11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD , you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11,12 (NIV)
I was reading Psalm 5 last night, and these two verses spoke to me. As I studied them this morning, I came across a description of what was meant by a shield in the time that these words were written. I had heard it before, but it spoke to me in a new way this morning.
The shield was a large piece that was as tall as a man. It not only covered the length of his body, but it was able to be moved in order to protect the warrior from an incoming blow of a sword or an arrow. This part struck me this morning: if the warrior was in battle, his armor was not just the shield--he was in full armor, from head to toe, and his shield was used as further protection.
Charles Spurgeon quotes William Gurnall in his Treasury of David:
The shield doth not only defend the whole body, but it is a defense to the soldier's armor also; it keeps the arrow from the helmet as well as head, from the breast and breastplate also. Thus faith, it is armor upon armor, a grace that preserves all the other graces.
Again, note that as we take refuge in him, he protects us with armor upon armor, and a grace that preserves all the other graces.
Father, today and every day, help me faithfully take refuge in You alone--whose favor is my protection and my shield.