In this rich and personal work, artist Nicora Gangi reflects on David's prayers to God for continuous preservation from his enemies in Psalms 17:6-12.
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6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them .
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
Psalm 17:6-12 comes from the prayer of David to God to preserve his life from his enemies. My interpretation of this passage was heavily influenced by Matthew Henry’s Commentary. When using this imagery, David may be thinking back to the wings of the cherubim shadowing the mercy seat which was placed on top of the arch of God in the tabernacle, the place of worship for the People of God (Exodus 25:30). As Matthew Henry wrote, is it as if David is praying: “Hide me under the shadow of thy wings where I may be both safe and warm.” This is not the only time we see the allusion to the wings of a bird and God’s protection and care.
Jesus Christ alludes to this same winged metaphor of protection when He speaks of his loving desire to draw the children of Jerusalem to himself “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37).
Therefore let us put our trust in God, for He protects us continually under the wings of His mercy. And the Father of mercies will convey us to His heavenly kingdom in a timely season.
Nicora Gangi was educated at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA (BFA 1974 and MFA 1976). She was a Professor of Art at Syracuse University for 29 years. Gangi has been awarded many Grand Prize and First Place awards and grants. She has been and continues to be published in numerous artist’s books on pastel paintings. She has lectured regionally and nationally as a visiting artist at universities and artist’s guilds. She is represented by: Edgewood Gallery (Syracuse, NY), and Gangi Studio (Winter Garden, FL).