Monday, March 5, 2012

Shadow of the Almighty

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
        will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
        my God, in whom I trust.”
    For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
        and from the deadly pestilence.
    He will cover you with his pinions,
        and under his wings you will find refuge;
        his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
    You will not fear the terror of the night,
        nor the arrow that flies by day,
    nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
        nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
Psalm 91:1-6 
Have you ever wondered about this passage of Scripture, about what it means for you--or for anyone else, for that matter?  This was Jim Elliot's life passage, his encouragement to work with the Auca Indians, a hostile group who had never heard the gospel.  He lost his life in the process, but later his wife Elizabeth went into that hostile territory and saw the tribe come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Here is what John Piper has to say (My Name Is God Almighty):
"It was not a slip up in 1958 when Elizabeth Elliot gave to "the life and testament" of her slain husband the title, SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY. Jim Elliot and four other missionaries to the Aucas were killed on January 8, 1956. In 1949 when Jim Elliot was a college student, he wrote the words that have become the motto of many of our young people at Bethlehem: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Around the world the death of Jim Elliot and his four friends was called a nightmare of tragedy. But Elizabeth Elliot wrote, "The world did not recognize the truth of the second clause in Jim Elliot's credo: 'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose'." She called her book SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY from Psalm 91:1 because she was utterly convinced that the refuge of the people of God is not a refuge from suffering and death but a refuge from final and ultimate defeat. He who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for the sake of the gospel will save it—because the Lord is GOD ALMIGHTY.
God did not exercise his omnipotence to deliver Jesus from the cross. Nor will he exercise it to deliver you and me from tribulation. If we have the faith and single-mindedness and courage of Jim Elliott, we might find ourselves saying with the apostle Paul, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God—the almighty God!—in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I pray that this encourages you today as you abide in the shelter of the Most High,

P.S.  You may order "Shadow of the Almighty" from or


Cranberry Morning

What an encouraging post! I love that Psalm. And I didn't know that quotation was from Jim Elliot. This is such a good reminder that we do not see the whole picture, as God does. I recently read 'At the End of the Spear' by Steve Saint, whose father was killed along with Jim Elliot. How God takes away fear, hatred, and brings reconciliation, is an amazing testament to His love and grace.

How profound, your statement that God did not take Jesus from the cross. I'm sure none of the apostles wanted to be martyred, yet sometimes people get the idea that if they 'sign on the dotted line' for Jesus, they'll avoid any pain and suffering, poverty or illness.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to start a sermon here. But this was such a good, thought-provoking post, Gloria!!!


We aren't to question how God uses us for His purposes but to just be grateful.

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