"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 I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." (Psalm 28:6,7 NIV)
I'm so grateful to have gained a new understanding of this name of God when I took part in a Bible study on the armor of God. My study sisters and I learned that, in ancient times, when opposition forces attacked an army with arrows, the enemy's hope at that point was not to kill with those arrows but to distract so that a subsequent mortal blow could be inflicted by other means.
The soldiers under attack would divert their attention to those arrows, making them vulnerable to a lethal blow. But if they huddled together in what was called a turtle formation and raised their shields, those arrows could be deflected, and the troops would be saved for further fighting.
Faith in God our Shield preserves us for the fight, too. There are real battles to be won: battles for our marriages, battles for our friendships, battles for our children's minds and hearts. The enemy wants us to be so distracted by lesser things that we are rendered weak or worse for the battles that really matter. Be aware and alert, dear noggins. Then raise your Shield and fight today's good fight.
"O worship the King,
All glorious above,
And gratefully sing,
His wonderful love.
Our Shield and Defender,
The Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor,
And girded with praise."
("O Worship the King," words by Robert Grant, music attributed to Johann Michael Haydn/arranged by William Gardiner; listening sample from 2nd Chapter of Acts)