Psalm 91:1                               The Secret Place of the Most High                                         2/3/2013

Š      The Lord’s Secret Place (2Pet 1:21, Rev 14:1, Psalm 91:1-16)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.      To Christ (Mat 4:6-7, Psalm 91:11-12, John 18:36, 1Sam 2:8, Heb 12:23)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      The Ark of the Covenant (Heb 9:1-10, John 6:33-35, 14:6, Rev 19:13, Rom 3:25, Psalm 91:1)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      To All Who are In Christ (Eph 1:1,3-7,10-13, 2:6,10,13, 3:6,11, Rom 10:17)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      Why Must We Be In Christ? (Gal 2:20, Rom 6:6, Col 2:13, Eph 2:4-6, Psalm 103:17)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.      Christ our Dwelling place (Psalm 91:1, 90:1, Jer 31:3, Heb 13:8)

 

 

Please open your Bible to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 14:1 (2X), where we see he Lord Jesus Christ symbolic as a Lamb, standing on Mount Sion, and with Him are standing 144,000 faithful ones. These 144,000 are symbolic, representing all the saints who are presently living on the earth. We read in Rev 14:1,

Rev 14:1 ¶  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

When we think of the Lamb on Mount Sion, in Revelation 14:1, we must keep in mind that He is our Kinsman-Redeemer-Avenger, and that He stands there on Mount Sion in the midst of His elect, to defend His elect from all the ugly gospels in the world.  And so, He is our Avenger on all those who intend to do us harm and to lead us astray.  One way in which He defends us is by telling us repeatedly the beauties of His Gospel and how He provides safety for us. Let us look at an example.

Please open your Bible to the Prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 91:1 (2X). We presently want to focus on this beautiful psalm, Psalm 91.  The psalms are prophecies, for they are words from God that were dictated by God to His servants the prophets.  “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. (2Peter 1:21)  Many of the psalms are also prayers, which God gave to His servants the prophets, and which they prayed back to God.  Psalm 91 is not such a prayer, but Psalm 91:1-16 is a series of promises.  Particularly, it is a promise concerning:

Š      The Lord’s Secret Place (Rev 14:1, Psalm 91:1-16)

The title of the sermon today is, The Secret Place of the Most High” (2X). We read in Psalm 91

Ps 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.               

Ps 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress:  my God; in him will I trust.

Ps 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

Ps 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Ps 91:5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  

Ps 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Ps 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.               

Ps 91:8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Ps 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

Ps 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Ps 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Ps 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Ps 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:  the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.     

Ps 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:  I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Ps 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:  I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.                    

Ps 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Jehovah introduces us here in this psalm to His secret place, or His hiding place.  It is a place of refuge for those that are attacked by the enemies of God, for those who are attacked by false gospels.  It is a place of absolute safety for the elect of God.  The first question we ask is this:  “Where is this secret place?”  The first verse of this psalm anticipates the answer to this question.  The text for this sermon is the first verse, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  We will not get much past the first verse.  The second question is this:  “To whom is this psalm addressed?”  I shall give two answers to this last question. 

#1.      The First Answer Is:  To Christ (Mat 4:6-7, Psalm 91:11-12, John 18:36, 1Sam 2:8)

First of all this psalm is addressed to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We know this, because verses 11 and 12 are quoted by the Devil when he tempted the Lord Jesus Christ.  Immediately after His baptism the Lord Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and forty nights.  Then the Devil came to Him with three temptations.  In the second temptation the Devil placed Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and then the Devil said to Him, in Matthew 4:6, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:  for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:  and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Why was this a temptation for the Lord Jesus?  Well, if Jesus would swoop down from the pinnacle of the temple like a bird, with such a splash of a miracle in front of the Jews who always have a crowd around the temple, the Lord Jesus would immediately be proclaimed to be the Messiah who came from God.  Then all the Jews would immediately put Him on a throne and crown Him king of the Jews, and then Jesus would not have to go to the cross, and He would not have to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell.  Instead He would be reigning from Jerusalem in an earthly kingdom, exactly the same kind of kingdom that the premillennial people believe that it should come.

But Jesus said to Pilate, in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”  The Lord Jesus knew that His suffering would be great, for He would have to pay for our sins a payment that would satisfy the righteousness of God.  And only something equivalent to the payment that we would have to pay would be acceptable to the righteousness of God.  And so, this temptation was a severe temptation for the Lord Jesus.  But Christ exposed the sophisticated plan of the grand deceiver, and He showed that the promise of Psalm 91:11-12 belongs only to those who fell unavoidably into danger in the course of their service to God.  They truly have the hope of the help and protection of heaven.  But those who throw themselves into peril for no reason at all are only tempting God, and they should expect to suffer for their error. 

This was exactly how the Lord Jesus answered the Devil in Matthew 4:7, “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”  O what grace of God, for letting Christ go to the cross.  Christ could easily have fulfilled another plan by which He had become the king of the Jews, I mean King of the Jews who are the physical descendants of Jacob.  Of course that would leave you and me out of His plan of salvation, and that would cause you and me to go to Hell to satisfy the wrath of God on our own strength.  O what grace of God that He did not pass us by, but that He had mercy on us.  And think of the grace of God by not just forgiving our sins; that in itself would only leave us on ground zero; that in itself would be a blessing for then we would not have to go to Hell. 

But God, following up His mercy with grace, lifted us up from the dunghill and placed us among the sons of God, who are the princes of heaven, and will make us inherit Himself on the throne of glory.  This is not just a faint possibility; this is a sure promise from God to all who have received His gift of faith in Christ.  God made this promise in 1Samuel 2:8 where He said, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.”  That is why we can say that we have received a double inheritance:  first the mercy of not having to go to Hell for the payment for our sins, and second the grace of lifting us, beggars, up from the dunghill and raising us up to the status of princes of heaven, even to the point of making us inherit God, who sits on the throne of glory. 

Let us now return to Christ, for this Psalm is addressed to Christ.  Does Christ dwell in the secret place of the most High?  Let us look at this question from a historical point of view.  Was the Lord Jesus ever in His life on earth in a secret place?  No!  And yet, from Psalm 91:11-12 we know that Christ is in view.  But then we know of something else that represented Christ.

Š      The Ark of the Covenant (Heb 9:1-10, John 6:33-35, 14:6, Rev 19:13, Rom 3:25, Psalm 91:1)

Please turn in your New Testament to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 9.  In this passage of Hebrews 9:1-10, God speaks of the Old Testament tabernacle as representing a parable.  Let us see what that is.

Heb 9:1  Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary,

Heb 9:2  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary.

Heb 9:3  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 

Heb 9:4  Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;         

Heb 9:5  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Heb 9:6  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.           

Heb 9:7  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Heb 9:8  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:      

Heb 9:9  Which was a figure (Lit: a parable) for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

We read in verse 9, “Which was a figure”, but literally the Greek text says, “Which was a parable”.  The tabernacle was made according to the instructions of God, but it reflected a spiritual picture of a place where God was present.  The tabernacle consisted of two parts.  The first part was the Holy Place where only the priests were allowed to enter.  The second part was the Holy of Holies which was separated from the Holy Place by a very thick curtain, called “the veil”.  This Holy of Holies was the secret place that we are looking for in Psalm 91.  Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, could the High Priest enter into the Holy of Holies with the blood of a bullock and with the blood of a goat for his sins and for the sins of the people.  In the Holy of Holies there was the Ark of the Covenant, which was a box containing three things:  (Hebrews 9:4)

1.             a golden pot with manna,

2.             and Aaron’s rod that budded,

3.             and the two tables of the Ten Commandments, which was also called the tables of the Covenant.

Since we are instructed to see these things in the tabernacle as in a parable, we understand that the pot with manna represented Christ as the Bread of Life, for He said, “I am the Bread of Life”, in John 6:33-35.  Aaron’s rod that budded represented Christ as the One who makes a dead soul alive, for He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”, in John 14:6.  The tables of the Covenant are representing Christ as the Word of God, for God said in Revelation 19:13, “And His Name is called The Word of God”.  The lid of the Ark of the Covenant was called “the Mercy Seat”, which represented Christ as God’s resting place in whom He now meets poor sinners in all the fulness of His grace, because of the atonement made by Christ on the cross, for God said in Romans 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (Lit: mercy seat) through faith, in His blood”.  And thus what we see here is that the entire Ark of the Covenant is a picture of Christ dwelling in the Holy of Holies.  It is a picture of “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High”, in the words of Psalm 91:1.  And the Holy of Holies was certainly a secret place, for it could be seen by only one man, once a year, on the Day of Atonement.

It meant that God could be approached only through a mediator, the High Priest, to plead for the forgiveness of his own sins and for the sins of the people.  But when Christ died at about 3 O’clock in the afternoon on Friday, April 3, in the year AD 33, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom, by which God indicated that now access to God was opened to anyone without the mediation of another human being.  The Mediator who opened up the veil was the Lord Jesus Christ, whose flesh was torn like the veil, in order to give us forgiveness for our sins by His blood.  And thus, according to Psalm 91:1, Christ dwelled in the Holy of Holies “under the shadow of the Almighty”.  Hereby we know that the two Cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant represented God as the Protector and Avenger of His beloved Christ.  This then is the first answer to the question, “To whom is this psalm addressed?”  Let us not stop there, for we know from the New Testament that all the saints are in Christ, for as Adam is our representative in the flesh, so Christ is our representative in the Spirit.  And so we ask again, “to whom is Psalm 91 addressed?”

#2.      The Second Answer Is:  To You and Me (Eph 1:1,3-7,10-13, 2:6,10,13, 3:6,11, Rom 10:17)

Psalm 91 is addressed to every one of the saints.  Please turn in your New Testament to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Ephesians chapter 1.  It is not very well known that the saints are in Christ, and were in Christ from before the foundation of the world.  That is an amazing fact, but it is even more amazing that so few people know this.  In this day and age all you need to do is type in your computer the words “in Christ”, and let the computer do the searching.  Almost instantly you will find that there are seventy-seven verses in the Bible with the words “in Christ”, some of them more than once.  And this is not all.  In addition we could search the New Testament for verses that contain the words “in Him”, or “in whom”, or “in the beloved”, or “together with Christ”, and so on.  Add to this the many verses in the Old Testament that speak of the same truth, and very soon we would be embracing hundreds of verses conveying the message that we were in Christ from before the foundation of the world.  All the churches out there that embrace a free-will gospel are in conflict with this fact of the Gospel of Christ.  Let me illustrate this here in Ephesians 1:1,

Eph 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

All the faithful; meaning all the saints, all who have been born from above, who are identified as being “in Christ”.  How could anyone miss this?  Of course if you are spiritually blind you will miss this.  So, what are the consequences that we are “in Christ”?  Please drop down to Ephesians 1:3-4,

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

There you have it:  We have been blessed by God in the heavenlies because we were in Christ.

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

There you have it:  We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.  It means that in eternity past God singled out the names of those people whom He was going to save.  He knew that we were dirty rotten sinners who would not want to turn to Christ for salvation. Nevertheless the Father chose us as the Bride for His Son.  He chose us; we did not choose Him.  How do I know that?  Read on in Ephesians 1:5:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

The Father chose us according to the good pleasure of His will.  It was not our will but it was entirely the good pleasure of His will.  Some people imagine that God looked down the corridors of time and saw that Johnnie, and Ruth, and Mark, would repent of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus, and that is why God poured His grace upon them.  Nonsense!  That is a salvation according to our will.  But God specified here that salvation is according to His will.  This is important, for hereby we will give God all the credit for our salvation. Let us read on in Ephesians 1:6-7:

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

In the beloved means “in Christ”.  We were made acceptable to the Father, for we were in Christ, and this is what brings glory to God.  A salvation based on our will does not glorify God.         Read on:

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

There you have it:  In whom” refers to “in the beloved”, which means “in Christ”.  We were saved at some point in our life because we were chosen in Christ, and Christ shed His blood for us.  The Good News is that God provided a way and a means to forgive us our sins. The forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ is the central issue of the entire Gospel of salvation, like we read in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Now drop down to Ephesians 1:10-11,

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; (even) in him:

On the Last Day Christ will gather together all those who are “in Him”, those which are in heaven and those which are on earth.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

We shall receive an inheritance because we are “in Christ”, for we have been predestinated “after the counsel of His own will”; not our will but His will.  Repeatedly we see that God wants all the glory, because He has done all the work, 100% of it.  Look now at Ephesians 1:12: 

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

We began to trust “in Christ” because the Father has made us accepted “in Christ”.  We should not try to single out this verse as if it teaches that we first trusted in Christ and therefore we are to the praise of His glory.  That would contradict verse 6.  We have read in verse 6 that it was to the praise of His glory that we have been made accepted in the beloved. Read on in Ephesians 1:13:

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

Clearly, we trusted in Christ after we heard the Word of truth, which is supported by other parts of Scripture, for “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”, according to Romans 10:17.  Therefore in Christ we were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise after we believed.  And we believed because the Father drew us to Christ (John 6:44).  We did not believe of our own accord, because in our natural state, we were unable to do anything that pleases God. (Romans 8:8)  Let us now leave Ephesians chapter 1 and turn to Ephesians 2:6.

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

We are made to sit together with Christ and in Christ in the heavenlies.  Both in Ephesians 1:3 and in Ephesians 2:6 the heavenly places are actually “the heavenlies”.  Heaven, where God dwells, should not be described like the three-dimensional places and spaces that we are familiar with.  God’s ways are not like our ways, and what heaven presently is we do not know.  We only know that Satan was there in Old Testament time, and therefore God will do away with the present heaven, so that all memory of unrighteousness shall have been erased from the New Heaven and New Earth.  We could go on in Ephesians 2:10 and 13, and in Ephesians 3:6 and 11, to explore the verses that speak of us of being “in Christ”, but I trust that I have proved the point.  I would like us now to explore the reasons and the consequences of the issue which is brought up in Ephesians 2:6.

Š      Why Is It Necessary that We Are In Christ? (Gal 2:20, Rom 6:6, Col 2:13, Eph 2:4-6)

It is necessary to make the Atonement of Christ effective.  Throughout the New Testament we read repeatedly that we are “in Christ” and we were “in Christ” before the world began.  The Bible teaches in various places that we were in Christ when He was crucified for our sins.  We were crucified with Christ because we were in Christ.  We read in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”.  And when Christ died we died with Him because we were in Him.  We read in Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  And when Christ was buried we were buried with Him, for we were still in Him when His body was laid in the tomb.  We read in Colossians 2:13, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses”.  And thus, when Christ arose from the tomb on Sunday morning we were made alive with Him and in Him.  This did not come to pass literally on Sunday April 5 in the year AD 33, but Christ as our representative performed the action of coming alive, and since we were in Christ we rose from the tomb with Him.

It meant that in our lifetime in the 20th or 21st century our spiritual resurrection was assured.  When Christ ascended into heaven forty days later we ascended with Him.  And when Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, we were seated with Him, because we were in Him and we still are in Him.  Can we understand all these things?  No!  But do we believe all these things?  Yes!  We believe it because the Bible says so.  We read here in Ephesians 2:4-6,

Eph 2:4  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved;

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.

And thus we understand that when Christ hung on the cross, and suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, we were in Him.  And for that reason God can never send us to Hell again, for we have already been there.  No not literally, but in Christ.  And that is why it is so important that we were and are in Christ.  God, in His wisdom, has designed a plan of salvation that is absolutely perfect, and that is impenetrable to the wiles of the Devil.  But it brings with it:

Š      Fearful Consequences  (Gen 3:16, Matt 13, John 6 and 17, Rom 3 and 9, Gal 3, Eph 1 and 2, Isa 43,45,48, and 53, Rev 22:19, Rom 1:18)

There are great and fearful consequences of these words in Scripture that speak of the atonement of Christ on the cross.  From the beginning of time, God ordained that the descendants of Adam would be like him, rebels against God.  That is why, when God announced the curse on the woman, He said in Genesis 3:16, and read this carefully, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and I will greatly multiply thy conception”.  Mankind would come into the world as rebels against God, and deserving Hell, all of them.  And thus, when God casts all these rebels into Hell, He is totally righteous and just.  And how are they going to rebel against God?  What would be their main sin?  Their main sin would be that they are drawn to worship another god who is not the God of the Bible.  In fact, they would claim that they are worshippers of the God of the Bible, but they are deliberately ignoring certain parts of the Bible, and thus they are not worshipping the God of the Bible, but another god of their own imagination.  It is a god who is like us.

 Particularly these days, people do not like the God of the Bible because He is sovereign and immutable, and infinitely wise, and omniscient, and perfectly righteous, and He demands payment for every sin.  And so, they have invented a god who is like themselves, who does not know the end from the beginning, and who is much more forgiving than the God of the Bible.  Therefore, they pretend not to have read Matthew chapter 13 and Ephesians chapters 1 and 2 and John chapters 6 and 17, and Isaiah chapters 43, 45, 48 and 53, and Romans chapters 3 and 9, and Galatians chapter 3, and so on.  Even so, when they read these chapters, they will deliberately twist them so that they will suppress the truth, as God has said in Romans 1:18.  Therefore, God says of them that they have violated the basics of the Gospel and particularly they have violated Revelation 22:19 which says, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book”. 

Therefore, whosoever is of the free-will persuasion, their condemnation is sure, for they worship a god of their own design.  I did not say this.  God said it in Rev 22:19.  And we must believe that what God said shall come to pass.  These are the fearful consequences of the truth of the atonement of Christ on the cross for Christ did not suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for those whom He knows are going to Hell for their own sins.  God had made known the truth of Christ crucified to His elect, and God has passed by all others who will continue to invent a god of their own imagination.

To the natural man, the true Gospel is far too fanciful to be believable.  Indeed, it takes an act of God to believe such a wonderful Gospel, where God is rewarding His elect with a gift of eternal life that is so great that it is far beyond our expectations, and where He condemns the unsaved with a condemnation that is also so great that it is far beyond what we can imagine.  And so, let it be a warning to all those who have ignored the words “in Christ”, for these words hold a truth that is immeasurable in its rewards and in its penalties.  When we consider the Lamb on Mount Sion, let us remember that He came to protect His own from the lies that God is not sovereign and that Christ paid for the sins of everyone of mankind, and now it is up to us to accept or reject the magnificent offer of Christ to become saved.

#3.      Christ our Dwelling place (Psalm 91:1, 90:1, Jer 31:3)

Let us return now to Psalm 91:1.  “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  And now we understand the title of this sermon, The Secret Place of the Most High, for Jehovah is our secret place.  And who is Jehovah?  Christ is Jehovah, the Father is Jehovah, and the Holy Spirit is Jehovah.  Each one of these three Persons is fully God. God the Son is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He came down from heaven to take up human flesh. We dwell in Christ and He dwells in us.  Why is Christ then our secret place?  He is not a secret for all the elect, but for all the non-elect, He remains a secret.  We proclaim His salvation to all the world, but only those who are God’s elect will believe our words.  Everyone else will reject it out of hand because they do not want to understand God’s perfect salvation plan.

1.             They will label it foolishness,

2.             or unintelligible,

3.             or cultish,

4.             or unimportant religiosity,

5.             or they will label it as hyper-Calvinism, and so on.

By putting a label on the salvation plan that we preach they have for themselves reserved the right to put it aside as a lesser priority than choosing their evening dinner.  And so it goes that only the elect of God will open their Bibles and really study the verses in the course of the chapter.  And then they discover in the Psalm that precedes this Psalm the words of Psalm 90:1, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”  How beautiful that this prayer of Moses relates to our indwelling in Christ, which was penned through the hand of the Apostle Paul about 1,500 years later, and which became relevant in our Christian life about 1,950 years later.  How great are the works of God, and how marvelous is His wisdom in designing this perfect plan of salvation.

And when did Christ become our dwelling place for the first time?  God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:3, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”  What is an everlasting love?  It means from everlasting past to everlasting future.  That is a necessary condition for God’s love, because:  our God is immutable, which means that our God does not change.  We read in Heb 13:8,

Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

Since God is infinitely wise and infinitely omniscient, God will never be surprised, and there will never be a moment in time that God makes a split second decision, for then He would have changed after making the decision.  No!  All His decisions were made in His counsel, which existed from everlasting past, before man could contribute one iota to anything in God’s plan.  Way back in the infinite past we were already placed in Christ, because our God does not change, and His promises in Psalm 91 do not change.  We shall surely abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Praise God for His unchangeable promises. 

AMEN.      Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.