God is our Strategic Help In Eternal Life Demands (SHIELD). “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”
One ‘circumstance’ that David found himself in was a seriously dysfunctional family situation. Here he was fleeing for his life… from his own son, Absalom. Absalom had laid out a long term plan to overthrow his own father. He manipulated the people into believing he was a great man who had a heart for them and that his father David simply had no time for them. “Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Sam 15:6)
This evil in Absalom was so dark that his conspiracy was intent on killing David. David and his men fled Israel and the next several chapters of 2 Samuel are described as the darkest times of David’s life. It was in this time that David wrote several Psalms, including Psalm 3, my text for today.
O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah[a]
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
Even in the darkest of times, David never lost faith. He continued to put on the shield of faith, calling on God to equip and/or protect him. You see, a shield does not end the attack. It doesn’t even protect all of in from the attack. But a shield comes between you and enemy’s arrows, protecting your most vital parts.
When we take up the shield of faith, we should never expect that this shield will actually stop the attack. The enemy will not stop until the end times when Jesus conquers him finally and completely. Until then, he will still attack. The shield of faith will also not protect us 100% from all injury from the enemy. Like a soldier’s shield, it protects the most important part, the heart.
All too often, when someone faces what could be considered their darkest times, they cry out to the Lord like David did, but have different expectations. They falsely expect that this shield of faith they pick up will actually stop the enemy from attacking. When that doesn’t happen, their faith is weakened. With a weakened faith, they end up dropping the shield all together and are now even more vulnerable.
The next time you find yourself in dark times (notice that I assume there will be a next time), pick up that shield with the right expectations. Faith will not stop the attack and not fully protect every square inch of you… but it will protect your heart. That’s what it is designed to do. As long as the enemy can’t reach your heart, he can’t win.
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