Psalm 57:1; “Have pity on me, O God. Have pity on me, because my soul takes refuge in You. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until destructive storms pass by.”
We have been having some troublesome weather in our part of paradise. A lot of wind, a lot of cold and more than enough snow to cause schools to be delayed or cancelled and weather advisories to issued. The interstates are closed to travel and we call around to find out if enough people can get out to have a Bible Study. It is vital at these times to have in your car enough blankets and warm clothing in case your car stalls. It might be the only thing to protect you in a storm.
God offers us a similar safety but played for higher stakes. Here the Psalmist asks God for pity because he takes refuge in the shadow of God’s wings. We can think in terms of a hen who covers her chicks with her wings to protect them from harm. Yet God takes it beyond just shelter; He brings us into His family and declares us to be sons and treats as such. We not only get shelter; we get it in His tent. We receive the lavish gifts of a father to his son. We lounge at His table. If you think of this in terms of a middle Eastern king, we would eat dates, fresh roasted lamb or the fatted calf, leeks, pomegranates, cucumbers, fresh bread and the finest wines. We would sleep on luxurious silk sheets and drink a mixture of milk and honey. All with God’s love to invite us and encourage us and with His power to protect us from the devil’s harm.
The unbeliever has no clue at the grace that God provides for us as long as we dwell in His shelter and abide in His shadow. We only get in trouble when we leave the tent and go off on our own thinking we can stand up to the devil and the world. We soon find out we are no match for these evil forces. We are only safe when we dwell in the shelter of the Most High. We are only protected while we abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Here we have safety; here we have contentment; here we find peace from the raging storm. What a wonder gift! What a wonderful promise! We are to view this lavish meal (whatever yours is!!!) as just a small, microscopic hint to the feast we will share in heaven. Take the most elaborate meal you have ever seen or experienced, it isn’t even close. We get what the unbeliever can’t even dream of: Dwell safe in the shelter of the Most High, hide in His shadow and enjoy His meal and the time that you spend with Him through our prayers and praise.
God of all Power, You speak and the world trembles and shakes. Forgive us our sins. Strengthen us so that we are ready for Your hospitality; we are ready to dine with You. As You nourish us with Your heavenly meal; use our strength to serve in Your kingdom. Through Jesus’ precious Name we pray, Amen
God’s Peace Pastor Bret
Bierman, Trinity Lutheran, rural Mansfield