God is a Sun and Shield

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 ESV)

The theme of Psalm 84 is the blessing of being in the house of The Lord. There is something about the gathering of believers for the express purpose of worshipping God. Faith arises, perspective changes, healing manifests, and God’s glory rests among His people.

The Psalmist describes God as a “sun and shield” – two accurate descriptions, but ones that typically aren’t paired.

Some things are meant to go together – Batman and Robin, Starsky and Hutch, Spongebob and Patrick. But “sun and shield?”

I looked up the original words, wondering if there were any hidden gems to be discovered in their meanings. Pretty straightforward – “sun” means sun, or sunrise, a brilliant light; and “shield” means shield and defense.

And certainly God is both a sun and a shield! But my mind still wanted to somehow marry these terms into one picture.

As a pondered, meditating on this verse, I began to envision a picture that seems to bring this truth to life.

Imagine a fierce, courageous, but battle-weary warrior. The fight has been long. The casualties have been significant. The battle has intensified to the point when he realizes that his fate will be determined in the next fight.

As he lay awake in the darkness of the night, preparing for the ultimate battle, he reaches over to his shield. He wonders if he will live through another day.

At that moment a ray of light appears over the eastern horizon. His unshaven, dirty face feels the warmth of dawn. He closes his eyes, breathes deeply, and exhales these words:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Battle-weary warrior – your God is there. He will arise like the sun, with promise of victory. His name is a strong tower in which the righteous find sanctuary. He has declared you “more than a conqueror.”

Having done all that you can do…stand up and engage this battle with the shield of faith. Let the high praises of God be in your mouth, and a two-edged sword in your hand. Declare God’s word with authority.

Fight the good fight of faith, knowing that your reward is certain, and eternal.

The Lord your God is your sun and your shield.

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