Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Devotion based on Proverbs 30:5
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In 2015, archaeologists discovered something very old. It was a wooden shield, rectangular in shape and reinforced with straps. Experts date the shield to several hundred years before the birth of Jesus.
To a soldier in the ancient world, the significance of a good shield was profound. In the universe of battle, when swords, spears, and projectiles were seeking to kill or maim, there was nothing a soldier treasured more than a reliable shield. He cared for it, repaired it, maintained it, and for good reason. To him, the shield he carried was a mobile, personal refuge from harm.
Perhaps you are in a moment of your life when you feel as though there are swords, spears, arrows, and projectiles coming at you from every direction. Some may be coming from your place of work. Others may be coming from your home, family, and finances. Others may be coming from a diagnosis from the doctor. Still, others may be coming from sharp regrets in your past or pointed fears about your future.
Such a feeling, of course, is nothing new. Ever since humanity severed its relationship with God in the Garden of Eden, we have been experiencing the consequences of our own sinful brokenness. One of those consequences is to feel as though we are, at times, in a chaotic, noisy battle.
God saw this. God saw us. He saw the madness, brokenness, and frantic despair. And so God sent his Son. On our behalf, Jesus fought the perfect fight against every sinful temptation. In our place, Jesus gave his life on the cross for our every sinful failure. Then, according to his promise, he rose from death, ascended into heaven, and filled the whole universe.
And because he has, you and I now stand forgiven through faith in him. Heaven is ours. He surrounds us in his presence. He guides all things for our good.
All of which means that, as you and I encounter the battles of life in this old world, we have a shield. We have a personal refuge. His name is Jesus.
Lord Jesus, when my battles come, you are my shield. Help me remember this. Amen.