Psalm 91 Day 17
Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
The Yellowstone National Park fire of 1988 is still to this day the largest wildfire in the history of the National Park Service. Over 9,000 fire fighters and 4,000 US Military personnel were dispatched to fight the fire. The entire park was closed to visitors at one point, and eventually the fire destroyed 36% of the park or 793,880 acres of land.
I remember when I took the family to Yellowstone in 1993 and you could still see the charred remains in some places as far as the eye could see. At the visitor center they had displays that told the stories of how the fire impacted the wildlife at the park. I vividly remember reading one story that may help us understand what being covered by His feathers is all about:
After the forest fire in Yellowstone National Park was put out, forest rangers began their trek up one of the mountains to assess the damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Saddened by the eerie sight, the ranger knocked over the bird with a stick. As he did, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother bird, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her chicks to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the deadly smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety on her own but she refused to abandon her babies. When the fire had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had stood strong and steady. Because she was willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.
Like those chicks, all of us need to be sheltered and protected.
I say that because of the multitude of things that can go wrong in life. We get betrayed, or face sickness. We face disappointment and at time failure. Or the doctor orders tests and the report comes back with bad news. Or we may be facing relational conflict with peers, neighbors, family, or loved ones. Or we may feel lonely, bitter, ignored, or forgotten. We may be secretly struggling with alcohol, drugs, etc. The list can go on and on of things that we can experience in life.
People everywhere are struggling for a sense of security. According to some reports, the security industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America. In homes and offices people are putting sensors on windows, fancy locks and bolts on doors, and motion detectors in rooms. Alarms, cameras, and electrified fences are being used to protect persons and property. Security firms cannot keep up with the business.
The good news is that our security is one of the great and wondrous themes of the Bible: God is our refuge and fortress, He is our shelter. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Ps 91:4).
The psalmist undoubtedly had an eagle in mind. When the bird senses danger it protectively spreads out its wings. Its chicks quickly take cover underneath where they are safe and sheltered. I understand that this move is so instinctive that when danger approaches an adult eagle will spread its wings even when no chicks are around.
The point is that God is our refuge and fortress; He is our shelter. He defends us, guards us, protects us, and keeps us safe in the troubles and trials of life.
I am sure you have seen the sign in a window that warns would-be robbers: “Notice. These premises are protected by ADT.” Well today, pray this verse and us it as a sign for your life: “Notice to all who would do harm – this family and home are protected by God.”
Have a blessed day – pjs