Psalm 91 … Consider Him Who Sets Us Securely On High

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name,”
(91:14).

Oh, to be Set Securely on High. Is this just wishful thinking, a pipe dream? Actually, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Psalm 91 holds an especially dear place in my heart. I affectionately refer to it as “Ellie’s Psalm.” Ellie, short for Eleanora, was my mom.

In 1997, Ellie lived more than 800 miles away when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In those pre-internet/cell phone days, phone calls and plane rides were cost-prohibited, and the time I had with my mom was not near enough.

But in every conversation and during each visit, Ellie always asked me to read her the Scriptures. Psalm 91 was her favorite and was always included every time we spoke on the phone or were able to be together.

Thoughts of Ellie passing into the eternal arms of Jesus were comforting, but the thought of her being so far away brought anguish. But God would continually remind me to trust Him. It was eight short months after her diagnosis, while I was visiting her in New Jersey, that Ellie would be delivered into the presence of her Savior.

It was a holy moment, alone with my mom, my sister in Christ, when I put my face right next to my mom’s, nose to nose, and said, “Mommy, you can go home now. Jesus is waiting.” Ellie never took another breath. At that very instant, she had been carried home. And I imagined the Lord sending His angels to escort one of His children home.

I heard from many at the funeral, who had come to know and love my mom, that they had never seen anyone face death the way Ellie had. And it was true. Ellie faced death the way she had faced life, in faith. Her life had not been an easy one as a single mom. She had lived a life of pain, and  sacrifice, selflessly caring and providing for my sister and me. And she died the same way. Knowing she was dying, her concern was never for herself or her pain, but for her two girls and our families.

Ellie had learned to make God her refuge, abiding in the shadow of His wings, and by faith, to live above her circumstances, as one who trusted Him Who Sets Us Securely on High. And from that vantage point she lived life and faced death.

Through Ellie’s cancer, I witnessed the testimony of one frail, tiny, dying woman who became a strong and mighty giant of the faith, who will forever live in the memories of all those privileged enough to have known her.

Tears fill my eyes. I miss her even after twenty-three years. But I’m so very grateful for an illness that gave us warning of her coming departure with opportunities to say what needed to be said; and I am so very grateful for the privilege of learning from a woman who had in fact been Set Securely on High. I look forward to the day we will be reunited in His Presence.

Consider Him Who Sets Us Securely on High

Today, I write from first-hand observation of one who understood the truths of Psalm 91, who lived, and died, in dependent faith and trust, Set Securely on High above the pain and problems of this life, with eyes securely fixed on her Secure Hope, Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll take time to ponder, with awe and gratitude, the incredible grace and magnificent praises of Him Who Sets Us Securely on High.

  • He Sets Us Securely on High as we abide in His shelter and provision.
    • He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
      Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
      (91:1).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as we trust Him as our refuge.
    • I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
      My God, in whom I trust!”
      (91:2).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He delivers us from the bondage of sin and death.
    • For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
      And from the deadly pestilence,
      (91:3).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He covers us with His faithfulness.
    • He will cover you with His pinions,
      And under His wings you may seek refuge;
      His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark,
      (91:4).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He strengthens us with courageous faith.
    • You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
      Or of the arrow that flies by day;
      Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
      Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon,
      (91:5-6).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He empowers us to overcome.
    • A thousand may fall at your side
      And ten thousand at your right hand,
      But it shall not approach you,
      (91:7).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He surrounds us with His might and protection.
    •  For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
      Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
      10 No evil will befall you,
      Nor will any plague come near your tent,
      (91:9-10).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He sends His ministering angels to guard our ways.
    • For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
      To guard you in all your ways.
      12 They will bear you up in their hands,
      That you do not strike your foot against a stone,
      (91:11-12).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High because we know and love Him.
    • “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
      I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name,”
      (91:14).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He answers, rescues and honors us with His Presence.
    • “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
      I will be with him in trouble;
      I will rescue him and honor him,”
      (91:15).
  • He Sets Us Securely on High as He satisfies us with His eternal salvation.
    • “With a long life I will satisfy him
      And let him see My salvation,”
      (91:16).

How do we respond to Him Who Sets Us Securely on High?

Once again, we have a choice. Oh, sure, we can choose to live set on the things of earth. But who really wants that? It really is a no-brainer. But nevertheless, the choice is ours.

Today, let’s ask the Lord to give us a desire to live a Psalm 91 faith, and believe everything He says in this Psalm is for us.

Let us choose to dwell, abide, live every moment in His shadow. When we live in His shadow, He will overshadow our fears of looming threats that are miniscule in light of His omnipotence. And when we live in His Shadow, that means, He is preeminent; He takes first place. And from His place of preeminence, He Sets Us Securely on High.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
(91:1).

We must choose to trust Him. We can actually do what the psalmist did. Speak it out loud. I heard Ellie repeat Psalm 91:2 countless times. Sometimes we just need to hear truth out loud and remind our souls that we truly are Set Securely on High

 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
(91:2).

We must seek to love Him and know His Name. Knowing His Name is knowing Him, His character, His nature and His ways. And the more we know Him, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we will obey Him, and the more we obey Him the more we will live as one who is Set Securely on High.

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name,”
(91:14).

We must choose to believe His Word. When God tells us He will answer when we call, we must believe. When God says He is with us in trouble, we must believe. When He promises to rescue and honor us, as we believe, He raises us up above the fray of our difficulties and suffering and Sets Us Securely on High.

“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him,”
(91:15).

And we must live always with eternity in mind. The day is coming when there will be no more pain or sorrow, tears or death. Ellie asked me to pray a lot toward the end of her days. I can still hear her voice, “Sande, please pray that God would take me quickly.” And I prayed for my mom, who was convinced of what was awaiting her when her last breath was drawn on planet earth. And because she looked forward to her eternity with Jesus, she did not fear death. She knew that death would merely be the doorway through which she would meet Him Who Sets Us Securely on High, and she was ready. I pray we are too.

 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation,”
(91:16).

Let’s Grow Together!

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