Do you have a “family crest” or as it more formally described “a coat of arms family crest”? For centuries throughout the world, families, royalty and even countries and territories were recognized by the symbols which were on their coat of arms. In fact, there were usually people, whose profession was called heraldry, who managed the design and distribution of this important cultural kind of identification. Scholars believe that heraldry existed in the ancient civilization of Egypt, although it is possible that the tradition is even older than that. On the battlefield, these symbols which were blazoned on shields became the warrior’s distinguishing feature. They could identify their comrades and their foes as they struggled to protect themselves from the weapons that were being hurled or thrust in their direction.
While David certainly knew about the importance of using a shield in the battles in which he fought against the enemies of Israel, he also understood that there were battles which would be fought internally. The many Psalms of lament, in which he and other Psalmists came before the Lord openly expressing their grief over sin, their complaints, and their pleas for God to listen and respond, make it clear that they had intense personal struggles and conflicts. David recognized that when these times of depression and discouragement, fatigue and hopelessness overwhelmed him, it was exactly then that he needed to cry out to God and reaffirm that he would continue to trust in Him and believe that God would be his shield. Inevitably, as he expressed his honest emotions along with his confidence in God, his joy returned as well as his gratitude – Psalm 28.
Are you having any spears of indecision or confusion hurled at you these days? Or maybe there are some arrows of temptation that keep coming at you from unexpected places? On your own, you probably feel vulnerable and unprotected. What difference do you think it would make to use your shield of faith and join David as he exclaims, “I love you, O LORD, You are MY shield”?