Our Shield and Defender

based on the LGG Study, The Armor of God, w4d3

Scripture; Psalm 18:1-50 / SOAP: verse 50

The one true God acts in a faithful manner;
the Lord’s promise is reliable.
He is a shield to all who take shelter in him.

Psalm 18:30

Last week, we read in Ephesians 2:14 that Jesus is our peaceand in today’s SOAP passage, we read thaGod is a shield to all who take shelter in him. We see the evidence of David’s faith being firmly in the Lord throughout Scripture, but we also hear it in his descriptive words of God, as he declares Him to be the one true God who acts faithfully and who keeps His promises. Keep in mind that David learned these things both by observing God and from first hand experience. One of my favorite Old Testament passages is when David requests to stand up to the Philistine giant, Goliath, and declares to Saul: “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” To be clear, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” and if we spend more than a minute in the Word of God we are bound to read the stories like David and Goliath or Noah and the ark, or of Rahab and the spies and Ruth and Naomi, or of Jesus’ life from the birth announcement to the cross to the empty grave and His ascension into Heaven. These stories bear witness to not only the Gospel but to the realness and the faithfulness of our God. They continue to bring people to faith every day and they strengthen the faith of those who have already believed, or such is my experience.

I made a profession of faith as a young child, but it was in my mid to late twenties, when my first child was born, that my faith began to grow and take deeper root. Looking both backward and forward from that point God has shown me the lions and the bears of my own life and how He has delivered me not only from them but from the giants I’ve had to face as well. It occurs to me as I’m writing this that David’s initial words about the lion and the bear are: Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear.” He later acknowledges that it was the Lord who delivered him. This isn’t a discrepancy but the beauty of how God walks with us in our battles – fighting for us and through us to overcome the dangers and snares in our paths. We are wise to realize we cannot and should not attempt the battles, the storm tossed seas, or any other part of life without our faith firmly established in Him. After all, as David said – God is our shield.

“Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David went on to say, “The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Then Saul said to David, “Go! The Lord will be with you.”

1 Samuel 17:36-67
Noteworthy Observations

Many things about Psalm 18 jumped off the page to me, starting with the fact that “David – sang to the LORD the words of the song.” I love this, partly because I do it too – as I drive to or from work or as I’m praying. However, I think what I love most is that it is like a love song to the Lord, expounding not only on his love for God but on the wonderful ways God has loved and cared for Him. David knew God was worthy of His praise, but he also wanted anyone who heard the song to see the greatness of God and what He had done for David, which is most likely why he didn’t just say God, You’re so good – but went into details of His goodness.

I also love that David didn’t mind admitting that he was vulnerable and needed help, and he knew his help came from the LORD. When he was feeling like he was being overwhelmed by the currents of chaos and feeling distressed, we find him calling out to God for help. We may not feel the waves of death like David did, but much of life can easily engulf us and leave us feeling trapped very quickly and needing “the One True God” to come to our defense and rescue us. I’m so thankful David, the “servant after God’s own heart,” has given us an example of how to respond in these situations.

One other observation I want to note is that while it may be easy to read some of David’s words as boastful or proud, however, we must keep in mind the opening words of the Psalm, which say “…by the LORD’S servant David, who sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul.”(1a) David’s song was specific to an event in which David had pleased God and how God proved to be loyal, trustworthy and reliable in return; but to Saul, who had acted contrary to the ways of God, the LORD showed sharp and powerful judgment.

How do I Apply this to my life?

I love you LORD, my source of strength! Psalm 18:6

I believe we start with Psalm 18:6, understanding and acknowledging who truly is our source of strength. Can we, like David, say that the LORD is our source of strength? Who do we seek when we are in trouble? Who do we trust more than any other? Who do we believe is truly able to do more than we ask or imagine? It is easy to answer these questions with the Christian answer of God, or Jesus, or His Spirit in us. However, we must not answer according to who we “know it should be” but rather by who we “Know it is.” Ask Him to show you any areas of your life where another is the source of your strength. Don’t be surprised if He shows you places where your faith needs to be rooted a little deeper in Him and less in the world or others. After all, we are works in progress – He’s not finished with us yet. *Note, if God has given you a wonderful friend or friends that are faithful to help you with anything, anytime, and anywhere – this is a blessing to be cherished – but we should be quick to acknowledge that they too, are a gift from God.

Be quick to see and then acknowledge the goodness and faithfulness of God. Count your blessings, name them one by one, as the old hymn says – it truly will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Be quick to ask Him for help, He knows you need it and He is poised and ready and desirous to help His children.

A Response of Prayer to God’s Word

Father, grace us with eyes to see and minds to recall all the ways You have acted on our behalf. Please help us to remember your goodness and faithfulness to rescue us from the power of our enemies and the struggles in this life. When the waves are crashing at our heads and distress is overtaking us, remind us to do as David did and call out to You, the One from whom we receive our help. Help us not lean on our understanding and power but to remember You are our only true and faithful source of strength. Thank You for being our shield! Thank You for being the One who is faithful and a keeper of His promises – May these truths help us to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around our waist, the breastplate of righteousness in place, the shoes of peace on our feet, and the shield of faith ready to douse the flaming arrows of the evil one. And, when like David, we see the victory – help us to faithfully respond with songs of praise to You born of love and faith in who You are. – Amen!

Response of Worship

The words of the Psalm brought this song to mind, may it be a blessing to you as it always is to me –

Going further

We Rest on Thee, Our Shield and Our Defender (Grab a tissue and don’t miss this)

Don’t forget to check out today’s LGG Blog Post

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