“1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? 2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident. 4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple. 5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” (Psalm 27:1-5)
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is found in Psalm 27. David testifies to his relationship with God as a place of protection and a place reserved specifically for him. God wants each believer to recognize that he is special. In verse 4, David seeks his own dwelling as being in the house of the Lord, in His temple, all the days of his life. In verse 5, he refers to it as “the secret place in His tent” where God will hide him. The secret place is a place where God hides His people within their dynamic relationship with Him. This special place was found in David’s pursuit of God’s presence through a heart of devotion. Although not a physical place, it is the place where the believer beholds the beauty of the Lord, where he meditates on His word.
The Fear of the Lord
Psalm 31 is another written by David and he says in verses 19-20, “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues”. This secret place is only for those who fear Him, who reverence Him and willingly acknowledge His goodness. In the secret place, there is a clear sense of protection from those who would attack the righteous, particularly from slanders and scourgings of the tongue.
In Ezekiel 7:20-22, God speaks about the wicked in relation to the temple as transforming “the beauty of His ornaments into pride”. God says they take the beautiful things of His and make them detestable. When man intends his will to undermine God’s purposes, it creates all kinds of evil. This pride also leads to varying forms of idolatry, a personal attack against the holiness of God. In verse 22, God says, “I will also turn My face from them, and they will profane My secret place; then robbers will enter and profane it”. The wicked are always trying to pervert that which God has made beautiful.
With God, All Things are Possible
I recently heard about a conversation that a rabbi who heads up a lifesaving organization had with a board member. After looking over the rabbi’s ambitious goals, the board member said, “Maybe we need to rein in those goals. You can’t save the entire world!”
The rabbi replied, “The reason why you think that we can’t save everyone is because you think that you can save 300 lives. If you realized that you can’t even lift your finger without God’s help, let alone save even one life, then you would understand that if God can help us save 300 people, He can help us save a million.”
When we realize that we can’t do a single thing without God, that’s when we finally understand anything is possible with God.
In John 15:5, Jesus said, “without Me, you can do nothing”. In Isaiah 45:3, God promises, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name”. He promises to go before us and make the rough places smooth. In Psalm 91:1, it is the shelter of the Most High, the shadow of the Almighty. Our connection to the secret place is our confidence in God’s ability and His heart of love on behalf of His people.
Life in the Spirit
This heart is expressed in Song of Solomon in 2:13-14, “The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!” O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely.” The bridegroom expresses to His bride the fruitfulness of life when the believer finds resurrection life, life in the Spirit. This life is found on the other side of the cross, in the clefts of the rock, where she leaves behind her own interest to accept the bridegroom’s complete will. It is here that the bridegroom (Jesus) is preoccupied with the bride’s (believer’s) voice and ultimate appearance.
The New Testament revelation of the secret place is communicated by the Apostle Paul. In Philippians 4:12, he says, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” He was speaking about contentment (verse 11) where the believer’s happiness is not defined by his circumstances, but rather by his security in God, realized in the secret place. Finally, Paul tells us that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels [jars of clay], so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7). The greatness of God is most clearly seen when the believer recognizes that he is just a jar of clay. Out of that realization comes the greatness of His power for others to see.