Thursday, January 27, 2011

Under the Shadow of His Wings

The Lord has directed my attention to Psalm 91 in the last couple of months. This idea of protection and being under the shadow of His wings is a place I want to be! A close friend of mine recently got a word from the Lord, "Take cover!". We often talk about what we hear the Lord telling us and what we are learning from His Word. Oh, I love this! I immediately thought of this Psalm. Here is part of it (Psalm 91:1-8) but read the whole thing in your Bible:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
I love to cross reference passages and see what insight I can gain from it. The verse that spoke to me the most was verse 4 speaking of covering me with his pinions or feathers and under His wings, finding refuge. When I looked up the cross reference it took me to 1Kings 8:7 and the ark of the covenant. This is the place where the Holy One's throne is and where the cherubim are casting their shadow over the ark of the testimony, which contains the Ten Commandments, but is covered by the mercy seat. What I absolutely love about this picture is that the mercy seat is over, covering the law. It doesn't get rid of it. Just like Yeshua's blood covers us in our weakness in obeying the Law perfectly. The ark was placed in the tabernacle, which is a picture of Messiah, but also ourselves. The heart or center of the tabernacle is the ark where in the Law should be written on our hearts as Jeremiah 31:31 says and where grace, definitely abounds!

So, I have been asking what that really means. I was drawn to Yeshua's statement (which always makes me cry) when he laments over Jerusalem, "How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" (Matt 23:37) Do you hear His heart here? How much He wants to protect and guard and save His people? But they were not willing! This is an absolutely heart wrenching lament! With those three words of truth, Yeshua gives us more understanding as to the fact that it is a choice we make to come under the shadow of His wings. What I am seeing here, is that we have a choice by obeying or not obeying His Word/Voice and if we are obedient, we are truly under His authority and protection. If we don't obey or choose to ignore His voice, we are not under His wings. He will NOT force us to be there, it is a choice we make. The place of safety is the very heart of God, the ark, which is a picture of His throne, our hearts (if we call Him our Lord and Savior) and the place of obedience as that is where the Word of God lives!

Isn't that also true of our children? If they obey and follow our commands, they will be protected? If they don't they are prey for the enemy and are without our protection and covering? Isn't it that simple? If I tell my toddler not to run into the road, but he does and gets hit by a car, it is his disobedience which put Him outside of the protective covering, the parental authority in this case, which if he had obeyed, would save him much pain and even death! It is pride that keeps us from coming under the authority of His wings, because we think we know better. But we don't.

Anyone raise chickens? A few years back we had around 40 free range chickens running around our farm. If a hawk or something dangerous comes near, the mother hen will do just that, take those chicks and shield them from danger by placing them right under her wings. Don't you love how God uses symbols and images in His Word that we can easily see in nature all around us?

The Lord then took me to another passage. The Passover story....again. He keeps drawing me there I believe for many reasons. One of which I believe has to do with my dream (see the post A Time of Separation Coming). Prophecy and history moves in cycles and God's Word, especially His Torah is so important because as Isaiah 46 says, "the end is revealed in the beginning". Time is cyclical to God. The Hebrews were under the shadow of His wings in the story of Passover, as they obeyed the Word of the Lord, through Moses, to put blood on their doorposts. They had to obey His Word, and believe what He said to be true, that is what saved their lives, literally. It was God that was literally over them, like a hen protecting her chicks from danger, while the destroyer went by killing all the firstborn of those who did not put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts! Yeshua in Hebrew actually means SALVATION! His blood applied, does save! But it must be applied to be effective.

My Rabbi (teacher) explained that the wings of the prayer shawl are symbolic of this covering. This is most likely what the woman with the issue of blood grabbed hold of as "there was healing in His wings" when she was healed by Yeshua (Jesus).  Yeshua was Jewish and wore a prayer shawl with these longer strands hanging down on the corners of it. Crowds gathered all around just to touch the hem of His garment because He was the Anointed One and healing just flowed. I love the picture of being covered by a prayer shawl, and going into that secret place where I am ministered to in His presence. Definitely a picture of "taking cover" and being under the shadow of His wings!

I am dwelling in the shelter of the Most High, sticking as close as I can. Close, so I can hear His voice clearly in these days ahead. I am convinced obedience to what He tells us will be life saving in the coming months and years. Are you resting under the shadow of His wings?

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