Ruth 2:12: The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
Boaz the speaker believes that God has wings, either figuratively or actually. There are other places in the bible where God is referred to as having wings. The picture of the eagle and dove were associated with God in the bible.
In the book of Revelation, God was associated with the great eagle with two wings (Revelation 12:14). It seems at times God associates himself with certain animal attributes to communicate a truth about himself e.g. Lion.
The wings are associated with the protection of God, as that story in Revelation shows. A great psalm of protection is in Psalm 91. The very first verse reads: he who dwells in the secret place of the “Most High” shall abide under the shadow of “the Almighty.” A wing casts a shadow, it gives a cover, and we can learn what kind of cover, benefits, we can have from God when we look into two phrases used to describe him in that verse.
Most High describes the prestige of God, how exalted he is in relation to everything and everyone else. There is no situation that is above him. Nothing can be higher than the Most High.
He sees far and near. He sees in time and beyond. Nothing takes him by surprise. All of these capabilities of his serve us who are under his wings. His vision is trustworthy. You can rely on him, on his judgement. You can follow him since he knows the way. When we gain his vision, we see the way he does, and think from his eternal perspective.
We have the ability to follow in the steps of Jesus because though he is invisible, we get to see him with the eyes of faith and follow him. Though you think you are missing something because you do not see Jesus physically, by the Spirit you can “see” him, you can know him. The Spirit brings his word to you (John 14:26), and as the captain you follow his orders, communicated to you by his Spirit. Then you advance effectively, crushing the powers of the enemy.
The wing is a spiritual cover. Once Joshua went to battle with hundreds of Israelites while they were still in the wilderness. Moses did not feature physically in the battle, but he featured spiritually as he lifted his two hands up in the shape of a wing on a mountain overlooking the battle scene (Exodus 17:9-16). That way Team-Israel got the victory against a more advanced and established nation. The two arms of Moses raised were the prophetic wings of God to guarantee victory, the rising of the children of Israel above any opposition in that fight.
One of the first times that Peter will met Jesus, he told him: follow me (Matthew 4:19). He was called to make Jesus his number one priority. When Jesus leads the way and he follows, Peter will be living accurately, living protected, living under the shadow of the almighty. Because he was with the Most High, he was able to even know the manner of his death (John 21:18).
Jesus told him: “when you were young, you go wherever you want but when you are old you will be taken to where you do not want to go.”
From that conversation, he knew that he was going to grow old before he died. That was one of the reasons that he was able to stay back in Jerusalem, along with other Apostles when the disciples were scattered abroad due to severe persecution which rose up against them there.
He was secured in Jerusalem, even when it was hot with persecution against Christians since he was still young and he cannot die because the Most High (with his far vision) had already told him he will not die until he was old. He could sleep without fear in prison, even after he was marked for death by Herod to please the Jews, as he had earlier killed James, another of the apostles (Acts 12:1-9).
The Most High takes you with him far above principalities and powers and every name that is named (Philippians 2:5-11). You are able to trample upon snakes and scorpions and over all the powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19). That you are with the Most High means you are unreachable by anything that wants to harm you.
It is written: there is no divination against Jacob, no devices against Israel (Numbers 23:23). No weapon fashioned against you shall proper and every tongue that rises up against you shall condemn (Isaiah 54:17). No evil shall befall you and no plague shall come near your dwelling, because you have the Most High your dwelling place.
God did mighty things to bring the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. From the ten plagues, and the division of Red Sea, to allowing the passage of the children of Israel on a dry land through it, while he caused Pharaoh and his army who were chasing them from to drown in the same.
God described what he did, saying: you have seen what I did for the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, to bring you to myself (Exodus 19:4).
Everything God did was about bringing them to himself on eagles’ wings and they were unscathed in the process. The “wings” were strong enough, big enough to meet their need for deliverance. By the time God was done with them, they were changed from being slaves to land owners, from being oppressed to being delivered, from being beneath to being above.
Jesus is decided in the bible as the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:1), i.e. healing is made available in him. So Jesus stands for the sun, not an ordinary sun, but one with healing wings, i.e. with healing spreading from him.
So the wing of God is what spreads from him, it is the expression of his influence, expression of his glory. It is the manifestation of his ability, of his might.
Psalm 50 says the Mighty One, God shines forth out of Zion. That means the purpose of the church is for God to cast his influence through her, express his mightiness, showcase what he can do, who he is.
There is nothing like helpless when he is involved as he makes his ability available to us. David said: by my God I leaped over a wall, and run through a troop (Psalm 18:29).