“He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall.” (Psalm 91:4)
I have been reflecting recently on the concept of being sheltered under the wings of God. I prepared a devotion for the elementary school last week and shared about Ruth, the Moabitess, coming under God’s wings, and I took a closer look at the verse quoted at the top of this post. The thought of taking refuge under God’s wings is beautiful. But, what significance does it have for us? We could easily ask, “What does this mean for me, personally?”
When Ruth came to Bethlehem with Naomi, she turned her back on all that Moab had to offer. She left all her family, friends, hope, security and stability and went to a land foreign to her – a land where she was considered a foreigner, a land where there was no guarantee that she would again enjoy any of the things she left behind. It could be understood that Ruth counted the cost and declared in words that have been repeated countless times over the centuries, that Naomi’s people would now be her people and Noami’s God will be her God (Ruth 1:16). What an amazing statement! It took on added significance when Boaz said to her later that she came to take refuge under the wings of the God of Israel (Ruth 2:12).
As I shared this with my students, I realized that the words and thought expressed in Psalm 91:4 had a much deeper meaning that what I thought previously. Coming under God’s wings presents not only a word picture of a mother fowl gathering her chicks under her wings to protect them and give them comfort. It is an expression regarding God’s compassion, tenderness and faithfulness. His truth is described as a shield and an impenetrable wall. Nothing can break through. We can lean on His Word because He stands behind it to perform it. God’s faithfulness is constant, because He never changes.
This week, I spoke with my mom about some things that were on my mind recently. At one point, she asked me if I was worried because of a terrorist attack that happened in the city the day before. My answer was that God called me to live in Jerusalem, so I am not worried. I know that He will give me the grace to do what He called me to do, in all things. I realized shortly thereafter how true this statement was – in ALL things, even those which discouraged me. I needed to remember to take refuge under God’s wings, trusting Him to be my shield and wall. I needed to rest in His presence, confident that He is in total control of all things, including my life, and that under His wings I can find refuge and comfort, as well as peace.
My congregation recently suffered a great loss and shock, as one of our Elders passed away following complications from Covid 19. He left behind a wife and three children. The sense of loss was immense. The entire congregation still feels like it is going through a valley, experiencing pain with many unanswered questions. Yet, in the midst of it all, we know that death is not the end. We have the hope of resurrection and of life eternal. Our good Shepherd and the Chief Shepard of our congregation, Yeshua, will remove our tears, remove our pain and lead us through to green pastures, never leaving our side. Yes, we have a hope that this world does not have, nor can it understand. It is a hope of life forevermore with the Lord Yeshua, in Whose presence is fullness of joy.
If you are going through a valley, if you are discouraged, don’t despair. Be encouraged, for there is hope even in the valley. Yeshua, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, knows His flock, each one by name. Nothing is hidden from His sight. He is in control of everything and works everything to the praise and glory of His name. Maybe, as you read this, you are going through a tough time. Even though you may not feel it, He is, indeed, at your side. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will bring light into your darkness if you just trust Him and allow His wings to cover you.