Sheltering Wings

“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”  Psalm 91: 4

Persons often argue about God having feathers. Such a dispute is absurd. Of course the verse is not to instruct us God literally has feathers, God uses a multiplicity of ways to describe His love for and protection of us. He often does it by using a metaphor and this verse is a metaphor representing His care.

“He shall cover you with His feathers,” is a metaphor, God is represented as a bird, sheltering young chicks under its wings. (A metaphor in case it is needed is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance. Humor is often found in non biblical mixed metaphors, such as, Humor is found when people mix their metaphors, as in:
He is trying to get all of his ducks on the same page.
He has a lot of black sheep in his closet.
I’ve got it right on the fork of my tongue.
I looked to see what I could hear.
I listened to see what I could hear.
He was running around like a chicken with a bad haircut.)

In this light the verse noted above is teaching something more amazing than the bogus idea that God has feathers.

The mother eagle, spreading her wings over her eaglets, is a wonderful symbol of the Lord graciously acting in order that we might hide, and have hope, as He hovers over us.

The imagery of a believer being a fledgling chick and the Lord an overpowering eagle affords assurance and comfort. His sharp beak, powerful claws, and strong wings speak of His ability to protect and nurture His chicks.

The text identifies three provisions He, the eagle, provides His people.

First, the pinions, the powerful wings are emblematic of God sheltering His chicks. Regardless of any threat the Eagle is capable of shielding His chick. Reflect on that and be reassured, comforted.

Second, the powerful sheltering wings are an affirmation of what is to come for the chick. The eaglet is a foreshadowing of what the chick itself has in store for itself as a result of the sheltering. The chick too, like the mother bird, will have wings of its own. It was born to be like the mother bird.

Third, “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” His pledge or promise will be what the shield of the soldier is to him in battle. The word rendered “buckler” comes from the verb “to surround.” It speaks of the Lord surrounding us, protecting us, with His word. Surround yourself by daily applying His word.

As an aside, don’t ever push a metaphor or any form of an illustration too far. They are not exactly at all points alike.

With all this imagery in mind, reflect once more on the text. This time apply to your life the principles intended to teach you and build your confidence.

Then go forth and soar. Make the One who is likened to an eagle proud of you.

“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”  Psalm 91: 4