- To ‘abide’ is to live, to make one’s home. The word ‘tabernacle’ (mishkan) is another word used by the Hebrews that means ‘to live’. But ‘tabernacle’ (to pitch one’s tent) conveys the idea of temporary dwelling. Here the word loon means to live permanently.
- The ‘shadow’ not only refers to shade, but to protection, safety, security.
- The ‘Almighty’ is El Shaddai, which means ‘the Most Powerful God’.
Now that we know what the text says, we need to know what it means. King David is speaking to his son, Solomon. He is teaching Solomon the value of a God focused life. In essence David said, ‘The person who maintains intimate fellowship with the God whom we cannot know unless He invites us into His presence, that person will live forever secure under His powerful protection.”
It is true that both David and Solomon lived long and prosperous lives. It is also true that they both experience gross and devastating failures in their lives. David is speaking from experience, hoping his son would not fall into the same traps he did by not living in constant fellowship with God. He wanted to teach his son is that there’s more to life than living. Life without constant fellowship with God is just existing. Too many people settle for that kind of life, but it’s not what God intended or wanted for us.
It is a wonderful thing that the unknowable God would reveal Himself to a person. It’s even more wonderful that He would invite that person into His very presence to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him, permanently. Such opportunity should be cherished and not wasted by turning back to the world, like David did from time to time, and like Solomon did for most of his adult life. God has afforded us a great time to get close to Him in fellowship. Let’s make the most of it today, and maintain that fellowship with Him long after the health crisis has passed.