TAKE UP YOUR SHIELD
What is your defense in facing difficulty? King David was facing one of the most troublesome times in his reign. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba he ushered in a whirlwind of calamities.
David sought to cover up his sin with Bathsheba so he ordered the death of her husband, Uriah. God forgave David the guilt of his sin, but there were consequences. Nathan informed David:
Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. — 2 Samuel 12:10
We read that David’s son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar’s brother, Absalom, took revenge by murdering Amnon. Absalom fled into exile, but returned and won the hearts of the people.
Absalom orchestrated a take over of the kingdom and David had no choice but to flee. Betrayal is painful and especially when it’s a family member. This is the backstory of this Psalm:
O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” — Psalm 3:1-2
Where do you turn when you’re feeling overwhelmed? David went to God as his defense,
But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. — Psalm 3:3
When David was at his lowest point, he turned to God and he saw God as his shield.
David was a warrior who knew the value of a shield. God encouraged Abraham that He would be a shield to him, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you;” (Genesis 15:1).
The word shield is used frequently in the book of Psalms referring to God’s protection for His people. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul enjoins us to take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16).
David referred to God with the personal pronoun, You. God not only protected David, but God would lift his head. The phrase, to lift the head, is a Hebrew expression for restoring someone who is cast down.
Do you know God as your defender and the One who lifts your head?
We know that David trusted God’s protection since he experienced peace that enabled him to rest, even in the midst of great danger,
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. — Psalm 3:5-6
David understood that the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart. We must realize that the army on the outside may not be as troublesome as the agony on the inside.
How can we appropriate God as our shield? John Bunyan gave us the key, “Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”
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