Video version of this blog here.
Our grandkids’ recent squirt gun competition in our pool quickly turned into a water bucket battle. They ditched the squirt guns and began throwing pails of water at each other, all in fun. They played two against one – ten-year-old Jayden against five-year-olds Carson and Maya. I guess they were even.
Soon, Maya noticed a float sitting on the pool deck. As she stretched her little arm to reach it, she called to Carson, “Look Carson, we can use this as our shield!” Quite resourceful, I thought. But not as resourceful as what came next.
Carson quickly moved in front of her and announced to his little cohort, “I’ll be your shield, Maya!” (Oh my heart!)
A shield is part of an armor, a defense. Soldiers’ shields were made of gold or bronze and were part of the armor that protected them, certainly a safer option than the fabric and plastic masks shielding our faces these days, or the blown-up vinyl boogie board Maya used.
The Bible talks about a better shield than any of these. It tells us repeatedly God Himself will be our shield. Psalm 91:4 states it like this:
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
I find the words in this verse interesting, so I looked up the original Hebrew. They convey the faithfulness and dependability of our God to shield us.
The word cover means to overshadow or hedge in. Pinions are the strength – the bones, so-to-speak – of the wing. The feathers entirely cover. They are a refuge we can hide in, immersed in His strength and security. Part of the definition of shield says it is a hedge of thorns, as though when we are covered by His feathers, anyone who tries to harm us will be harmed themselves.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked. Psalm 91:8
But does that mean nothing will ever go wrong in our life? Of course not. If that were the case, we wouldn’t need a shield.
Instead, it means we can run for the shelter of God’s promises for strength, support, peace, wisdom, and direction when things do go wrong. We can depend on His protection, not just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, etc. We can totally trust Him to defend us and “deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). The enemy cannot ultimately touch us. He may taunt us and throw his buckets of water, but he cannot drown us.
We are…struck down but not destroyed… 2 Corinthians 4:9
Aside from the presumed physical protection, let’s look at the word shield in the metaphorical sense.
The verse states His truth will be our shield. The armor in Ephesians 6 includes the shield of faith. Where do we get faith? From the truth of God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Indeed, when we are able to discern truth from error, we are shielded from the lies of the enemy. And so, His truth is to us as a shield is to a soldier.
But it’s a two-fold protection. His truth will be our shield and buckler. A buckler goes around and about and therefore surrounds. It means God’s Truth is completely sufficient to surround and protect us. Even more, it means “faithfulness.” We can completely depend on the full defense and protection of His Truth at all times – it does not fail (Joshua 21:45).
He is a shield around me. Psalm 3:3
He’s truly “got us covered.” But we must hide ourselves in the protection of His Truth (His Word), just as Maya hid behind Carson.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
However, as you look at the picture above of Carson and Maya, did you notice that even though Carson stood in front of Maya as her shield, she still covered herself with her float-shield? In spite of her cousin’s confident and sincere promise to shield her, I guess she didn’t trust his protection. Are we this way sometimes? Do we look for other things in the world to protect, guard and comfort ourselves instead of God and His Truth?
I can’t think of time when we’ve needed His Truth more than the times we’re living in. But He covers us completely when we enter into His protection by His Word and prayer. It is then that we will feel Him surround us (Psalm 139:5). Even in this world when it feels like buckets of water choking us, we need not fear. We can trust “our times are in His hands” and He will “deliver us” from our enemies (Psalm 31:15). He has promised to be our shield of support and strength as we put our trust in Him.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30 NKJV
Imagine God saying to you, “I’ll be your shield, _ [insert your name] _.” This is precisely what He is saying to you in these verses. Have you taken up His shield?
When have you experienced God as your shield? Join the conversation in the comments here and/or on social media. We’d all love to hear and be encouraged.
And please feel free to share this blog so others can be encouraged as well.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
You may sign up to receive encouragement through my blog here. When you do, you will be able to download my FREE Pursuing Prayer Devotion and Coloring Page.
Would you like to know how prayer and God’s Word can be a shield around you? Check out Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World here.
Check out all of Psalm 91 here.