“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalm 36:7)
Often, as a pastor, I minister to people facing tough times. We have all experienced the death of a loved one, a serious sickness, issues within the family, financial setbacks, sin problems, and many other forms of pain and trials. Many times, these problems are unsolvable from a human perspective: however, there is a place of security, love, comfort and peace. The Bible calls this place, “under the shadow of His wings.”
David often faced great difficulties in his life. In Psalm 36, David writes about those who would bring harm to his life. He realizes that he is helpless in face of these schemes; so he chooses to find refuge under the wings of his Lord God.
The words, “under His wings”, refer to how a young bird finds protection from danger within the shadow of his mother’s wings. Whatever danger that comes to the young bird must first pass through the ever vigilant mother. God is like that mother bird. He gives us a place of refuge under the shadow of His wings. Nothing will enter our lives until it first passes through His ever vigilant eyes and protection.
Here are some examples of times when we need to seek the security that God provides for His children.
- Fear. (Even groundless fear is still painful.)
- Danger. (Self, sin, Satan, and foes)
- Inability to defend or overcome without help
- Foresight that sees the storm coming and looks for safety.
- Prudence to hide before the storm.
- Times of fatigue, discouragement, or temptation.
David fled to the safety of the shadow of the Lord”s wings because He knew God personally; thus, he could trust Him. How well do we know God? In Psalm 36, David focuses upon five attributes of God that will help us to know Him better.
1. God is merciful. We don’t deserve His forgiveness, compassion and protection; and yet He shows mercy unto us. “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;” (Psalm 36:5a)
2. God is faithful. People may come and go in our lives. People may not want to help us. Sometimes, others may get tired of helping us, but God demonstrates His faithfulness by His presence in our lives. He never leaves us, nor does He forsake us.
“Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5b)
3. God is righteous. We can trust God because He can do no wrong. When God makes a promise to us, He keeps His word. There is great comfort and strength when we flee to God’s Word to claim one of His promises. God will never fail us, nor wrong us. “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.” (Psalm 36:6a)
4. God is just. Everywhere we look we see injustices occurring. We wonder, “where is the justice?” When we flee to God, we will receive justice. God’s justice is perfect and impartial. “Thy judgments are a great deep:” (Psalm 36:6b)
5. God is love. God knows our weakness. He knows our need of Him, more than we do. His love says to us: “Come unto me, I will take care of you” “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!” (Psalm 36:7)
When we find refuge under the shadow of His wings, we will find abundant peace, protection and guidance from our Heavenly Father. David testifies of God’s provision in the life of those who live under the shadow of His wings. “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” (Psalm 36:8-9)
“Dear Father, instead of finding refuge under your wings, I try to solve my problems on my own. I know that I should come to you. I know that you love me; yet, I seek to go my way. Help me to trust you when hard times come. Place me under your loving wings; so that I will know the warmth of your love, peace and protection. Amen”