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“Protection”  - April 16, 2020

 “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17:8

In the ancient world of the Psalmist, one of the images of relief from oppression was shade.  When heat would be experienced as oppressive, then finding a place in the shadows provided relief.  Right now, many of us have places to live, food to eat and basic technology to connect with others for which we are truly grateful.  However, there are ways in which the word ‘oppressive’ is a fitting description of what many of us are experiencing to some degree under these Covid-19 conditions, especially for those we know are struggling with loss most intensely.

The poet reminds us in Psalm 17 that God is willing to make us ‘the apple of his eye’, a phrase frequently used as a term of affection or endearment.  The apple of an eye is a reference to the pupil, to the most delicate part of the eye.  As those of us with vision issues know, the pupil is essential.  People go to great lengths to protect it.

The poet reaches out to God because he trusts God will give ultimate protection from oppressive forces. God will cover his people generously with outstretched wings to provide shade from oppressive heat and sun.  In fact, God’s love and affection for his people run so deep, he is willing to protect them as if they were that most delicate part of his eye.

Especially in the seasons of Lent and Easter, we can be supremely aware of God’s affection and his willingness to go to any lengths to protect and redeem his people.  Through the cross and the empty tomb, Jesus brings relief from any and all of the oppressive forces of darkness and death.

We are the apple of God’s eye.  We rest in the shadows of his wings.  Again today, we place our trust in Him.

PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT:  Dear God, on some days we feel the oppression of our current times and conditions.  Assure us that we may rest in the shadow of your wings.  Remind us that you care for us like the apple of your eye.  Help us to keep our eyes fixed on the Risen Jesus.  In his name, Amen.