I didn't grab a shield as I headed to the grocery store today. Neither did I grab a shield when I went to dinner the other night. In fact, I don't think I own a shield, let alone can think of a time when I needed one. This is because a shield is a tool of war. It is battle garb. It is for protection and I live a pretty safe life in Western Michigan. So perhaps the shield that God is for me is spiritual rather than physical.
When Abraham battled against the five kings of the north to retrieve Lot and the citizens of Sodom, overnight he made some pretty big enemies. This frightened him and the Lord calmed him down by promising him, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great." (Genesis 15:1) You have nothing to worry about, Abram - I have made promises to you that I will keep. Remember when I told you that you'd father a great nation? Yeah, we haven't even started on that, so I don't think these five kings are going to hassle you. I will be your protection. I will keep you safe. If you find refuge in Me, you can count on me keeping you safe.
Abraham knew the promises of God and it was in those promises that Abraham needed to find his security. The same goes for us today. You can search on the word "shield" and find many great promises in the Word, but the reason I love this particular proverb is because of the first phrase - "Every word of God is tested..." This word tested means proven or pure. If something is pure, it is undefiled - it's strength comes in the fact that it's not contaminated. If a bridge is proven, it is tested and found strong enough to support the loads that will cross it. In essence, it is not contaminated, it is not compromised, it is pure and sure.
Every word of God is tested - every word is pure, is proven. If we are to find our refuge in the Lord, if He is to be our shield, then the strength of His Word is what will uphold us. The protection of the Lord is the truth of His Word. If God were a deceiver, then His Word would not be trustworthy, but because He is good and cannot lie, because He is immutable and never changes, because He loves me and is sovereign over all, then I can have confidence in what He says.
Within the daily spiritual battlefields:
- I can be confident that my sins have been forgiven because of what Jesus did, not because of what I need to do (Ephesians 2:8,9)
- I can choose the safety of submission in a world that thinks I'm crazy (Ephesians 5:22)
- I can lovingly discipline my children, knowing that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15) and that if I love my child, I will discipline them (Proverbs 13:24)
- I can sleep at night, knowing that nothing can come between me and my Savior (Romans 8:38,39)
- I can confidently stand in trials, knowing that God is at work in the midst of them (James 1:2-4, Romans 8:28)
- I can do the hard work of forgiveness because Christ is living within me (Galatians 2:20)
- I already know that what I do and say, and how I act are foolishness to the world and I'm okay with it because obedience has become a power source in my life (I Corinthians 1:18)