To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve. Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
David was a warrior and his shield was one of his primary pieces of protective equipment. The shield was made of a wood or metal frame covered with leather, sometimes coated with brass, copper, or gold. Shields came in two sizes. A smaller shield was used for hand-to-hand combat. The larger shield extended from a soldier’s feet to his chin. This shield stopped projectiles such as arrows.
The shield also was a sign of commitment when carried by an armor-bearer. In his historical novel Day of War, Cliff Graham gives an account of an experienced armor-bearer training his replacement. He explains, “The rule is: never leave your master in battle . . . It will get bad, and then it will get worse, and you still never leave him . . . Stay next to him.”
God is our strength and shield. By His Spirit, He provides us all we need to stay in the battle. And He is our armor-bearer. He never leaves us. He is always right by our side. He fights with us and protects us against the arrows of the enemy. Like an armor-bearer in battle, God is always there with us.
Father, I thank You for being my strength and my shield. Thank You for never leaving my side in the heat of the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.