Psalm 5:11-12 - But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may exult in You. For You bless the righteous, O LORD; You cover him with favor as with a shield.
Just as members of today's armed forces wear helmets and body armor for protection in combat, ancient warriors wore armor and carried shields to protect themselves from swords, spears, and arrows. The giant Philistine warrior Goliath was well-armored when he taunted the Israelite army during the reign of King Saul. Goliath wore a coat of chain mail, bronze armor on his legs, and a bronze helmet. He carried a sword and a spear, and his shield-bearer went before him.
When David volunteered to fight Goliath, King Saul clothed the young shepherd in armor. David put on a coat of mail and a bronze helmet, but he was not trained in the use of such heavy equipment "and he tried in vain to go" (1 Samuel 17:39b). David set aside the useless armor and went into battle armed only with his shepherd's staff, his sling, and five smooth stones. Those were not very powerful weapons to wield against a giant, but David had even better armor to shield him in the fight. The well-armed shepherd announced to Goliath, "The LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hand" (1 Samuel 17:47b). The Lord went before David as a shield, and a stone from David's sling brought down the giant Philistine.
In daily battle, we face Satan, a powerful foe who tempts us and seeks to turn us from God and His ways. As David was burdened under the weight of Saul's armor, we may be burdened with the heavy weight of sin and guilt and the worries of life. Yet just as it was for David, for us too "the battle is the Lord's." God sent a Champion into the fight in our place. Jesus took onto Himself the burden of our sin and guilt. By His innocent suffering and death and by His triumphant resurrection, Jesus defeated Satan. The dangerous weapons of sin and death were torn from the grasp of the evil foe. Our sins are forgiven. In Baptism we were clothed and well-armored in Jesus' righteousness. In the trials and suffering we may face, the Lord is our refuge, our place of safety. His favor covers us like a shield.
The battle is the Lord's. He goes before us as our Shield and guards us in the troubles we encounter each day and the anxious worries that may come by night. He spreads His protection over us and shelters us with His love. As the psalmist says, "The Word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him" (Psalm 18:30b).
WE PRAY: Lord, shield me today with Your love and favor. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Have you ever met someone you might actually call a "giant"? How big was that person?
2. What confidence did David have when he went out to face Goliath?
3. How does God help us against the opponents we can't see, in our spiritual battles?
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