In many parts of the world, it’s not unusual to see a sign outside a property indicating the presence of a security system. When your system has been installed by a particular company, they provide signs in the shape of a stop sign that announce “Protected by Brinks/Guardian/ADT” or some such thing. Announcing to a would-be thief the specifics of your security system may not be the wisest of choices, so there are plenty of less specific signs that simply warn that “This property protected by a security system.” Some folks add a bit of humor into the mix. I’ve seen doormats that say, “My neighbors have betters stuff” and yard signs announcing, “My guard dog can make it to the fence in under three seconds. Can you?” Or even a more ominous, “NOTICE: You are no longer a trespasser. You are now a target.” Other people get right to the point with a sign featuring a pointed gun warning that, due to increased ammunition costs, there will NOT be a warning shot.”
Today’s verse says, YOU BLESS THE RIGHTEOUS, O LORD; YOU SURROUND THEM WITH FAVOR AS A SHIELD.
Some places in the world are safer than others, and some places require more deliberate attention to security. I find myself in those kinds of places with some degree of regularity. Of course, it’s wise to take precautions and do the things that are necessary to protect yourself; especially in high risk environments. While traveling overseas I’ve been in vehicles where loaded rifles are strategically placed and ready for use. There were times it was necessary to borrow helmets and body armor before traveling to a specific location. As necessary as those things may be in certain circumstances, the bottom line is that the protection of the Lord is the most reliable of shields.
I remember standing in the Israeli desert just a few miles from the Gaza border. I was shooting a video documenting a project where thousands of new trees had been planted. That’s when Gaza began shooting missiles into the Israeli town of Sderot, just over the next hill. I dropped to the ground and began calculating where I could find protective cover as we ran to our vehicle, but my cameraman encouraged me to stand up and keep recording!!! He said the footage would be much better with the missile attack included. Nope, you can’t make this stuff up.
You and I live in a world where our enemy is out to destroy us. He is constantly firing his “missiles” at us. Flaming darts of accusation intended to undermine our faith in God and our relationship with Him. Our enemy attacks by telling us that we’ve blown it for good, that God will never forgive you for that terrible thing you’ve just done. He’ll say that your marriage is over, your family situation is hopeless or your life is worthless. Lie, lie, lie – that’s all he does. We never know when his missile attack will begin, and when it does we can feel as exposed as I did standing on a hill in a desert three miles from the nearest building.
I’m so glad that our God is our hiding place. He’s the one who protects us from trouble. King David wrote in one of the psalms, “You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” He knew that God was the one He could count on when his enemies mounted attacks against him. He was safe ; so safe in fact that he could SING out loud !! We need to be reminded of what David knew so well. The Lord who loves you and me is a shield around us, He’s our glory, and the one who lifts our head when the battles of life get too heavy for us.
When we don’t have the strength to keep pressing on, He is always close by and ready to help. The LORD gives His people strength; the LORD blesses His people with peace.
YOU BLESS THE RIGHTEOUS, O LORD; YOU SURROUND THEM WITH FAVOR AS A SHIELD
When you’re standing alone somewhere and the missiles of attack start flying, just say to God, “You, O LORD, are a shield around me. You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble.”
When you do – He’ll give you strength. He’ll give you peace. He’ll direct your steps in wisdom.
How protected are you? Well, you’re so well protected that no weapon formed against you can prosper. So well protected that God will work all things together for your good, no matter how those things look to you now. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?
WITH HIM – that’s the key !!!
How well protected are you? Well, if you’re WITH HIM – you’ve got nothing to worry about.