What is the “secret place” of the Most High in Psalm 91:1?

Psalm Chapter 91 presents the world as a battle ground where various evils occur. The passage mentions about the “terror by night“,”arrow that flieth by night“, “pestilence“, and “destruction“. Woe to him that walks about with blindness in such a terrible place. Apostle Paul described the situation as a war with evil spiritual forces of darkness-“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph.6:12).

In those ancient times, cities or nations used to have fortresses or towers. These were places of safety. They  were characterized by thick walls and high raised portions on the wall wherein a watchman would stand to observe and alert people in case of any approaching danger.

In case of danger and you were outside the gates, you would run into the fortress for your protection. As a Born Again child of God you also need to live in the fortress of God’s Word. This world is dark and our true protection lies in the revelation of God’s counsel for our lives. When one develops a closer walk with God he or she will live by the speaking of God in his life. When God reveals his counsel to you, that gives you joy and out of that joy comes strength. The revelation of God’s will gives you sight to see and walk, not as a blind man but one who sees. That is not the situation for many people. Their lives are open for the devil to play around with. They are naked before forces of darkness. But a believer walks with God and is actually hidden in Christ – “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col.3:3).

When you live by the counsel God reveals to you, what you do is  being done in the name of the Lord. As a believer “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col.3:17). That name is your protection and no amount of devils can defeat that. The name of the Lord is his presence and hedge around you; it is your ultimate tower of protection – “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Pro.18:10).

Now, having explained the above, let us read Psalm 91. Note that the word used in the Hebrew text for “secret place” is sether sithrah and refers to a shelter of protection. It is because of this that other versions like NIV states, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty“. When you read the whole chapter you will realise that the shelter being referred to is actually a fortress or tower. The Jerusalem Bible puts it very well as follows:

If you live in the shelter of Elyon and make your home in the shadow of Shaddai, you can say to Yahweh, ‘My refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust!

And verses 14 and 15 continues to say:

I rescue all who cling to me, I protect whoever knows my name, I answer everyone who invokes me, I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honour.

These verses clearly strike a chord with what we read in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe”.


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19 thoughts on “What is the “secret place” of the Most High in Psalm 91:1?”

  1. The Secret place of the Most High is His Heart. And, what is in His Heart is expressed by and in His Word.So believers who live by the Word of God dwell in His Heart. No evil can penetrate God’s heart to harm His child. Psalms 91:1

  2. I noticed certain verses are broken down, I love psalm 91 it truly is my rock, can you break the entire psalm 91 down. I’m memorizing it but would like to get full understanding of it in it’s entirety, thank you God Bless.

    1. I in love Gods word, the way it’s broken down gives you more insight of his Word Psalms 91 love this pray it’s my protection

    2. I have just started praying the rosary and psalm 91 keeps bringing me in and I also want to memorize it. It’s so beautiful!

    3. I’m reading this over an over to get the true meaning of this passage.. psalms is my favorite book

  3. I enjoy reading Ps. 91 as if being spoken by 3 persons.
    Versus 2- 8 in the first person…
    Versus 9- 13 in the second person
    Versus 14- 16 as God speaking.
    Try it!

    1. I am now memorizing Psalm 91. It brings me comfort while i am saying the words out loud. Thank you Jesus for placing this Psalm on my heart.

  4. As a child my mother thought us this psalm, so i practically know it by heart. i often used it in praying, but never really sit and give it a study, It was not until after my surgery on the 4th July this year and amid the state that the world is in, i come to realize how powerful the psalm is.Whoever is the person that wrote this psalm, as Jewish tradition would have it, whether Moses or David they have left a marvelous prayer for us today. Thank you Lord, for those faithful servants.

  5. As a child my mother thought us this psalm, so i practically know it by heart. i often used it in praying, but never really sit and give it a study, It was not until after my surgery on the 4th July this year and amid the state that the world is in, i come to realize how powerful the psalm is.Whoever is the person that wrote this psalm, as Jewish tradition would have it, whether Moses or David they have left a marvelous prayer for us today. Thank you Lord, for those faithful servants.

    1. Hi ira, Its a beautiful psalm to know by heart.I hope you recovered well from your surgery. God bless you.

  6. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences in your quest for the ultimate Truth, which can only be attained from The Most HIGH. After being diagnosed with cancer in August this year and subsequently operated on in the same month, I am currently receiving chemotherapy. Although my chances of survival are medically good, I found that this experience had greatly impacted my life and I have become more aware of just how far away from God I had dwelt. It is wonderful to discover so many fellow christian followers and to be inspired by your aspirations to seek the presence of the Lord and rest in the safety of His shadow. Although you don’t know me, please pray for me and others like me, who are also embarking on this quest for the one and only Light.
    May God bless each and everyone of you and protect you in this cruel and loveless world and may we all be united under His shadow when He returns to judge all iniquity and take His children with Him to dwell in His presence for all eternity.

    1. Shalom and greetings Gerard,
      We may not know each other but I was glad to read the words that your “chances of survival are medically good”. I pray that your health gets restored.
      May the Lord bless and overshadow you is my prayer. God bless you.

  7. I love the promises of this psalm 91.
    But I struggle with reconciling the promises of these protections to all the hardships believers int the Bible as well as now endure.
    there are scriptures that say believers will have trials and tribulations but how can that truth coexist to the promises in this psalm?
    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Greetings.I am working on a detailed verse by verse exposition of Psalm 91 and that is one concern that is being explained.May I have your email address to send you e-book when I complete it.

    2. This is how I get through the trials and tribulations by running to his shelter for protection. When I fall down he’s right there to pick me up again, how about you?
      Shalom my friend.
      Frank.

      1. Good question. Though our flesh experiences death and sorrow, our mind and spirit are hidden in Christ. I believe this promise will most literally be fulfilled during the seven last plagues spoken of in Revelation 15.

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