September 2007
Billie Silvey
Flight in
Scripture doesn't talk much about our flying, but rather about
God’s flying us.

The first reference is in Exodus 19:4, where God says, “You
yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you
on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself� (Exodus 19:
4).  God is the one who carries us in flight.  He provides the
direction and the power.  We just go along for the ride.

In the book of Ruth, Boaz recounts the kindness of the foreigner
Ruth to her mother-in-law Naomi and says, “May the Lord
repay you for what you have done.  May you be richly rewarded
by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have
come to take refuge� (Ruth 2:12).

Ruth was vulnerable--widowed, penniless, reduced to picking up
the grain left by the harvesters to feed herself and Naomi.  And
yet she had protection.  She had taken refuge under the mighty
wings of God, and he wouldn't fail her.

She had also taken refuge under the wings of a man of God,
Boaz himself.  With him, she becomes a link in the chain of the
ancestry of the mighty King David, and through him, of Jesus
Christ himself!  In God’s wonderful economy, the weak
become strong, the poor become rich, the hungry are fed, and
the mourning laugh (see Luke 6:20-21).

The Psalmist, as well, uses the image of God’s wings for
protection, this time from enemies.  Palm 91 is a paean to Godâ
€™s strength and care:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Only once does Scripture attribute flight to human beings.  The
prophet Isaiah talks about how high God is over us, how much
stronger he is than we are.  His might, strength and intelligence
never fail, though we become weary, weaken, stumble and fall.

“But those who hope in the Lord,� Isaiah says, “will
renew their stength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will
run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint�
(Isaiah 40:31).

When I was younger, I had tremendous energy.  I could work
hard all day and never feel it.  I had great reserves of enthusiasm
and could go for hours on adrenaline.  Now, as I grow older, I
have less energy, my reserves deplete more quickly, and that
adrenaline rush seems a just vague memory.  As a result, I
appreciate the words of scripture about flight in a way I never
could have before.

As my strength fails, God carries me.  He gives direction and
power.  All I need to do is love him, trust him and call on his
name.  He is my refuge.  He brings people into my life who guard
and protect as well.  As I become weak, I am strong in him.  He
guards me from those who would hurt me.  He covers me with
his love  I'm not afraid of   harm or disaster.  His angels guard me
and satisfy my needs.
History of Flight
Flights of Fancy