by Rev. Larry Eddings
I have been endeavoring to memorize Scripture once again. I used to do it on a regular basis, but for varieties of reason - or excuses, I got involved in "ministry" and failed to continue the practice. I had forgotten how the Word of God nourishes the human spirit. I am reminded once again how powerful is the Word and how refreshing it is to my spirit when I commit it to memory rather than just quoting a couple of long-remembered verses here and there according to the circumstances at hand.
For example, it is easy to remind people that the Lord said, "I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you always." That is a powerful statement and all of us need to be reminded of it on a regular basis, especially in those times when we feel all alone or forgotten altogether. However, there are so many other promises in God's Word that are set amidst life's circumstances that quicken our spirits not only to the Lord's presence, but to his faithfulness and protection.
Psalm 91:1-4 is a perfect example of such a Powerful Presence. "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
The fowler is a person who traps wild birds for the purpose of either eating them or selling them to be placed in cages. The Psalmist declares that God saves us from such a snare that is set for us for the purpose of either destroying us or putting us in bondage.
Then the Psalmist declares that God will "cover us with his feathers and under his wings we will find refuge" - or safety. We know from Jesus' teachings that God is Spirit [John 4:24]. Therefore, God is not a big bird with feathered wings, any more than He is a big man or a big woman with two arms and two legs. At the same time, it is interesting that when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at his baptism [Luke 3:21, 23] He "descended on him in bodily form like a dove." The Holy Spirit of God took on visible form as a dove that does, in fact, have feathered wings.
Could it be that the Psalmist, writing perhaps a thousand years before Jesus' baptism, was inspired by the Spirit of God and that God, in reality does cover us with his feathers and under his wings we will find refuge, as he covers us with his Holy Spirit and we take refuge there?
My prayer for you and me today is that God cover us with his Holy Spirit's presence and help us come to know that when we are under that covering nothing can or will snare us, put us in bondage or destroy us. God's faithfulness will indeed be our shield and rampart [fortification] for our deliverance and protection from the enemy - in whatever form the enemy chooses to take.