January 8, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 39: Defender


"Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you." (Proverbs 23:10,11 NIV)

Yesterday, we started a mini (three-part) series based on three names of God found within the lovely anthem "O Worship The King." Today, I have to credit the power of love for helping me understand this particular name of God and, specifically, the difference between offense and defense. 

I didn't grow up in a sports-centric family. I'd never even seen a football game until a high school boyfriend asked me to watch the Rose Bowl with him one year. A music lover my whole life, I joked with my choir friends that I was going to marry a baritone...someone who could swing to either tenor or bass, depending on what I needed when we did duets together. They joked back that I would probably marry a football player. I didn't, but I did marry a college football fan(atic) and, as proof that love changes us, have come to the point where, the other night when I was watching a bowl game with my husband, I asked him who had the ball and then was able to say, "Oh, never mind…I see the possession arrow." After he picked himself up off the floor, my "coach" was suitably impressed. 

ALL of which is just to say that when I asked my husband how he would define the difference between offense and defense, he said, "Defense is preventative, while offense is proactive." As far as sport is concerned, the offense is trying to score, while the defense is trying to stop them from scoring.

Of course, God our Defender is not limited by definitions or by our finite understanding of how He operates. But in His role as our Defender, He does protect us from attacks by our opponent. He does stop our foes. He does wrest victory from the hands of our enemy and hand it over to us as part of his team.

No wonder we worship this King.

"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)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!