God uses figures of speech in His Word to mark and call attention to that which He wants emphasized. There are several records in God's Word where God is likened to a mother hen who shelters her chicks from the heat of the sun and protects them under the shadow of her wings. These records emphasize trusting God. Just as the young chick runs for refuge under its mother's wing, we can find shelter from the troubles of this world under the wings of God. To trust God is to seek God for refuge and strength in time of trouble rather than trying to withstand the heat of the world on our own.
Ruth 2:12 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
The record of Ruth is the record of a woman of Moab (an unbelieving nation) who married a believer living in her land. When Ruth's husband died, Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, decided to return to the land of Judah and asked her daughters-in-law to return to their people in Moab. Ruth made the decision to follow her mother-in-law instead. Ruth literally rejected the gods of Moab and by the freedom of her will decided to run for refuge to the one true God in the land of Judah.
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
After they returned to the land of Judah, Ruth was redeemed by Boaz: a believing relative of her late husband. (Boaz married her) Ruth put herself under the protection of God and let Him take care of her. As a result, Ruth, a woman of an unbelieving nation, became a part of the direct blood line of the promised seed - the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 17:6-8 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Shew thy marvellous loving kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psalm 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
It is the loving kindness of God that leads us to trust Him. We run for refuge under the shadow of His wings because He loves us so. Another figure of speech used in Psalm 17 is the apple of God's eye. God is spirit. When God gives Himself human characteristics (eyes) He is using a figure of speech. The apple of the eye is the pupil. The pupil remains fixed upon that at which the eye is looking. God keeps His eye fixed upon us. Because He cares for us so much, we seek shelter from those that rise up against us under the shadow of His wings.
Psalm 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
Psalm 61:4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
When the calamities of the world threaten us, we can find help and rejoicing in the covered protection of God's wings. If we look to our own strength in these times we will be disappointed. If we run for refuge under the wings of God and rejoice in His loving kindness He will take care of the trouble around us.
II Kings 18:5 He [Hezekiah] trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
Hezekiah, like Ruth, was also an individual in the direct blood line of Jesus Christ. God's Word emphasizes his trust in God. In the day of his calamity he trusted God and God delivered him and the land of Judah from the army of Senacherib the king of Assyria.
(Review: A Very Present Help teaching for the details of Hezekiah's encounter with the king of Assyria.)
Psalm 91:1-4 He that dwelleth in the
secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God;
in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare
of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He
shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.