by Richelle Hecker
Dwelling in God’s Protective Place
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“Like a bird that flees its nest
is anyone who flees from home”
Proverbs 27:8 New International Version
I’ve always had a difficult time reading through Biblical proverbs. I tend to prefer clear, blunt, communication. Although some proverbs are exactly that, many of them require deeper pondering to gain understanding. The proverb above is an example of this. I could just read it and move on to the next one without really letting the point sink in. However, when I take the time to think about it, what seems like a simple little fact becomes a bit harder to understand. What exactly was King Solomon expressing with this statement?
Birds don’t typically remain in their nests, they frequently abandon them to build new ones. Many things can drive a bird from its nest. Predators that get too close, seasonal changes that remove the shelter they provide, or getting old enough to find a mate and building their own nest are some examples. Knowing this, we understand that leaving the nest is not always a bad thing. Often it’s the natural progression of living.
However, Solomon uses the word “flees” in his proverb. This indicates a different idea than peacefully moving to a new place. When I looked it up I found that the word he used means to be chased away or stray away. With that definition we can discern that Solomon meant the idea of danger. It can be both dangerous to leave the nest and dangerous to stay. In this photograph we see that it would have been deadly for the birds to have remained in this nest since it no longer protected them from the elements or hid them from predators. Yet in the summer months this was the safest place for the birds. It provided shelter, comfort, and rest.
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Psalm 91:4 New International Version
When we flee or wander away from God we leave the safety only He provides. It is God’s desire that we run towards Him and not away when we are in trouble. Solomon reminds us that God is our safe place and remaining in Him is our protection.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO