I was looking, once again, at some of Dianne’s notations on putting her trust in God. One of her “notes to self” included Psalm 91:1,
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
David is usually credited with be the author of the majority of the Psalms. If he is indeed the writer of the 91st Psalm, I wonder if his experience at En Gedi was on his mind as he penned it.
In I Samuel 23, we find that David had fled into the Judean Desert as he was pursued by King Saul. He took refuge at En Gedi. This natural fortification of high walled canyon, punctuated with caves was truly a shelter provided by the Most High.
Later in chapter 24, Saul catches up with David, and in a reversal of position, David in the refuge of En Gedi has the opportunity to finish off Saul. He does not do so however, as he honours the Lord’s anointed.
David is at that moment acknowledged by Saul as King. David dwelt in the shelter of God, both spiritually/figuratively and literally is the safety of the Oasis. But the second part of the verse also has a resonance for those who have seen En Gedi. The surrounding area is bleached rock, with dazzling light, and oppressive heat. Yet, in the oasis there is shade and flowing water. A shadow of God’s love both literally and figuratively. The wonderful palms provide wonderful relief from the unrelenting sun.
While this is purely conjecture on my part, as I have no idea what images David had in his mind’s eye as he was inspired by the Spirit to compose the Psalm, it does at least to me make a wonderful image.
En Gedi can therefore be a metaphor for the truths of David’s words. But metaphor aside Psalm 91 is powerful on its own. It is a promise of protection, and care no matter what life throws at us.