Sheltering Wings

Exodus 37:1–9, Ruth 2:10–3:9, Psalm 61, Luke 13:34–35

The wings of God are an interesting image, and it is well worth considering. While God may not have literal wings, wings being part of the comprehension of God cannot and should not be ignored.

The Ark of the Covenant was a physical reminder of God’s presence among the people of Israel. The lid of the Ark of the Covenant was called the Mercy Seat. Think about that. Beneath the seat were the stones of the Commandments, a container of mana, and (later) a blossoming branch. Mercy was the capstone of it all. Surrounding the Mercy Seat were wings. Were they God’s wings? No, but as they were directed by God to be there, they were indeed a manifestation of God’s will.

In the story of Ruth, wings come up twice in actually a short time, and both have the same concept surrounding their appearance. In the first, Boaz declares that Ruth has placed herself underneath the wings of God as a refuge. As the story progresses, she then places herself under the wings of Boaz for refuge.

Wings and refuge often go hand-in-hand in the Scriptures. We see it yet again in Psalm 61 (and it is also in other Psalms). God has wings of refuge.

Jesus’ sad cry against and on behalf of Jerusalem (representing the past and present Israelites and Jews) shows a refusal to be underneath the wings of God, a refusal to be in the refuge of God. Jesus’ words of how a mother hen guards her chicks with her wings, how her wings are the chicks’ refuge from the world…they are nothing short of amazing.

God wants to shelter us underneath his wings.

1) Shelter and refuge are things we often seek in things, money, and even people. How are you doing seeking shelter under God’s wings?

2) What do you feel in your heart, knowing that God wants to gather YOU underneath his wings?

3) Why would people NOT want to be under God’s refuge? How do you think that might affect how they view, feel, and interact with the world around them?