“If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
– Psalm 91:9-12
Yesterday, we looked at Psalm 91 and I shared that it was written by Moses, not David, and that it was often sung by the Isrealites when they were facing difficult circumstances. Today, I want to tell you more about what may have been going on when Moses confessed the words of this famous passage.
When God called him up to Mt. Siani to give him the Ten Commandments, the people down below got really impatient with Moses. Even as they looked up and saw the Lord’s glory on the mountain, they became angry and decided to rebel by building a golden calf as an idol and partaking in horrible revelry as they worshipped it. Seeing what was happening, the Lord told Moses about the goings on and decided that He was going to destroy them all and start over. Understandably, Moses came down from the mountain raging mad, destroyed the tablets containing the commandments, confronted the people, and ultimately went to Yahweh to plead for mercy on behalf of the masses. However, the Lord was not quick to yield and told Moses that He would no longer go before the people on their journey but that He would send an angel instead, lest he become angry again and destroy the whole population. The crazy thing is that Moses had an awesome relationship with the presence of God in this place called the Tent of Meeting (the Bible says that they spoke there as friends), and whenever he entered it, a pillar of cloud would form over the doorway so he couldn’t leave until they had finished their conversation. During one of their meetings, after the judgement of the people, Moses pleaded with the Lord to reconsider His stance and allow His presence to go with them to the Promised Land. Hearing the cry of His friend’s heart, God changed His mind and told Moses that His presence would again go before them and that He would give them rest (Exodus 33:14). Full of relief and elation, it’s likely that Moses professed the words that would later become Psalm 91 around this time, thus celebrating the protection and covering of God’s presence with His people.
Friend, like Moses, you have access to the presence of the Lord of all Creation, but unlike Him, you don’t have to go to a special place to meet — you have it all the time! Wherever you go, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, tent or no tent, you can enjoy being with Him. Since you are in Jesus Christ and He has removed the veil between you and your Heavenly Father, you can speak to the Lord like a friend and enjoy the beauty of being in His sheltering and protective presence. As Moses did, I encourage you to seek more of the Lord, meet with Him regularly, and ask to see His majesty and glory. When you do, I believe He will not only show up, but will accomplish more than you can ask for or imagine!
Thank you, Jesus, for the privilege of meeting with you as I would with a friend. I am grateful that your presence is always with me.
Where and when do you go to meet with your friend Jesus? How does He speak to you there?