Feathers have captivated people for centuries. Inventors and scientists have studied flight by looking at birds, wings, and feathers. Artists use various mediums to capture the beauty of feathers. Coincidentally, there are still folks who make down pillows and comforters with softest feathers. Kids adore fluffy, colored feathers for fun projects. Feathers have been used for insulation. At one point in history, the best arrows were made using feathers. Today’s content is about being under feathers.
Believe it or not, the Bible talks a lot about feathers and wings. Let’s look at just a few references:
- Mt. 23:37 & Lk. 13:34 – “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
- 2 Sam. 22:11 – “He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind.”
- Ps. 63:7 – “Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings.”
- Ps. 61:4 – “I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”
- My favorite – Ps. 91:4 – “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
If you review the previous verses about feathers and wings, you’ll notice a common idea. Let’s look at these verses in a bit more detail to see how “under feathers” applies in practical ways to daily life.
Mt. 23:37 & Lk. 13:34
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
In these references, Jesus’ teaching point is about a hen gathering her chicks under her wings when there is danger. Jesus compares this with the same desire God has for His children. When there is danger, when you need protection and comfort. When you need a “bigger guy” between yourself and a threat – He lifts His wings and invites you to “come under feathers!” Apparently, this instinct God has is a strong longing. In other words, God deeply loves you! He wants you under His feathers to care for you.
2 Sam. 22:11
“He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind.”
This creative Scripture refers to God’s might, command, freedom, and pro-active flight through all the realms of creation – both seen and unseen. The word picture indicates He can ride the most powerful, astonishing forces. With a great high view, He rides effortlessly into your situation and helps steer you through trials and problems. He soars lovingly and confidently with resources through the winds of your dark, stormy days.
Ps. 63:7 and Ps. 61:4
“Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings.” and “I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”
These two Psalms passages present a person needing help (the psalmist, you, me). After turning to God and “coming under feathers” by faith, he finds help, comfort, and protection needed. And because he’s now in a safe place, this person can sing for joy. In fact, he wants to stay there – to live under feathers. This person has trusted God’s promises and found refuge under the shelter of God’s very own wings. The under feathers word picture is his talking point, and it can be yours, too.
And then we come to my favorite: “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
This psalm presents the image of God using His wings to give His children refuge from harm, danger, and evil. He literally covers you with His protective feathers. So – you are under feathers. The verse closes with a strong witness to God’s faithfulness. A promise of a shield and rampart are introduced. Most of us know what a shield is – a piece of armor used both for defensive and offensive tactics.
But what is a rampart? Well, a rampart is a raised area, usually earth – perhaps covered by other materials, that forms protection. It’s a fortification or barricade. God says He is this raised-up-area of protection for you.
God’s Covering For You
So, what exactly does God have in mind? Well, His interests involve people. Let’s start with you! Have you ever gone under His feathers? Do you enjoy the strong rampart of God’s love and care? Staying inside, under, and behind His raised up protection means you benefit from His barricade and fortification. All this you do by faith – not by sight.
God’s Covering For Others
Now let’s turn to others. Every person on the globe deserves the opportunity to respond to Jesus by faith. Yet, if people never hear about under feathers – if we do nothing to spread this good news – then Christ’s death is in vain. Everyone should be given the opportunity to know God loves them and wants to bring them under feathers.
Jesus reaches to all people of all cultures. He eliminates all boundaries of status, race, and culture between people even as He reinforces individual value and freedom. He welcomes anyone into His family as an heir with Christ. A child of God. This means that anyone who responds by faith to Jesus can come under feathers.
How Did Under Feathers Begin?
God started under feathers. There is a phrase often used in Scripture – “when the time had fully come.” So, when the time had come, a baby was born. When the time had come, Jesus died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, and rose on the third day. These things happened.
When the time comes, He will return to earth as a judge, all-powerful King, and gentle Friend of all who believe on Him. These things will happen.
God’s feather covering became documented history at the cross. Jesus’ arms reached from one eternity to the other. The beam of a cross proves it. To every generation, God’s covering of wings makes hope a reality.
A white feather has often been associated with disgrace, cowardice, or shame. The tradition of giving a white feather is questionable – especially when given unjustly. Yet, even when possibly deserved, it’s hard to bear disgrace in life. To be misunderstood. Wondering what went wrong. Judged. Accused – justly or falsely.
For the person who trusts Him, God redeems all things, even a white feather. In fact, He is in the habit of giving out white feathers as a symbol of holiness, bravery, faith, and value. The beautiful, captivating form of a white feather is awe-inspiring. And that image represents how Jesus covers every person who trusts Him.
When you trust God’s promises for everyday problems and troubles, you earn a delightful white feather of practiced holiness. Why not start a collection? (Keep in mind, holiness only comes through Christ’s cross. Yet, we must respond with faith and action!)
As you stay close to Christ by trusting and obeying, even when suffering, you are given many gorgeous white feathers. This is because God is full of grace and mercy. He is loving, kind, and good. And He hands out holy feathers for your life collection:
- When you admit you are wrong.
- And when you are right.
- When you are alone.
- After you turn to Him, feeling shunned or ostracized.
- When you are falsely judged.
- And even when others don’t understand your sufferings.
Under White Feathers
We established God started “under feathers.” But the story drills down into the details of this broken life. Because Jesus received your white feather of disgrace and paid the severe price to cleanse, heal, and comfort you, He can also transform you. He invites you to come close. He lifts His wing for you and says, “Come under feathers! Stay close to Me.”
Jesus wants to:
- Bring you inside God’s love.
- Forgive you.
- Give you eternal life.
- Welcome and befriend you.
- Be with you in your sufferings – deserved or unfair.
- Strengthen you.
- Help you.
- Comfort you.
- Heal you.
- Protect you.
Application Questions and Thoughts
- Have you come under feathers in God’s love? Do you run under His wing when He holds it up and invites you in?
- Are you reaching to people who need God’s protection and covering?
- What specific, practical action steps will you adopt to go under feathers when you feel threatened, afraid, overwhelmed, attacked, or just tired? These action steps need to become habit so you often run under feathers.
- Pen to paper. Write about a white feather, or perhaps draw or paint an image. If you’ve been handed a white feather of disgrace, let God turn it into a symbol of holiness, honor, and courage. Why not give your disgrace to Him and enter His covering?
- What is keeping you from coming under feathers?
- This is a harder question. Are you willing to bear unfair disgrace with Jesus?
* Portions of this article come from More e-Pistles For An i-Generation. This tool is available for purchase in our bookstore. It’s an excellent daily devotional tool to help you get into God’s Word and aim for excellence each day.
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