Devotional Message Sept. 1

I hope and pray you are experiencing God’s grace and love for you today. Here is another devotional to encourage you in your walk with Christ.

The Lord is My Shield

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.”
(Psalm 84:11)

When we hear the word shield, we think of protection. One of the main purposes of car windshield is to protect those in the car from wind and flying debris such as dust, insects, and rocks. The other day my wife came home with an 8 ½ inch crack in her windshield due to a rock that was thrown up from a truck on the highway. The windshield protected my wife from serious injury.

Within the context of the Old Testament, shields provided protection for soldiers against their enemies. It was a well-known part of ancient armor against the modes of warfare when swords and spears, and arrows were employed. They were usually made of tough and thick hides, fastened to a rim, and attached to the left arm so that they could be readily thrown before the body when attacked, so that the vital parts of the body would be protected. Sometimes the shield covered the whole body (NIV Application Commentary/I Chronicles 12:25).

Psalm 84:11 tells us the LORD God is our shield. There are different ways that God shielded (protected) his people in the Scriptures. Although God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, he shielded them through forgiveness by the blood sacrifice of an animal and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). God flooded the earth because of man’s sin, but he shielded Noah and his family in the flood by the ark (Genesis 6:13-14). The Israelites spent bondage in Egypt and experienced harsh suffering under Pharaoh, but God shielded them from the plague of the firstborn through the blood on the doorposts on Passover (Exodus 12:12-13). King Saul pursued David for many years, but God shielded David from death so he could serve as king (I Samuel 23:13; II Samuel 5). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace when they would not bow down and worship the image of gold, but God shielded them from being consumed by the flames (Daniel 3:19-27). Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he violated a law forbidding him to pray to God, but God shielded him by sending an angel to shut the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6:22). In Luke 4:29-30, a crowd tried to throw Jesus off a cliff, but God shielded him until his appointed time. The same God who shielded these in Scripture, has the power to shield you today.

How does God shield us today? Through His personal presence and power as Jehovah. Through His “grace that He bestows upon us.” Through our walking upright (blameless). This does not mean we are sinless, but it does mean we align our lives with His will and His word. We stay faithful to Him. How big is God’s shield? It’s as big as God is. God has no limits, and neither does His shield. God loves to show Himself strong.

Who is the LORD God who shields us? In his book The Power of God’s Names, Dr. Tony Evans gives us some great insight into the names of Yahweh (LORD) and Elohim (God). “Jehovah Elohim is expressive of the fact that Jehovah is God or one with Elohim. When we study the name Elohim, we study the God who is the Creator. When we talk about Jehovah, we are talking about His person, His character. Elohim is the side of God who created the heavens and the earth. Jehovah is the side of God who relates to His creation personally. Jehovah is the God who personally reveals Himself to us, oftentimes through trials and struggles that we are facing. Jehovah reveals the depth of God’s concern and care for each of us individually, and it lets us know He is nearby at all times – closer than a brother.”

Not only is God our shield, but He is a sun for his children. The sun is a source of life, energy, beauty, and warmth. In the same way, God shines His life, warmth, and energy into those who are walking close to Him. The LORD being a sun depicts the “beaming grace of God empowering and brightening the days of His people” (Holman). As the sun is a never-ending source of energy, so the LORD is a never ending source of energy for us when we grow weary in our daily lives. It doesn’t matter how dark your way or path is, the God who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness can shine into the heart of your darkness to give you His light.

As the sun is the source of light, the LORD is the source of spiritual light for the believer. God was the light that guided and led David through dark and difficult times of persecution (Psalm 27:1). The sun allows us to see things as they really are in the daytime; the LORD’s light allows us to see what is true and pure from God’s perspective (Psalm 36:9). As the sun turns darkness into light, the Lord delivers us from spiritual darkness and blindness into His light (Isaiah 42:16). In John 8:12 Jesus spoke saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” As we follow Christ, we walk in His light.

This verse reminds us of our inability to be our own source of light, as well as our inability to completely and sufficiently protect ourselves. The LORD God is a never ending source of energy and protection. We can’t put our trust in ourselves or anyone else to completely protect us. Only God is sufficient!

Prayer:  Father, I thank you that you are my Jehovah God who personally reveals Himself to me, and cares for me in a very personal way. I need you to shine your light into my darkness. I need you to draw me close to you today and be my shield. I also need your source of energy and strength to see me through this day. Thank you for loving me.

Your prayer response:

In Christ,

Scott Wilson
Pastor, Senior Adults
swilson@colonial.org