Saturday, November 11, 2006

Shadows of Life

What is a shadow? Webster first defines it as "partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body". Though a wordy definition, we all understand & have probably experienced this sort of shadow, especially on sunny days.

Other Webster definitions for shadow are "shelter from danger or observation", "an area near an object" and "small degree or portion". So, depending on the way you use the word, it can refer to many different things. Using the definitions like these, we will find that the word shadow is mentioned in 77 verses in the Bible (in the King James Version according to

Often it is referred to as a place of shelter, shelter from the heat & sun or a place of safety, usually provided by God. A place for us to find refuge under the shadow of His wings. "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings" Psalm 17:8 "in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge" Psalm 57:1. I imagine a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings to protect & shield them & how much more the protection of God's wings would be for his children.

19 times, it is used as shadow of death. I think this refers to being near death, or being in the presence of death. Especially in the book of Job. "Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death" Job 10:21 "For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death." Job 24:17 Job was certainly a man who was placed in the presence of death or near death during his many trials & tribulations, his faith in God bringing him through each one. One of the most famous passages in the Bible comes from Psalm 23:4 "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me."

One of the best verses that contains the word shadow is in James & uses the third definition "small degree or portion" This verse defines the best thing about God's character: unchanging. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."James 1:17 There isn't even a hint of change, not even in the smallest degree, to God's great character.

Have you ever felt yourself in the shadow of death? Remember at those times that you are also in the shadow of His wings and that He will be with you because there is no shadow of turning with God!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - your journalling is both breathtaking and thought provolking all at once! I've never pondered on the definition of a shadow, even in the simplest of terms. Thanks for stirring me to desire to forever ponder a shadow. If this is your beginning, I look forward, with eagerness to your blog daily!