EARTH: Protective Father by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Protective Father by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

The Lord your God is going ahead of you.  We will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.  And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.  Now he has brought you to this place. (Deuteronomy 1:30-31)

Some years ago, while working at our warehouse. Rick called me on the intercom and said a mother quail was out back with her chicks. I came running, and we watched from the delivery doorway as the quail pecked for seeds and bugs among the grass behind our building. The chicks scurried around their mother like little puffs of tan cotton, unaware of us – or of danger lurking close by.

We spotted a cat crouched and sneaking toward them.  Rick was about to grab an airplane gear to heave at the predator when we both heard a high-pitched chirrup from somewhere above us.  The mother quail immediately spread her wings, the chicks fled beneath, and she flattened to the ground – motionless, protecting her babies with her body, and perfectly camouflaged in the grass.  We stared, amazed.  Then, out of nowhere, the father quail appeared.  He had been perched on the edge of the roof next door, watching and ready to signal any danger.  Down he came, right at that cat.  Bam!  Startled, the cat jumped back.  Again the male defended his family, and the frightened cat took off.

We had just witnessed a living example of what God our Father is like.  Like the Father quail, he watches from a high place and sees everything going on around us.  He warns us when danger approaches and knows how to fight the battle to protect us from the evil one, just as he did for the Israelites entering the Promised Land.  God is also our shelter, like the mother quail spreading her wings over her chicks.  We can run to him, knowing that we are safe in his presence.

God loves us with an everlasting love, and he is worthy of our complete trust.  So when we hear him warning us of danger, we need to act quickly in obedience.  As Psalm 17:8 says, He will hide us in the shelter of his wings.  We can rest there without fear, knowing that he is in control.


Under his wings I am safely abiding;
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust him – I know he will keep me;
He has redeemed me and I am his child.
(Under His Wings I Am Safely Abiding)


How have you seen God protect you or others in the past?  What dangers might he be warning you about?  How can you turn to him when trouble comes?


This week, when you face a challenging situation, remember that you live in God’s protection.  Let your first reaction be to run to him for security.


Lord God, thank you for watching over me, for warning me when danger is near, and for protecting me.  Help me never to forget how much you care for me.  I trust you, Lord.  I want to run to you when trouble comes.

Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
(Psalm 17:7-8)


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