Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

Dear friends,

We all know that words are so important, and understanding them can be the key to experiencing the true meaning of a passage. Last week I became very curious when I was reading Psalm 91 and came across two words that I had frequently heard, but was not sure what they meant. In verse 4 God says that ‘he will cover you with his pinions … and that his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.’ What are ‘pinions’ and ‘bucklers?’

The pinion is the equivalent of the wrist joint in a bird’s wing. It enables a strutting bird of pray to bring its wings forward and create a circle of protection. You may have seen this on nature programmes when birds protect food from being stolen by other birds. Ps 91:4 gives us a picture of a God who covers us so that we are totally surrounded by his protection like eagle’s wings that can surround and protect their young.

A buckler is not a buckle for the armour as I thought, but a small shield that can be used both to defend and even attack someone attacking the user. Being lighter and more manoeuvrable, the soldier would have an advantage in certain combat situations over someone with a large and heavy shield. If God is like a shield and buckler this text is saying that God wants to protect us, whatever situation we are in.

As the Psalmist put it:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:1-4 RSV

It is my prayer that we will all experience the presence of our wonderful God who will protect and defend you in all the challenges of this month ahead.

Pastor Bernie