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Psalm 91:4 Faithful to cover

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler.

When you picture feathers or wings, do you typically think of military shields? That’s not my customary train of thought, but this unusual pairing reveals how intensely protective God feels about you. His heart brims with the desire to cover you when danger lurks and to be your shield against incoming attacks.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge…

The Creator has always had a bird’s eye view of the animal kingdom, and He chose—out of all His creatures—to liken Himself to an eagle when revealing His protective nature toward His people.

In the Song of Moses, it says of God’s relationship to Jacob, “…He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:10-11).

David also use this same imagery in five of his Psalms. In Psalm 57, you can hear his anguished devotion when he cries out, “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by (verse 1). I love this! In the hour of greatest desperation, you, like David, have the right to hunker down under the shadow of God’s wings until destruction passes you by.

Not only did God’s people the Jews have access to the powerful shelter of God’s wings, but the Moabite Ruth also found refuge under His protective wings as well. Boaz spoke highly of Ruth’s deep devotion to and care for her mother-in-law Naomi when he said, “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge” (Ruth 2:12).

David, Moses, and Ruth each found refuge under the majestic wings of the Lord. The Almighty God is still ready and willing to cover anyone who seeks His help; He will never tire of protecting you.

…His faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler.

When I come to this section in prayer, I am reminded of another shield—the mighty shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). But how many times—instead of believing your faith could quench every incoming missile—you’ve felt absolutely worthless? The enemy works overtime to make you feel like a complete faith-failure.

I felt like that more times than I could count…until this verse came alive to me. You see, God’s faithfulness itself is your shield! You don’t have to have monster faith; your God has enough faithfulness for the two of you! Just put your faith into His faithfulness, and when you feel weak, your trust is no longer in your own ability to be some kind of faith giant; your trust is in God!

And when it comes to God’s protective care over you? Place your trust fully in His faithfulness to do what it takes to keep you safe.

One night as a thirty-something woman, I had been passing out gospel tracts on the St. Louis Arch grounds with a group from my church. Because I was somewhat “seasoned” at this sort of thing, an inexperienced young couple were paired with me. Toward the end of the evening I was sharing Jesus with a young woman. The couple got bored and wandered off to find the rest of the group. I didn’t care because she was very interested in giving her life to Christ.

Soon, her eyes popped open as big as silver dollars, and she scrambled away. I turned and immediately was surrounded by a group of six to eight men. As they closed in around me, the oddest thing happened. I had a vision!

No longer was I standing near the top of the south stairway of the Arch; I was at a Charles Capps meeting at my church! There Brother Capps stood, preaching with his Arkansas twang, “My brother, sister, Jesus SAID ‘Let us GO to the other side of the lake’; and if Jesus SAID ‘Let us GO to the other side of the lake’, then no wave, no wind, no storm could stop Him!”

And with that, there I was, back at the Arch, surrounded by the same six to eight men. I looked across the way and saw the old Riverboat McDonald’s. I SAID to the men, “I am GOING to McDonald’s!”

I walked right through that circle; no one touched me. As I descended the long stairway, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly, “Walk. Don’t run. Hold your head high, and don’t look back.”

There were whistles and catcalls as I fearlessly walked across Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. to the gangplank leading to McDonald’s. Down the gangplank I marched, opened the door to the Golden Arches and saw my whole team—including the young couple. In an instant it dawned on me what God had just shielded me from. My knees became Jello, and I wobbled to the counter to order a bag of fries and a Coke.

God’s faithfulness was my shield and buckler that night; and the good news is that He will always be the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Put your faith in the faithfulness of the Lord and take refuge under His all-encompassing wings!


© 2020, Dorothy Frick