[It’s Five Minute Friday, and the prompt word is “Dwell.”

How can I write all my thoughts on this word in five small minutes?

Well, if I can’t give it its proper due in that time, I can always “cheat,” can’t I? I have done that before.

So, the timer’s set, I push its little button, and off I GO:]

I read the word “dwell” and immediately into my mind (and heart) comes the beginning of Psalm 91, psalm of great comfort to me at many times, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty…”


And suddenly I think maybe, just maybe, this verse is actually a sort of dictionary definition of the word.

So I think to look up the Hebrew for what’s translated “dwell,” but first I see Young’s literal Bible sitting on my table, so I grab it and turn to the verse, and I am struck:

“He who is dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, in the shadow of the Mighty lodgeth habitually.”

Hm. It seems it’s explaining what it means to be dwelling in God’s secret place with Him: It means staying habitually, settling down there and staying put, habitually.

It means living there!

It means abiding, that word that my husband has been talking about lately, asking just what does it mean to “abide”? (And I respond with an instant “That’s simple. Remain. It means remain.” Period. But I think he’s pondering this word’s meaning because it’s not that simple to live it! He means how does it really play out in life, in really being lived?)

“Abide” and “dwell,” they really are synonyms, aren’t they?

They both mean staying there. Not taking five minutes to sit down all antsy and unsettled, barely containing yourself in your seat, till the beeper buzzes, then jumping up and running off when it does.

It’s not an instant fix or a quick coffee break. It’s a continual state!

Now I look up “dwell” on Blue Letter Bible, and their Strong’s definition confirms what I’ve been thinking. It says the Hebrew word translated dwell means “…properly, to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain;…”

Yes. The Psalm 91 psalmist obviously  isn’t talking about crouching down in ambush or taking a seat as judge. He’s talking about settling down, and basically staying settled down, in quiet, with God.

How can I do that during the upcoming “busy time” of year as I’ve heard more than one person call it lately? (Which I think is the kind of thinking underlying my husband’s question.)

Good question to pursue in the week ahead. And to blog. Very timely prompt word to ponder just before the busy…

See you later?

2 thoughts on “To Dwell Well

  1. Sylvia,
    THIS word – yes, tough one for five minutes, isn’t it? I had to take longer as well. Thank God for grace – especially in this crazy season. I love Psalm 91 – I used to pray it for my husband when he was deployed. It’s so poetic – thinking to dwell in the secret place of the Lord Most High – I think that’s His heart, don’t you? And to abide in His shadow – like holding onto apronstrings – don’t make me go! I don’t EVER want to leave you! I will be your shadow and go where you go….

    So now you have me thinking in a whole different direction! Abide in His love this weekend! So thankful to be neighbors today.

    1. Yes, Janet! I do think it’s His heart! The more I’m reading and thinking about this, the more I think so. It’s His heart, it’s Him! I’ve also been thinking “My soul followeth hard after (or, “clings to” in other versions) Thee,” which is just what you’re talking about with the apron strings. I’m so thankful to be your neighbor today, too. Yes, let’s both abide in His love all weekend! Blessings to you!

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