Tuesday, May 12, 2015

God's Shield-care

round gold shield
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 47:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "For the shields of the earth belong to God" - Psalm 47:9

It's easy to become fearful and overwhelmed as we watch world events unfold. In these times, heavy responsibility falls on our leaders as they seek to protect us from terrorism,  man-made disasters, internet fraud,  virulent diseases etc.

As our leaders seek to carry out their responsibilities, their critics plant suspicions in our minds about them: They're doing too much in some areas, not enough in others. The laws they're passing will step on the toes of our rights. Everything they do is done with ulterior, self-serving motives…

In such a setting, the verse fragment I've chosen to focus on today is a great comfort: "For the shields of the earth belong to God." That's now the NKJV translates it. Other translations translate "shields" as "kings": "For the kings of the earth belong to God" - Psalm 47:9 NIV and "For the leaders of the earth belong to God" - Psalm 47:9 HCSB.

[The word used for "shields" or "kings" here is magen. It refers to a small golden shield "… the magen was a shield which only protected a part of the person, could be carried on the arm, and was used by light troops" - James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible, pp. 157,8.]

What I'm hearing the psalmist say is that our leaders are shields—a means of our protection. They are God's possession, there by His permission and oversight (see Ephesians 1:19-22). As such we can trust God's wisdom in placing them over us and relax in His shield-care through them.

God's care as shield (magen) doesn't come to us only through our leaders. Some other ways God is our shield:
- Through His help - Deuteronomy 33:29.
- Through salvation - 2 Samuel 22:36.
- Around us - Psalm 3:3.
- As a refuge - Psalm 18:30; 144:2.
- As our victory - Psalm 18:35.
- Through His word - Psalm 119:14.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust Your shield-care for me in all the ways You give it. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.

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