In His Grip (Psalm 91:1-2)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” —Psalm 91:1-2
Was she holding me or was I holding her?
It was Myka’s first time in the pool. As I held my one-year-old daughter and walked down the stairs into the water, her fear drove her to cling to my shoulders as tightly as she could. She held on tight, afraid that if she let go of me, she would fall. But she had come to me for refuge, and there was no way I’d let her go.
Similarly, as we hold on to our Heavenly Father, He holds on to us. When we dwell in Him, He is our refuge and fortress. Though our grip may waiver, His grip is sure. Though our strength may fail, His strength remains.
Psalm 91:1-2 reminds us of this blessed promise: “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.’”
How do we know that His protection and sustenance is sure in the midst of our trials? He is the MOST High — the one who is above all others. He is the Almighty — there is nothing greater than His divine might. The assurance is such that the Psalmist can call the LORD “my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.” The Psalmist has complete confidence in God’s trustworthiness.
This assurance leads the Psalmist to declare to us the certainty of God’s providential protection in the midst of myriad unexpected circumstances (vv. 3-13) whether it be day, noon, or night (vv. 5-6). We see that it is not the sureness of the psalmist’s grip that brings such assurance but the sure grip of our Heavenly Father: “He will cover you with his pinions (wings),” “no evil shall be allowed to befall you,” and “on their (angel’s) hands they will bear you up” (vv. 4a, 10a, 12a).
The LORD responds in the last refrain of the Psalm. God calls the psalmist one who “holds fast to me in love,” “knows my name,” and “calls to me.” This is not works-based merit but instead a child clinging to the Father, knowing that the Father is the only security available. Then God promises to “deliver… protect… answer… be with him in trouble… rescue… honor… satisfy him with long life and show him my salvation!”
The promise of God is this: when we hold on to Him, it is He who holds on to us. It is not the strength of our grip but the strength of His that we rely on.
Whatever your circumstances this day, may you dwell in the grip of His mighty hands.
Reflect on the two words the psalmist uses to describe God: Most High and Almighty. What do these tell you about God’s ability to be your refuge in any circumstance?
When you face difficult circumstances, what is your typical response? Trusting your own ability? Planning? Worrying? How would you like to respond in light of this Psalm?
What circumstances are you facing today? Take a moment to pray and ask God to bear the burden of that situation to free you from worry, ask Him to be your refuge, know you are in His grip.