Hebrew Highlights 105 SHIELD
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
PSA 3:3-8, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For Thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek; Thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; Thy blessing be upon Thy people! Selah.”
The word “shield” in Hebrew is “magen”. Its verb form means to protect, guard, or defend. In sports in Israel, the defense is called the “hagana”, from the same root. When David wrote this Psalm, he had already been a mighty king for some time. Yet, instead of trusting in his own strength, he had grown evermore to realize that the Lord God himself was his protector. He was not afraid even when surrounded by a multitude of enemies; something most of us humble believers will never face, though it may sometimes seem so.
One of the times David was delivered from the hand of Saul, he spoke these words in 2SA 22:31-36, "As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. "For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God? "God is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way. "He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me on my high places. "He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. "Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy help makes me great.”
David’s son Solomon must have remembered his father’s words when he repeated in PRO 30:5, “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
I find the mention of the Word of God and the shield of our salvation quite interesting. The word here for tested is “tsaraf”, which is the test used for gold. God’s promises have been refined, tested by fire, and proved to withstand both the attacks and the lies of our enemies.
Those of us who live in Jerusalem are particularly relieved to know that everything God says, He will do. Take for instance, ISA 31:4-5, “For thus says the Lord to me, "As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey, Against which a band of shepherds is called out, Will not be terrified at their voice, nor disturbed at their noise, So will the Lord of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill." Like flying birds so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it; He will pass over and rescue it.”
So far, we have three pictures of our shield. He is “about”, or around us, we take refuge “in Him”, and He hovers over us like birds.
David must have known the principal of God’s protection even as a simple shepherd boy, when he volunteered to fight Goliath. Let’s take up the story from 1SA 17, verse 38 “Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. And David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." And David took them off. And he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. And the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field." Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. "This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands. " Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.”
In this case, David could not wear the heavy armor of Saul. He had no physical sword or shield. Yet he went to battle “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom Goliath had taunted.”
Goliath, on the other hand, had both armor, and a shield bearer. They lent him little assistance against the God of all salvation.
Great story, you might say; “but how does that help me? I am no King David.” This may be true, but the same protection is allotted every believer, as we see in
EPH 6:13-18, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Whatever multitude you are facing; whatever giant, know that the Lord God of Hosts himself is your shield. Take refuge in Him. Test His word. You cannot lose.
Shalom, shalom from Jerusalem.