READING: Psalms 16-17, Acts 20:1-16
“Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
Everyone knew him as “Brother Jack,” a self-professed “sawed-off, bald headed, Baptist preacher” who was a pastor extraordinaire to many believers and a mentor hero to dozens of young preacher boys. Decades after I met him, I still remember many of his sermons, illustrations, and applications. Particularly, I recall his often asking God in his prayers to “keep us as the apple of the eye and hide us in the shadow of Your wings.” I did not understand those images then, as I was still a young, undiscipled believer – and I did not even know they came from the Bible (Psa. 17:8) – but I knew the images must have been comforting simply by the way that Brother Jack said the words.
The psalmist used those words to pray for protection against his oppressors, asking God to protect him the way we might guard the pupil of the eye in order to see. Moreover, he sought God’s care under His wings, much like an eagle guarding its young. In asking God to watch over him and cover him in His wings, the psalmist turned to the One who could guard him from the “deadly enemies” who surrounded him (Psa. 17:9). At God’s right hand, he would find his refuge (see Psa. 19:7).
My friend Brother Jack served in local church ministry for more than 60 years. He preached the Word of God as often and as long as his health would allow him to do so. He also served in leadership positions in our denomination. He died leaving a legacy of faithfulness, humility, and obedience, and only God knows how many lives were transformed through his ministry. What he would say to us today, though, would have nothing to do with him; instead, I think he would only quote the words to which he turned so many times in life. God always protected and kept him.
- Thank God for the way He cares for you.
- If you’re afraid today for some reason, rest under God’s wings.
PRAYER: “Lord, I can only quote the psalmist’s words today: ‘Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.’”
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 18-19, Acts 20:17-38