Protected in the shadow of God’s wings

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” — Psalm 57:1 (NIV)

David, anointed king of Israel, hid in a cave from the wrath of Saul, anointed but deposed king of Israel. Through Samuel, Saul knew that God had decided to remove him as king. After a while, he recognized David as his eventual replacement. Instead of retiring gracefully, Saul sought to defy God and kill David.

Probably no one in American society is in such danger with, in human terms, so little support and so few resources. And yet every one of us goes through utterly disastrous seasons in our lives. It may be the loss or a job or even career. It may be the crumbling of an important relationship. It may be betrayal at the hands of someone we trusted. Whatever calamity befalls us, we can take the same comfort David did, if only we will.

As he hid in a cave, the cave was not his refuge. God was his refuge. The image “in the shadow of your wings,” as opposed to “under your wings”  indicates that David did not even experience really tangible support. He took refuge in a shadow, but God himself cast that shadow. David neither needed nor desired anything more.

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