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What does it mean to be “under the shadow of His wings”?

This analogy is based on Psalm 91:1,4:

“He that dwelleth in the secret place (cover, protection) of the most High shall abide (to stay permanently) under the shadow (shade) of the Almighty….He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

The secret place of the Most High:

In the verses below, the word for “secret place” is translated “hiding place,” “secret of his tabernacle” and “secret of Ty presence.”

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my HIDING PLACE thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 27:5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the SECRET of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalm 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the SECRET of Thy presence from the pride of man; thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (hut, tabernacle, tent) from the strife of tongues.  

The “secret place of the most High” can be thought of as the hiding place of His presence, the special intimate relationship we can have with Him.

The shadow of the Almighty:
Psalm 17:8  “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the SHADOW of thy wings.”

Psalm 36:7  How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the SHADOW of thy wings.

Psalm 57:1  Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee; yea, in the SHADOW of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

This is an amazing promise!  If we dwell—continually stay—in the secret place of the most High—in the hiding place of His presence, we are given a special promise and assurance of His overshadowing protection that will continually be upon us.

This ties in with the analogy brought up in verse 4: “he shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

“For you have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength before the enemy.  Let me make my home in your tent [tabernacle] forever; let me hide under the shelter of your wings.”

Psalm 61:3-4

Baby chicks run to their mother hen for protection in the face of danger.  We are reminded that as a baby chick in Christ in the “barnyard,” we need to SEEK REFUGE under His wings instead of just watching from the middle of the barnyard.  We need to leave the “barnyard mentality” and seek refuge under His wings.  We can run to prayer and His promises when there is a threat of danger in the barnyard of our life. It’s such a different experience when we see what challenges us from under the protection of His promises and overruling power.

If we dwell (continually stay) in the secret place of the Most High (in the hiding place of His presence), we are given a special promise and assurance that His overshadowing protection will continually be upon us.

To learn more about the hope God promises us listen to, “How Do We Keep Hope Alive?”

“Do Christians Need Hope in Their Lives?”