"Sheltered with His Presence"
Revelation 7:9-10, 13a, 14b-17 - After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" ... Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ... "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
I thought that was an odd way to put it: "He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence." How exactly does somebody's simple presence turn into a shelter? But then I remembered the words of Jesus to His enemies not long before the cross: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37)
My experience with chickens is fairly limited, but most people know what a hen does when her chicks are frightened or in danger: she raises her wings, fluffs out her feathers, and her babies run to hide under her body. They end up with their heads in the warm fluff layer, next to her skin, and their legs showing underneath. It's warm in there, and comfy. They can probably even hear her heartbeat.
What a homey, cozy image that is of how Jesus shelters us! He makes His own body into our refuge, our safety. It doesn't matter if the thing we are afraid of is a serious danger or not. We are always welcome to run and find refuge in His presence. He Himself is our shelter.
And that is no surprise for a God who loves us so dearly that He was willing to lay down His body in death on the cross. He gave up His life to save us, the people He loves as a mother does her chicks. And He rose from the dead so that His presence would be our shelter forever, both now and to the end of time. This is how much He loves you.
THE PRAYER: Lord, when I am afraid or in danger, take me under Your wings. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What do you think of, when you think of safety and shelter?
2. How has God sheltered you in hard times?
3. How has God worked through you to shelter others?
Today's Bible Readings: Jeremiah 31-32 Hebrews 8
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