“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. ” – Psalm 91:4 (ESV)
The imagery in this verse will be very familiar to anyone who has lived where their chickens have the run of the yard. When a hen’s brood has hatched, her chicks follow her wherever she goes. She leads them to food and they learn how to find it for themselves. If ever the shadow of a hawk passes over the hen she senses the danger and sends out a call to her chicks. They run to her and hide under her spread her wings. Her wing feathers keeping them safe from the sharp eyes of the hawk who can swiftly dive and snatch up the small chicks for a meal. That’s a metaphor the psalmist gives us of God’s faithful protection. God will cover us with his ‘pinions’ and we find refuge under His ‘wings.” Our God is spirit and doesn’t actually have wings or feathers but the psalmist says it this way to help us visualize God’s protection. It’s God’s faithfulness, not ours. God’s faithfulness is like a shield or buckler – a small shield worn on the arm. God, our protector, promises refuge and safe places we need. When we face threats from the devil we need protection.