In my article The Four Faces of Love I gave some space to explain one of the four faces of love, in the Greek language, which is storge. An example of this kind of love is the natural (or instinctive) love or care which a mother hen has when she squawks to call her chicks to take shelter under her brood when danger threatens, such as when a hawk flies overhead.
I was going to insert an expansion of this love of God into this article, but thought I’d rather write a separate article to explain this. So here it goes.
The picture of a mother hen was the same image Jesus Christ used of Himself in addressing His fellow-Jews: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37)!
The unknown psalmist used a similar image of God:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High [in prayer], 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 I will trust! Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler! And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand [such as has happened in recent years due to the COVID pandemic, which has claimed the lives of millions worldwide. [See: Pandemic Pandemonium! and The Omicron Scare]; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give you His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot. Because he has set his love upon Me [by obeying God’s commandments (John 14:15, 21; 1 John 5:2-3)], therefore I will deliver him, I will set him on high, because he has known My name, he shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him, with long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation”(Psalm 91:1-16).
The “sweet psalmist (Israel’s King David) famously wrote about God’s protective love: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
This shows that God does allow us to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” – to experience life-threatening circumstances. But He tells us not to fear, for surely He will see us through and comfort us.
In what has been commonly called “the Lord’s Prayer” Jesus teaches us to ask God: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
James, Jesus’ half-brother, tells us: “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). Instead, it is Satan, called the “tempter,” (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) who tempts us by stirring up the lusts within us to commit sin or transgress God’s law. We are to ask God, as Jesus taught, to “deliver us from evil [or the evil one – Satan].
James further exhorted: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8). Indeed, too easily does sin beset or snare us (Hebrews 12:1). But we are to look to Jesus, so we can endure our temptations and triumph over them (Verse 2).
That is how the apostle Peter triumphed over his weakness. Jesus told Peter that Satan had desired to have him and to sift him as wheat (Luke 23:31). But because Peter still looked to Jesus, He saved him. Even when he lost faith to walk on water because of fear, Peter called to Christ to save him, and He did (Matthew 14:28-31).
Although Peter had denied Jesus thrice, Jesus looked on him with compassion; thus Peter cried bitterly when he realized his weakness – a show of his repentance. Thus Jesus was able to use Peter mightily to advance His cause and gospel.
As the Church of God observes the Day of Pentecost this coming 05 June, may God’s Spirit [which God poured out on Christ’s disciples on Pentecost day in A.D. 33] give you the strength to overcome whatever sin or sins you may be struggling with, and help you to obey Him and be saved! [See: God’s Spirit and Obedience and The Higher Law of the Spirit.]
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.