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Psalms 91:1

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

He that dwelleth - Everyone that so dwells. The proposition is universal, and is designed to embrace all who are in this condition. It is true of one; it is true of all. The word rendered “dwelleth” here is a participle from the verb to “sit,” and here means “sitting:” literally, “sitting in the secret place,” etc. The idea is that of calm repose; of resting; of sitting down - as one does in his dwelling.

In the secret place - On the meaning of this see the notes at Psalm 27:5. Compare Psalm 31:20; Psalm 32:7. Abiding where God abides. The idea is that of having one‘s home or residence in the most holy place in the tabernacle or the temple, and of sitting with him in that sacred place.

Of the Most High - Of God, represented as exalted above all; over all the universe.

Shall abide - Margin, as in Hebrew, “lodge.” That is his home - his resting place - where he lodges, or passes the night. He takes up his lodging there; he makes it his home.

Under the shadow of the Almighty - Under his protection, as if under his wings. Compare the notes at Psalm 17:8. This is a general statement, and is designed as an introduction to the whole psalm, or as expressing what the psalm is intended to illustrate, “the blessedness” of the man who thus dwells with God; who makes him his friend; who makes the home of God his home.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find all in him that he needs or can desire. And those who have found the comfort of making the Lord their refuge, cannot but desire that others may do so. The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are as the snares of the fowler, and from the contagion of sin, which is a noisome pestilence. Great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger. Wisdom shall keep them from being afraid without cause, and faith shall keep them from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father's will is done; and we have no reason to fear. God's people shall see, not only God's promises fulfilled, but his threatenings. Then let sinners come unto the Lord upon his mercy-seat, through the Redeemer's name; and encourage others to trust in him also.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He that dwelleth in the secret place - The Targum intimates that this is a dialogue between David, Solomon, and Jehovah. Suppose we admit this, - then

David asserts: "He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," Psalm 91:1.

Solomon answers: "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in him will I trust," Psalm 91:2.

David replies, and tells him what blessings he shall receive from God if he abide faithful, Psalm 91:3-13.

Then the Supreme Being is introduced, and confirms all that David had spoken concerning Solomon, Psalm 91:14-16; : and thus this sacred and instructive dialogue ends.

In the secret place of the Most High - Spoken probably in reference to the Holy of holies. He who enters legitimately there shall be covered with the cloud of God's glory - the protection of the all-sufflcient God. This was the privilege of the high priest only, under the law: but under the new covenant all believers in Christ have boldness to enter tnto the holiest by the blood of Jesus; and those who thus enter are safe from every evil.

Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 228.5

As He “went about doing good,” every day's experience was an outpouring of His life. In one way only could such a life be sustained. Jesus lived in dependence upon God and communion with Him. To the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty, men now and then repair; they abide for a season, and the result is manifest in noble deeds; then their faith fails, the communion is interrupted, and the lifework marred. But the life of Jesus was a life of constant trust, sustained by continual communion; and His service for heaven and earth was without failure or faltering. As a man He supplicated the throne of God, until His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He imparted life to men.—The Signs of the Times, June 7, 1905. RC 228.5

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 131

“Seek.” Desire not merely His blessing, but Himself. “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” Job 22:21. Seek, and you shall find. God is seeking you, and the very desire you feel to come to Him is but the drawing of His Spirit. Yield to that drawing. Christ is pleading the cause of the tempted, the erring, and the faithless. He is seeking to lift them into companionship with Himself. “If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee.” 1 Chronicles 28:9. MB 131.1

“Knock.” We come to God by special invitation, and He waits to welcome us to His audience chamber. The first disciples who followed Jesus were not satisfied with a hurried conversation with Him by the way; they said, “Rabbi, ... where dwellest Thou? ... They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” John 1:38, 39. So we may be admitted into closest intimacy and communion with God. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1. Let those who desire the blessing of God knock and wait at the door of mercy with firm assurance, saying, For Thou, O Lord, hast said, “Everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” MB 131.2

Jesus looked upon those who were assembled to hear His words, and earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving-kindness of God. As an illustration of their need, and of God's willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread. “What man is there of you,” He said, “whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?” He appeals to the tender, natural affection of a parent for his child and then says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” No man with a father's heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread. Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him? Would he promise to give him good and nourishing food, and then give him a stone? And should anyone dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children? MB 131.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 154.5

You must learn to give up your will and your way, and to receive light from those whom God has made His helping hand, those by whom He designs that you shall be helped. Go to Christ for relief. Cling to Him. Stay long enough to yield up your will to the will of God. Many are in too great a hurry to pray. With hurried steps they pass through the shadow of Christ's loving presence, pausing perhaps for a few moments within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to sit down, no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens, they return to their work.... TDG 154.5

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW), 999

Their service was an imposing one, and testified to the truth of a living God. Their sacrifices pointed to a coming Saviour, who would take the kingdoms under the whole heaven, and possess them forever and ever. Evidence had been given of His power to do this, for as their invisible Leader had He not subdued their enemies and made a way for His church in the wilderness? His people would never know defeat if they would abide under the shadow of the Almighty; for One mightier than angels would fight by their side in every battle (Manuscript 134, 1899). 2BC 999.1

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