But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. - Psalm 3:3
There are three titles of the Lord tucked into this one verse, and we will cover each one in turn. Today, I want to focus on the Lord as our shield. Merriam-Webster has several definitions for the word "shield," but the most relevant ones are these: (1) one that protects or defends; (2) a device or part that serves as a protective cover or barrier. Dictionary.com gives the most literal and well-known definition of a shield: a broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc. Our Lord fulfills all of these and more.
He protects and defends.
He is our knight in shining armor (I know that sounds a little weird for you guys, but hey, it is what it is). He protects us from the enemy, the harsh storms and even ourselves. He defends us against those who would harm or destroy us. And while it seems that He sometimes allows the enemy to have their way with us, He is the One in control, and He will only let them go so far. If He is giving them "free rein" to come against us, then there is a reason, and that reason is for our good. Just like Joseph who suffered many years before reaching the place God had in store for him. Or David. Or many others in the Bible. God will protect and defend us, and trust me, He is very protective of His children.
He is a cover or barrier.
I love this definition because it reminds me that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can get to me unless God allows it. He covers me with His wings. He is a barrier against anything and everything that seeks to do me harm. Nothing can get through. We call Superman "the man of steel," but even he had his weakness: Kryptonite. God has no such weakness, and nothing is getting past Him.
He is a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc.
Fiery darts of the wicked? God's got it covered. Harsh winds and violent storms? God can handle it. Words that cut and actions that can destroy? God can defend me from those as well. I'm reminded of Ephesians 6:12 which says,
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Yes, God can defend us against flesh and blood, but He is also a defense against the enemies unseen. After all, how can we possibly fight what we cannot see? We can't, but God can because He sees all.
Some days it seems like the whole world is against us. Our jobs wear us down. Our families make us weary. Our health refuses to cooperate. Our dreams go unmet. It's as if each disappointment is another fiery arrow that pierces our soul. Like David in this third chapter of Psalms, we mutter, "There is no hope!" But on the heels of his proclamation, David said this:
But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me.
Life is tough, but God is a shield for us.
The days are long, but God offers a defense.
The tears won't stop falling, but God has us covered. . . literally.
We can spend our days dwelling on the negative "buts," or we can focus on this positive statement: "But God is a shield for me," and trust that nothing will come our way outside of God's will. He is between us and our enemies, and He is will guard us with His life!