Psa. 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
How is this word “shadow” used in the KJV?
- Gen. 19:8 “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”
- Num. 14:9 “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.”
The Hebrew word for shadow is translated these two ways as in the verses above in bold. It can mean a shadow cast by an obstruction of light, as in the shadow on the sun dial of 2 Kings 20:8-11, or can also mean protection.
There was an Indian boy in North America who had come of age to be a warrior. One of the tests that his father, the chief, have laid out for all young men was that they must first go away from the tribe alone into the night. Each young man, at his own time, must put a covering over his eyes and sit all night in the darkness without taking the headdress off. The young son did as he was instructed. It was a long night. As he had been told, when the morning sun warmed his face, he took the blindfold off. He immediately saw his father, the chief, standing a stones throw away, watching to be sure he was safe.
This concept is why we could confidently speak as King David in:
Psa. 91:2, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psa. 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.“
Who is the fowler? This Hebrew word occurs three times, the other two times are here in bold:
- Prov. 6:5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
- Jer. 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
Satan and His agents are referred to, no doubt.
Psa. 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
- Remember, the shield is for the defense while the buckler is for the offense.
Christ illustrated a similar idea of parental protection, protecting under His feathers and wings, when speaking the woes to the Scribes, Pharisees, and Elders of Matthew 23:
Matt. 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Matt. 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Does God and Christ have wings? Maybe… ?
Remember John 14:9 records, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…”
Also, speaking of the angel in the highest place of honor and glory below the Father and His Son, “Had not the Lord made the covering cherub so beautiful, so closely resembling his own image; had not God awarded him special honor; had anything been left undone in the gift of beauty and power and honor, then Satan might have had some excuse.” GCDB March 2, 1897, par. 33
Yet maybe God and Christ do not have wings…
While Christ was prophesied as being on the cross, it says of the Father that:
Psa. 18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
Psa. 18:10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
Psa. 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
Under the shadow? Under His wings? To protect us from the fowler?
Does God cast shadows? Does He really have wings?
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
1 John 1:5 “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
So… how do we get under His shadow? How are we under His wings?
After the terrors by night and the arrows by day, God gives this promise to those that love him:
Psa. 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa. 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa. 91:11 FOR He shall give his angels charge [most often translated command] over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa. 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Do angels cast shadows? Do angels have wings? Most certainly.
Psa. 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7. God commissions His angels to save His chosen ones from calamity, to guard them from “the pestilence that walketh in darkness” and “the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” Psalm 91:6. Again and again have angels talked with men as a man speaketh with a friend, and led them to places of security. Again and again have the encouraging words of angels renewed the drooping spirits of the faithful and, carrying their minds above the things of earth, caused them to behold by faith the white robes, the crowns, the palm branches of victory, which overcomers will receive when they surround the great white throne.
It is the work of the angels to come close to the tried, the suffering, the tempted. They labor untiringly in behalf of those for whom Christ died. When sinners are led to give themselves to the Saviour, angels bear the tidings heavenward, and there is great rejoicing among the heavenly host. “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7. A report is borne to heaven of every successful effort on our part to dispel the darkness and to spread abroad the knowledge of Christ. As the deed is recounted before the Father, joy thrills through all the heavenly host.” AA 153.2-AA 153.3
“A guardian angel is appointed to every follower of Christ. These heavenly watchers shield the righteous from the power of the wicked one. This Satan himself recognized when he said: “Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” Job 1:9, 10. The agency by which God protects His people is presented in the words of the psalmist: “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7. Said the Saviour, speaking of those that believe in Him: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father.” Matthew 18:10. The angels appointed to minister to the children of God have at all times access to His presence.” GC 512.2
When God needed most to protect His Son from the enemy of all righteousness, how did He do it?
Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. [“When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God.” DA 114.2]
Matt. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Matt. 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God [divine nature], command that these stones be made bread [human nature].
Matt. 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man [human] shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God [divine].
Matt. 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Matt. 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee [oops! Satan skipped “…to keep thee in all thy ways”]: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Matt. 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matt. 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them [a false demon-stration of the “spirit of prophecy”, Revelation 19:10, 22:8-9];
Matt. 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Matt. 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matt. 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
“Christ overcame Satan on every point. The wily foe could not induce Him to swerve from His allegiance to the Father. “Get thee behind Me, Satan,” Christ said; “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” The Captain of our salvation overcame for us; Satan left the field a conquered foe. But the strain upon Christ had left Him as one dead. “And, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” Their arms encircled Him. Upon the breast of the highest angel in heaven His head rested. Divine consolation flowed into His soul. The foe was vanquished. Humanity was placed on vantage ground. Christ had conquered. Those who became partakers of the divine nature would be able to resist the temptations of the enemy.” BEcho September 3, 1900, par. 12
When God needed His Son to keep on keeping on right before His death, how did He strengthen Him?
Matt. 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Under the protection and command of the angels is how we are under the shadow of the Almighty and under His wings.
Psa. 91:11 FOR He shall give his angels charge [most often translated command(ed)] over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
“Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.” DA 512.3
Quoting John 17, “Thus in the language of one who has divine authority, Christ gives His elect church into the Father’s arms. As a consecrated high priest He intercedes for His people. As a faithful shepherd He gathers His flock under the shadow of the Almighty, in the strong and sure refuge. For Him there waits the last battle with Satan, and He goes forth to meet it.” DA 680.4
“I have seen the tender love that God has for His people, and it is very great. I saw angels over the saints with their wings spread about them. Each saint had an attending angel. If the saints wept through discouragement, or were in danger, the angels that ever attended them would fly quickly upward to carry the tidings, and the angels in the city would cease to sing. Then Jesus would commission another angel to descend to encourage, watch over, and try to keep them from going out of the narrow path; but if they did not take heed to the watchful care of these angels, and would not be comforted by them, but continued to go astray, the angels would look sad and weep. They would bear the tidings upward, and all the angels in the city would weep, and then with a loud voice say, “Amen.” But if the saints fixed their eyes upon the prize before them and glorified God by praising Him, then the angels would bear the glad tidings to the city, and the angels in the city would touch their golden harps and sing with a loud voice, “Alleluia!” and the heavenly arches would ring with their lovely songs.” EW 39.1
During these end times, we must be under the care and protection of God Almighty. He has sent His angels to seal us in preparation for the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation (see Daniel 12:1):
Rev. 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Rev. 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Ezek. 9:1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.
Ezek. 9:2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
Ezek. 9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;
Ezek. 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
“In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels; but there will be no security for the transgressor of God’s law. Angels cannot then protect those who are disregarding one of the divine precepts.” PP 256.1