Matthew 23:37-38 (Gathered Together Under God’s Wings of Refuge)

Wings of RefugeFor what purpose does a hen gather her chicks together under her wings?  Cf. Ruth 2:12, Psa 17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 91:4.  From the immediate context, by what means does God seek “again and again” to gather His people together under His wings to protect them?  See Mat 23:37a, as well as Mat 23:34.  What does this teach us about what it means for God’s people to take refuge in the Lord and how they go about doing that?  What is the implication of this for how people are to find the healing—whether spiritual, physical or communal—for which they so often pray?  See Mal 4:2; cf. Exo 15:26, Psa 91:2-10, 107:17-20.  Even though God sends His messengers to people “again and again” for their own welfare, if they are unwilling to run to Him by giving heed to His words but instead are rebellious and run from Him, is it possible for Him to shelter them with His pinions of protection or for them to find healing in His wings?  Cf. Jer 6:16-19, 11:7-8.  What does this teach us about the false notion held by many today that because one is saved by grace and not by the works of the law they can accept Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, and though they continue in their sins they will still be saved?  Cf. Rom 6:15-16, Tit 2:11-14.  What does it also teach us about the importance of “not forsaking our own assembling (lit. gathering) together” (Heb 10:25) so as to hear and understand the words of the Lord and encourage one another to abide in them, which is the very means by which God shelters and protects us?  Consider too that 2Th 2:1 connects “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” to “our gathering together to Him”; if one is not being gathered together under His wings of refuge by giving heed to His word, will that coming of the Lord be for him a good thing?  See the preceding context of 2Th 1:6-8.  What deeper insight does this also give us into Mat 24:31 which says that in that day “He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds”?  Cf. Isa 58:1, Jer 6:17, Eze 33:2-7, Hos 8:1, Joel 2:1-2, Amos 3:6-7, Rev 1:10-11, 4:1, and consider that the word for “angel” in both Hebrew and Greek refers not just to angelic beings but to any “messenger”; see Luk 7:24,27, 9:52, Jam 2:25.  Are we hearing the trumpet call of God and being gathered by His messengers under His wings of refuge by giving heed to His word?  Cf. Mat 7:24-27, Joh 12:48.

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