Under the Shadow

Updated: May 15, 2019

Peter McArthur

Under the Shadow of Thy wings! What a tremendous thought. This is where any teaching on the Last Days should focus. The Bible shows us in many places that the Lord is a shade and defence to those who trust in Him. The over-riding Biblical principle is that God rarely snatches His people out of tribulation but rather allows them to go through it – with Him as their refuge and shelter. He is their Ark of Shelter much like Noah’s experience.

This is a consistent theme right through Scripture, and for me it’s the most obvious concept that challenges the escapism found in most modern end-time Rapture teaching. I just cannot see in the Word where God snatches His people away as commonly understood in today’s Pre-Tribulation teaching.

The general principle is that when God’s people are undergoing either judgment or tribulation, God stands with them through it and delivers them out of it. Below I’ve listed a few of the many instances where the Lord shelters His people and acts as their strength and tower of refuge. I think you’ll find these enlightening and encouraging. Scripture gives us an important principle: God delivers His people by protecting them through tribulation, not necessarily removing them from it!

Shelter in Tribulation

As well as these obvious examples of divine protection there are innumerable other texts that have the same theme. Put together they build a good case for the principle that God’s usual pattern is not to take His people out of tribulation but rather to stand with them through it. If this is a general principle in lesser tribulation periods then surely it’s also going to be the case when it comes to the Great Tribulation.

Some supportive texts are below – please don’t skip them but actually READ the highlighted sections. It will encourage you to see God’s pattern unfold.

(Exo 19:4) “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself.”

(Job 5:19) “From six troubles He will deliver you, even in seven evil will not touch you.”

(Psalm 17:8) “Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”

(Psalm 27:5) “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”

(Psalm 32:7) “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

(Palm 34:7) “The angel of YHWH encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”

(Psalm 36:7) “How precious is Your loving kindness O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

(Psalm 57:1) “For my soul takes refuge in You and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by.

(Psalm 63:7) “For You have been my help and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.”

(Psalm 91) “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty...and under His wings you may seek refuge... for you have made YHWH your refuge, even the Most High your dwelling evil will befall you nor will any plague come near your tent... for He will give His angels charge concerning you to guard you in all your ways... I will deliver him... I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honour him.”

(Psalm 121:5-7) “YHWH is your keeper; YHWH is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day nor the moon by night. YHWH will protect you from all evil.”

(Prov 3:25-26) “Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for YHWH will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”

(Isa 2:10) “Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of YHWH and from the splendour of His majesty.”

(Isa 26:20) “Come my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while until indignation runs its course.

(Isa 43:2) “When you pass through the waters I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you will not be scorched nor will the flame burn you.”

(Isa 49:2) “He has made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He has concealed me; and He has also made me a select arrow, He has hidden me in His quiver.”

(Isa 51:16) “I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are My people."

(Joel 2:31-31) “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of YHWH comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHWH will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as YHWH has said, even among the survivors whom YHWH calls.”

(Joel 3:16) “YHWH roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But YHWH is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel.”

(Nahum 1:6-8) “Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken up by Him. YHWH is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, and will pursue His enemies into darkness.”

(Zeph 2:3) “Seek YHWH all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of YHWH’s anger.”

And note how this very same theme is extended in the New Testament period when the Messiah Himself was “hidden away” from danger by the Father until the appointed time had come. It indicates that the shadow of YHWH is Jesus Himself! He is our Rock, our safe shelter, our Holy of Holies, the place wherein we find refuge from the storm.

(John 7:30) “So they were seeking to seize Him (Jesus); and no man laid his hand on Him because His hour had not yet c