Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of thy wings…from my deadly enemies who compass me about.”

Ps 17:8,9

We are the apple of God’s eye! Could God be more intimate and personal in describing His gracious care for His Church? He goes on to use the picture of an eagle, which spreads her wings over the nest and then at the right time carries the young eagles on her wings.

Why this impassioned plea? In most of David’s early life, he was either fleeing or fighting while leading armies into battle to conquer the land of Canaan. Through all of this, the Lord had given David health and strength and victory over his enemies. He knew from experience the gracious care of His Lord, and he did not want it to end.

We face enemies just as real and perhaps a lot more treacherous than those that David faced. The devil is, indeed, like a roaring lion. He never gives up but tempts us on every side in the most subtle ways. One of his cleverest temptations is to appeal to the sanction of society—if everyone has the right to do it or if most people do it, it must be O.K. He uses this argument to destroy the divine institution of marriage and to replace it with adultery and fornication; he uses this argument to destroy integrity and honesty and hard work and to replace it with ambition and cheating and slander and lying. Because of our natural weaknesses, every one of us is easily misled and deceived into behavior that is altogether contrary to our Lord’s will. These temptations are real and they face us every day.

Why does the Lord allow them? From the outset we must make it clear that our Lord never has and never will tempt anyone! He does not try to get us to sin; that is the work of the devil. The devil will remain to assault us with his temptations as long as we are here on earth. Therefore we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” asking God to deliver us from temptation. We want Him to guard and keep us as the apple of His eye and under the protection of His wings so that we do not lose our precious faith, but remain His own unto eternal life.