Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8
Comforting words- but what do they mean? I had to surf the Web for answers. What I found was even more of a comfort. We can picture what it is like to be always shadowed by His wings. It means He hovers over us and protects us from evil. The bird protects her young from the harmful rays of the sun or the blistery cold of winter by shadowing them with her wings until they have enough down (protection) on them to regulate their body temperatures. Also, as the bird hovers, if the chicks are shadowed, they are harder to spot by prey. Awesome image of being under God’s protection.
But, there is so much meaning in the first part, I want to concentrate on that. I had always heard being the “apple of my eye” meant I was special in that person’s view. That’s true.
The Psalms were written in Hebrew, then translated in Latin, then into English. The “apple” is what the 16th century English called the dark pupil of the eye, especially when it was large and full of emotion. Wide-eyed with excitement or love. There is a reason why a pupil is that part of the eye and also a student. Pupil in the Latin means “Doll”. The Hebrew translation for pupil is the dark of the eye, “ishon” which literally means tiny man.
At first that is confusing. Why “doll” or “tiny man” ? Because when you look into someone’s eyes that are wide-eyed, you see a tiny reflection of yourself. A tiny bit of you is held captive in their view. It is being the center of attention. The one thing they are fixated upon.
God loves us so much He is wide-eyed over our presence. We are the apple of His eye because He is fixated on us. We are the center of His attention as a child should be to the parent. He will never let us out of His sight. The eternal, all powerful eye of God is set on us with a loving gaze. We are so very precious to Him that He is captivated by us and a small amount of us is reflected in Him.
May we strive to return the favor!
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but in what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18