by John and Ruth Greene
The word of Psalms continually draws pictures of opposites: the wicked versus YHWH’s people. Even among those that profess Christianity today, the distinction between the two has become dulled, even blended. This isn’t so in scripture. (“YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“; “YHWH’s Revolution“; “Victory Over Wickedness“)
“How precious is Your kindness, O Elohim!
And the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They are filled from the fatness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.” – Psalm 36:7-9, ISR98
YHWH is certainly the protector for anyone that truly puts his or her active and resolute faith in Him. (Psalm 17:8) When you are under the shadow of YHWH’s wings, scripture is not talking about YHWH as if He is a giant bird or a hen protecting chicks. While this is a tender and loving image, remember that the Bible is firmly grounded in what are Jewish patterns of thinking rather than Western or Greek thinking. This pattern of thought is important to understanding what YHWH really means for His people. (“Psalm 91: Lifestyle & Protection“; “YHWH’s Protection in Difficult Times“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“)
Western thinking continually misses the meaning of the Hebrew word “kanaph,” commonly translated as in English as wings. This verse, as well as many others, refers to YHWH’s prayer shawl of protection. His power is a garment of protection when you are willing to wear it. In Numbers, Moses established the use of personal prayer shawls as a continuation of the sanctuary, to cover a large nation that could not fit together in YHWH’s physical sanctuary of the time. The Jewish tallit is a modern adaptation of what Moses originally introduced. (“The Abomination That Causes Desolation“)
Even then, the prayer shawl was a visible expression of devotion and active trust in the Word of YHWH. His prophets like Elijah wore these. Whether referred to as a mantle, prayer shawl or tallit, this garment symbolizes the power of the Almighty on a person and signifies His authority. These mantles were often colored to signify tribes and houses of Israel, much like a banner of warfare. In this case, they were involved in spiritual warfare. The edges of these prayer coverings were often fringed as well. Over time, these banners of faith were adapted to be more lightweight. Each corner of the prayer shawl is called a wing. (Numbers 15:37-38) Jewish theology also developed the addition of specially designed fringes on each corner. (“A Branch of the Vine through Trust“; “Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“; “Breaking the Strongholds of Egypt and Canaan in Your Heart“)
This little tent of worship was referred to as a ‘closet.’ The Greek word for closet is tameion, which means “an inner chamber, or a secret room.” The closeting of oneself in the covering of the tallit or prayer shawl came to be a symbolic separation from the world around the Jewish man.
Disciples of active faith and lifestyle, by extension, are protected under YHWH’s mantle or prayer shawl. The Most High has plans for your life, (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 34:14-15; 40:5) but He has given you the freedom of choice, often referred to as ‘moral agency.’ (John 10:3; 1 Corinthians 14:33; 1 Peter 3:12) You are unable to receive those plans or His favor when you refuse to listen to Him. (Genesis 4:7; Deuteronomy 30:19) You can choose to follow His Will or not. He is Almighty, even as you have choice. When you operate under His Will, you are under His wings of protection. In essence, YHWH prays and creates every opportunity, with the idea of saving every man and woman on earth, if they are willing to listen and to put His Word into action in their personal lives. He is doing that for you now! Are you seeking accurate knowledge and living that in lifestyle? Have you listened? (“A Hidden Lifestyle Message from the Messiah“; “Are You Running Away from Messiah?“)
In these times, action is called for. A personal decision is required, a decision to press forward in trust. This isn’t the morality or ethics that most of mankind parades, but YHWH’s track of righteousness. If you continue to follow traditions of men and do not listen to the Word of YHWH, you will be judged accordingly on YHWH’s threshing floor. (Deuteronomy 12:30-32; Matthew 15:3, 8-10; 2 Peter 3:3-4; Acts 13:41; Matthew 24:12-15)