Where Could I Go, But to the Lord!
Updated: Sep 4
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust….”
(Psalm 91:4a KJV)
On Sunday 14 August, during the church refreshment time, Sis Lynna Seah told me that there was a bird with two babies in the Chicku tree. I took a look at the bird and to my delight, I discovered that it was a male Pink-necked Green Pigeon with two chicks (photo above). I have seen photos of the bird and chicks before but have never had the opportunity to photograph it, until this time. I was really thrilled because it was almost at eye-level and about five meters away. It was also an open shot. I am glad to have taken this photo as it fits very well with the words of the Psalmist in Psalms 91:4. Here is C. H. Spurgeon’s comment on this verse:
“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.”
The Psalmist is using the metaphor of a bird to illustrate God’s parental care and protection, in this verse. Here we see God being like the protective parent who feeds, nurtures, and protects the young. The image is meant to invoke safety and warmth when we dwell in God. There is no other place for Christians to look for refuge. It is only in the Lord. There is nowhere safer than in the arms of the Father.
“To come under his wings to find refuge would mean looking to him in prayer, looking to his word to see how to live, and then living out his commands, acknowledging his presence the whole way.” (https://connectusfund.org/psalm-91-4-meaning-of-under-his-wings).
Indeed, anyone and everyone who makes God his trust will experience His protection. For
‘he will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge’ (Psalm 91:4).
Our role is to trust in Him completely, to cast all our worries and fears to Him. Is there an area of your life that is filled with stress or worry that you need to take to God and entrust it to Him? If you truly trust God, how will it affect your actions and attitude?
This promise of His care also extends beyond God’s covenant people and embraces even a stranger in the beautiful story of Ruth the Moabitess. Ruth followed Naomi back to Israel and she declared:
“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16)
God in His providence brought Ruth to Naomi’s relative, Boaz, and their son Obed became David’s grandfather. See what Boaz said of Ruth’s love and loyalty in leaving her homeland and being with the people of Judah.
“The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:12).
If a non-Christian were to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for refuge and fully trust in Him, God will be gracious to the person.
“…. Behold, now is the favourable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2b).
The imagery of the bird shielding her young into safety under her wings is a touching picture of God’s grace. Have you been experiencing the grace of God every day in your life? Jeremiah reminded us:
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Occasionally, I hear Christians say “I remember some years ago, . . . when God did this and when God did that for me.” There are times when I too say the same thing. It is good to remember what God has done for His people. But God does not live in the past. His blessings are not confined to our “yesterdays.” They are fresh every day. God has something new for you every morning. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us that God’s blessings are “new every morning.” Amen indeed! Remember the children of Israel having to go out each morning to collect fresh Manna. So every morning it would be good for you to get up and reach out to God for something fresh and new.
Where Could I Go but to the Lord
Living below in this old sinful world,
Hardly a comfort can afford;
Striving alone to face temptation sore,
Where could I go but to the Lord?
Where could I go? Oh, where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul?
Needing a friend to save me in the end,
Where could I go but to the Lord?
J. B. Coats