Verse 4. He shall cover thee with thy feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust. A wonderful expression! Had it been invented by an uninspired man it would have verged upon blasphemy, for who should dare to apply such words to the Infinite Jehovah? But as he himself authorised, yea, dictated the language, we have here a transcendent condescension, such as it becomes us to admire and adore. Doth the Lord speak of his feathers, as though he likened himself to a bird? Who will not see herein a matchless love, a divine tenderness, which should both woo and win our confidence? Even as a hen covereth her chickens so doth the Lord protect the souls which dwell in him; let us cower down beneath him for comfort and for safety. Hawks in the sky and snares in the field are equally harmless when we nestle so near the Lord.
His truth -- his true promise, and his faithfulness to his promise, shall be thy shield and buckler. Double armour has he who relies upon the Lord. He bears a shield and wears an all surrounding coat of mail -- such is the force of the word "buckler." To quench fiery darts the truth is a most effectual shield, and to blunt all swords it is an equally effectual coat of mail. Let us go forth to battle thus harnessed for the war, and we shall be safe in the thickest of the fight. It has been so, and so shall it be till we reach the land of peace, and there among the "helmed cherubim and sworded seraphim," we will wear no other ornament, his truth shall still be our shield and buckler.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. He shall cover thee with his feathers, etc. Christ's wings are both for healing and for hiding ( Matthew 4:2 ), for curing and securing us; the devil and his instruments would soon devour the servants of God, if he did not set an invincible guard about them, and cover them with the golden feathers of his protection. Thomas Watson.
Verse 4. He shall cover thee with his feathers, etc. This is the promise of the present life. For the promise of the life to come, who can explain? If the expectation of the just be gladness, and such gladness, that no object of desire in the world is worthy to be compared with it, what will the thing itself be which is expected? No eye, apart from Thee, O God, hath seen what Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee. Under these wings, therefore, four blessings are conferred upon us. For under these we are concealed: under these we are protected from the attack of the hawks and kites, which are the powers of the air: under these a salubrious shade refreshes us, and wards off the overpowering heat of the sun; under these, also we are nourished and cherished. Bernard.
Verse 4. He shall cover thee with his feathers, etc.,
His plumes shall make a downie bed,
Where thou shalt rest; He shall display
His wings of truth over thy head,
Which, like a shield, shall drive away
The fears of night, the darts of day. Thomas Caryl.
Verse 4. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. That which we must oppose to all perils is the truth, or Word of God; so long as we keep that, and ward off darts and swords by that means, we shall not be overcome. David Dickson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The compassion of God.
- The confidence of saints.
- The panoply of truth.