Wednesday, September 25, 2013

UNDER HIS WINGS!



UNDER HIS WINGS! 
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust..."   Psalm 91:4

     Psalm 91 has always been one of my refuge passages (91:2).  Do you have any of those?  You know, those places in Scripture where you run when you need to feel loved and protected?  I love the illustration of the hen covering its chicks with it's feathers in verse 4 of that chapter.
     I really never completely understood this passage until Bob and I lived on a farm.  I wanted to be the ideal farmer’s wife, so we ordered 100 baby chicks.  My daughter and I fed and watered the baby chicks until they grew up.  In fact, one night at bedtime I went to check to see if Tracey was covered with a blanket and found three baby chicks asleep with her.  When it was time, Bob and his father killed most of the chickens and his mother and I got them ready for the freezer.  However we kept 10 good chickens for eggs.  The following spring we allowed the chickens to hatch their eggs.  It was exciting to watch the babies break out.  One day while my children and I were tossing grain on the ground for the chickens, a huge thunderstorm rolled in.  The first clash of lightening sent all the baby chicks running over to their mother.  She spread her wings out and all the baby chicks went under; then they all scurried to the hen house. 
     I'm so glad the Lord keeps us under His wings. It's a wonderful place to run when storms arise!  David penned these poetic words in Psalms.... but wait... Where did he hear these words?  Maybe he had heard these words from his great-grandmother - who was that?  Ruth   You see she also had heard these same words spoken from Boaz in Ruth 2:2: The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.  You see the wonderful union of Ruth and Boaz must have been favorite family bed-time story.  David must have heard all the wonderful events about how Ruth had left her people in a foreign land, to follow her mother-in-law and trust in God.  Some of the most expressive illustrations of the divine love and care used in the Bible, are taken from the ways of birds.  For example, this beautiful figure of a bird sheltering her young under her wings, runs through all the Scriptures, as a picture of God's sheltering care over us. 

I.  There is Closeness and Love Under His Wings  - Psalms 91:1 says that, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  When birds are under the wing of their parent they are so close that they can hear  the parent’s heart beat - they know that they are loved.  Being under His wings means that we are so close to the heart of God, that we can hear His tender voice of love for us.  The shadow of God is not the occasional resort, but the constant abiding-place, of the saint.


Under His wings you are close to His heart,
you are not only sheltered, you are loved;
you are not only secure, you are cared for;
you are not only covered, you are reassured.

      There's nothing like God's love for us.  We may have friends and relatives who we feel just don't love us here on this earth but we have a wonderful God that does loves us.  It is a love that will never fail us (Psalms 136). Nothing can separate us from that love either (Romans 8:35-39).  We are so blessed that we can rest under God's wings in His love. To know He's always there for us keep us close under those feathers.  To know a true love that no one else can give us.
     I love the fact that I can keep close to my Lord under His wings.  Of course it is a choice we make as to how close to the Lord we want to be. We have to make the effort to spend time in His Word and in prayer.  We can't go running off or we are going to miss the benefits of those wonderful wings.  James 4:7,8

II. There is Protection Under His Wings   - Being under God's wings provides such a picture of His protection to us. When David was having such difficulties in his life, where did he go?  He did not have very many people in whom he could trust, but he knew he could pour his heart out to the Lord.  In Psalms 57:1, David was being chased by Saul who was intent on killing him.  David was scared for his life and needed to find his refuge in God. “... in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”    
     Again in Psalm 17:8, David inquired of the Lord, “...Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”   He needed to hide in the shadow of His wings, to protect him from danger and attack.   We may not have physical enemies attacking us like David did but Satan is continually attacking us with fears, despair, discouragement, and countless other negative thoughts. When we cry out to God for His protection, His Word and Spirit can be and will be your refuge.
     Growing up, I heard a true story about a hen that perished in a barnyard fire.  As the rubble was being cleared, the sadden and frustrated farmer gently pushed the dead/burnt chicken with his foot. To his utter amazement several baby chicks ran out from underneath the dead bird.  The mother's wings had protected those little ones; she had laid down her own life, and those little chicks under the hen were safe and were preserved.

 III. There is Comfort Under His Wings  - When the baby chicks run underneath their mother’s wings.  She nestles herself over them spreading her huge fluffy wings over them.  They immediately began to sense calmness.   Being under there comforts and settles those chicks when life gets scary for them.  

     I remember when I was young that as soon as the lightening flash across my bedroom and before the thunder rolled, my feet were already on the floor headed to my parent’s bed.  There was comfort there!  I would nestle down and soon fall to sleep.  The next morning I would find myself back in my own bed and I didn’t even remember the storm.  How many of you growing up when a thunderstorm rolled in found comfort in your parent’s bed?

      Luke 13:34 tells us how God longed to gather His people under His wings like a mother bird yet they would not come.  I think we all instinctively long to feel that tenderness and gentleness of a mother's comfort.  How much more with God?  He is the Great Comforter  Fill in the blanks:  2 Cor. 1:3,4: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
    Even as grown women, we go through times when situations in life scares us.  We deal with sorrow and stress... and sometimes we just fall down and get those “boo-boos”.  We want to be comforted. We need to get closer -- under the Lord's wings and let Him comfort us.  There are ways in which He will gently talk to us.  "It's okay", "It's alright", "Tell me about it", "Well, why don't you sleep on it", or even "Things will look better in the morning". If we look in His Word, it's full of comfort for us.

IV. There is Trust Under His Wings  - Psalms 36:7   How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
     Earlier in the lesson we learned how Ruth learned to trust in Boaz (Ruth 2:11,12).  We need to go to His Wings for trust.  I know that the Russian texts here uses two words “покойны and успокоиться“ but in both cases, the Greek word khaw-saw’ is used: -- it means a place to flee for hope, a place to put our trust.  We know that under the Lord's wings we are able to trust Him. He's not going to fail us (Deut. 31:8).  He might not always provide and protect in the way that we'd choose but He always has our best interests at heart.  
      Psalms 91:4 says:  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Though the night deepens and troubles in our life seem too difficult, we can still trust Him.  He has kept you in the past and He will continue to watch over you.  Our faith and trust in God will at times be tested with challenges that life throws at us.  However, the safety of God’s wings is available for our covering if we choose to trust in Him.


V.  There is Rejoicing Under His Wings  - Ever notice we are happier when we are walking in tune with the Lord?  When we are resting right up there under His wings, we get our joy revitalized.  Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Psalm 63:7   The joy of the Lord is our strength (Jer. 33:11), and it is when we delight ourselves in the Lord that we have assurance of power in prayer.  Here faith develops, and hope grows brighter.  Love shines abroad all the fragrance of her sweet spices.  As we draw closer to God, our hearts will be blessed and then our hearts will rejoice.
      Keep on rejoicing with a thankful heart! God’s awesome deliverance is worthy to be thanked for.  We need to remember from what he saved us from, remember how He sustains us through all situations and how He renews our strength as the wings of eagle (Isaiah 40:31).  
Why is rejoicing so important?  Here are just a few: 

  • Rejoicing in the Lord keeps us stronger physically and spiritually.  
  • Rejoicing in the Lord is a spiritual weapon to fight off attacks on our mind. 
  • Rejoicing may motivate God to shower you with greater blessing (seeing you are thankful for what He has already done).
  • Rejoicing in all things speaks powerfully to both believers and unbelievers. 
  • Rejoicing in affliction strengthens our faith in God’s character and promises
     We can sing our songs of praise to Him as well, knowing that the warmth and security of His wings covers us even on our most lonely or pain-filled days.

VI.  There is Healing in His Wings  - Some birds build their nests on a rock.  Underneath them it is bare, cold, and hard.  But what do the young birds care, so long as over them they feel the warm covering of the mother-bird's feathers?  Sometimes we find that the earthly nest under our feet is bare and cold.  Sometime Christians have to endure the experiences of sickness and  pain.  What a warm place it is to flee in time of need!  Some of us do not yet fully understand this.  We cannot see the stars—until the sun goes down and night comes.  When the darkness seems to envelope us we can know the marvelous tenderness of God. There are many things about the love of God—which we cannot learn until we lose earth's good things.
     Mal. 4:2 says “The Son of Righteousness rises with healing in His wings.  Although the Lord may not bring me physical healing from all my infirmities, He heals my soul and spirit.  He replaces my earthly values and desires with His eternal heavenly ones.  He brings me through my times of grief, pain, and suffering, and He restores my soul.  It is our daily walk with Him. We do not walk alone and He is an ever-present help in the time of need and trouble. He is our Salvation.


VII.  There is Satisfaction Under His Wings  - A good mother longs to satisfy the needs of her children, whether it be for food, clothing, health, or what have you.  Being under God's wings satisfies us. He not only satisfies our physical needs but also our spiritual needs. He satisfies our very souls.
      In Psalm 36:7,8, David talks about being in the shadow of His wings.  What does verse eight tell us? _________________________. 
       There once was a man who told a story about moving his family to a new home. The accommodations in this new home was much more fancier - wealthier than which they had previously been accustomed.  His youngest son, a small child, ran round every room and scanned every article with ecstasy, calling out in childish wonder at every new sight, "Is this ours, father? and is this ours?" The child did not say "yours;" and I observed that the father while he told the story was not offended with the freedom.  You see, the same joy and satisfaction belongs to us.   What our Father has for us is beyond satisfaction -- it is sweetness.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

Conclusion:
There is closeness, protection, comfort, trust, love, satisfaction, and rejoicing under God’s wings.  I'm so glad that I have a God who cares so much about me that He keeps me up Under His Wings. I know there are times that I get like David running from Saul and need to go sliding under those feathers and into that safe place. And boy sometimes I feel like I just get too many boo-boos to count and I long for that comfort that only God can give. There's been times when I've been so sad that I can't even speak to the Lord when I get up under there but I know He understands and He makes me feel better.