We began this series with “He who dwells,” and now we will see where he dwells. The text says, “He who dwells in the Secret Place…” Psalm 91:1a
A Secret Place…hidden, concealed, private, safe. Don’t you love this picture? A secret place, hidden in plain sight at the base of a tree trunk.
As a child, an old walnut tree on the corner of our block was one of my favorite secret places growing up. It served me well.
I loved peering down at my little brother, giggling inward. “He can’t see me, but I can see him. Maybe he’ll give up and go back home so I can read my book.” I hoped.
“Heidi” was one of my favorite books as a girl. I read most of it sitting high in that walnut tree. It was one of several hiding places I ran to when I wanted to avoid my siblings or just be alone to dream, to pray, or wonder.
One day the neighborhood bully grabbed my little sister and brother and locked them in the chicken coop and then shot out of the area, leaving them in tears. I saw the whole thing.
Dropping my book, I scrambled down thick branches and leaped to the ground. Quickly I unlatched the door on the chicken shed and pulled it open. Four little arms nearly squeezed the life out of me. I comforted them, wiping dust and tears from their faces and sent them home. Afterward, I stomped to the bully’s home to report his mischief. There were no further chicken coop incidents.
When David penned this memorable psalm, he wasn’t referring to a walnut tree. What did he mean by “the Secret Place?”
Let’s search this out:
Looking up SECRET PLACE in Strong’s: It is Strong’s #5643 and the primitive root is #5641
#5641 is defined as to hide (by covering), keep close, conceal, or to guard.
Reading from right to left the letters are Resh, Tav, and Samekh — These are the letters that spell SECRET. The word ‘place’ is tacked on to the next piece–‘place of the Most High’. We will look at that later.
Samekh 60 = Pride, Conceit, Earthly. Picture: A Tree propped up by a piece of wood. Means: To Lean Upon, a Prop or Aid, Hold, Assist or Support – the heart of God
Tav 400 = the Outcome of Trial and Testing. Picture: A Rough Cross. Means: Cross, Covenant, Seal, Mark, a Sign, Ownership, Finished or Complete.
Resh 200 = Insufficiency, Poverty. Picture: Head Means: Head, Chief, Beginning, Highest, Most Important, a Person, Human Reasoning vs. Obedience. (When we allow human reasoning to be our master, our head, poverty of the Spirit results.)
There is something about that first letter, Samekh.
The Sages see the circular form of the samekh as the heart of God, which upholds and supports us. Just as a circle has no beginning or end, neither does God. His love is from everlasting to everlasting. We can lean on His faithful love and support. As we do, we will be surrounded, supported, and kept in perfect peace in the heart of God.
Isaiah 26:3 says,
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
When you put this understanding together with the other letters here is the meaning of this word through Hebrew eyes:
To dwell in the Secret Place is to live in the midst of God’s heart (Samekh), trusting fully in His Covenant (Tav) Word and trusting that He is Head(Resh) over all. His covenant covers you with promises of protection, because He loves you.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:4-5
Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the Secret Place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:19-20
Do you see that last line? God will keep us in the secret place, away from the strife of tongues. It seems to me that is what we need a secret place right now, as everywhere we turn there is a contention brewing by things that are spoken.
There were several times when the Lord shared His heart with me regarding the secret place. Here is one: Listen and hear. How is He speaking to you?
~ Journal Notes ~
“The Secret place is a place of quiet, inside your soul, a place to rest in Me completely. It is under-water freedom from the weight of life. Buoyed in My hands carried in Me. There’s a habitation for you, one that I’ve held in reserve, waiting for you to come. How I long to sit with you there and share My heart and My secrets. Truly sin cannot possess there. The enemy cannot enter in.
“A Secret place is not just a stopping place or a place to run to in times of danger, but a place to live.
“The Secret place is IN ME. In Me, you live and move and have your being.(Acts 17:28) Outside of this place is chaos, confusion, fear and dread.
“You can live here all of the time. You never have to leave. It’s a choice to remain in Me. There will be times when the circumstances of life will pull you aside from abiding here, but I will teach you the pathway of return. I will show you the way home to this place of quiet rest for your soul.
“Your spirit never leaves this place and is constantly reminding you of your need to return. Over time you will respond more quickly to My call. Come away My beloved. Come away.”
The Secret Place is a wonderful place to be whether you are running from the enemy or not.
So let’s put the two phrases together and see what we’ve got so far.
He who Dwells is one who’s made the choice to live permanently in God’s house – trusting in God and honoring His Word. There he will experience the activation of God’s right hand of power covering him. And God in His fiery zeal will consume all that tries to keep or draw him away from Dwelling.
To dwell in the Secret Place is to live in the midst of God’s heart, trusting fully in His Covenant Word and trusting that He is Head over all. His covenant covers you with promises of protection because He loves you.
If you haven’t found the Secret Place yet, spend time asking the Holy Spirit to help you. Read this psalm over and other psalms and feast on the attributes of God. The more you know Him, the more you will Dwell in the Secret Place. It just takes a glance in His direction.