THE LORD IS YOUR SHIELD

SCRIPTURE READING:
Genesis 15:1 The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

1. WHAT IS A SHIELD?
– A shield in a piece of armor.
– It was designed as a defense mechanism.
– It was used to intercept attacks, either by stopping them or by redirecting them.
– To this day shields are still used. You may think that they are not and in the historical warfare situation they are not used, but when people start rioting, you still see the police use this tool en mass.
– Shields can take on many shapes and sizes but their purpose and use remains unchanged.
– A shield is a protective barrier.
– It is something that defends or protects someone.
– Here we see God telling Abram ‘I AM YOUR SHIELD!’

2. WE NEED A SHIELD
– In many ways we need a shield.
– Our very own planet Earth depends on a shield to survive.
– Our own lives depend on this great unseen shield.
– The Earth is protected by an ozone layer.
– It is also called the Ozone Shield.
– It is a layer in the earth’s atmosphere that absorbs most of the UV rays from the sun.
– The truth is that there is very little ozone in the ozone layer, but it is very important.
– It absorbs and shields us from harmful UV which is harmful to all living things.
– Without this shield, life on earth as we know it would cease to exist.
– So in a very real sense we already live with a shield that God has put in place to protect us from things that could destroy us.
– Just as we need and could not live without this ozone shield, so we cannot live without the shield that God offers us.
– The Bible tells us that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion, looking to destroy each one of us.
– But God offers to be our shield.
– As He said to Abram, He says to you: ‘I AM YOUR SHIELD!’
– This promise is for you as well.
– We are part of that seed and as such we too can appropriate this great comfort to our own lives.
– As children of God we need a shield.
– There are many enemies and many things that would try to wear us down or destroy us.
– The Bible speaks of the enemy we face and it speaks of the ‘fiery darts’ that we will face.
– But God graciously undertakes to intervene and be a shield to us.

3. IN WHAT WAY IS GOD A SHIELD?
A. HE IS A PHYSICAL SHIELD
– In the Bible we see a picture of a physical hedge of protection spoken of.
– Job 1:9-10 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.”
– Even the devil recognized that he did not have direct access to Job.
– Even he could see that God had placed a ‘hedge of protection’ around His servant Job.
– This ‘hedge of protection’ did not only protect Job as an individual, but it went further to include a shield of protection around his household. This included protection for those who lived under the same roof as him. This could include his servants and his family.
– This ‘hedge of protection’ went even further to protect his assistants, the things he owned and it seems to have included everything that fell under Job’s jurisdiction.
– Psalm 34:7 ‘The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them.’
– Psalm 139:5  ‘You hem me in behind and before, and You lay your hand upon me.’
– Psalm 125:2  ‘As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forevermore.’
– Psalm 121:8  ‘The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.’
– Psalm 91:9-11 ‘For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.’
B. HE IS A SHIELD FOR OUR LIVES
– He holds our lives and our very breath in His hands.
– Isaiah 33:15-16 He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; He will dwell on the heights, His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given him, His water will be sure.
– The very bread and water we need for the sustaining of life is part of the shield God provides in our lives.
– Psalm 33:18-19  ‘Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His loving-kindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine.’
– Imagine your soul being delivered from death and being kept alive in a famine.
C. HE IS A SHIELD FOR OUR SOULS
– He is also the preserver and restorer of our souls.
– Psalm 23:3 ‘He restores my soul!’
– Psalm 97:10 ‘He preserves the souls of His saints!’
– The word preserves means to keep or to watch over the souls of His sons and daughters.
– 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.

4. WHAT IS THIS SHIELD LIKE?
A. IT IS A POWERFUL SHIELD
– The mighty working power of God is your shield.
– 1 Peter 1:5 ‘ … who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation …’
– Don’t limit God’s power in your life.
– Don’t try to put God in a box.
– Don’t limit Him by your own limitations.
– His power can accomplish anything.
– It was by His power that the earth was created.
– It is by His power that all things are sustained.
– That includes you!
B. IT IS AN ON-GOING SHIELD
– This shield is on-going and never ending.
– It is not a shield that turns off and on at will.
– It is not here today and gone tomorrow.
– It is available at all times and in all circumstances.
– It is a perpetual shield.
– It is available throughout life, in the midst of challenges and hurdles.
– It remains constant regardless whether we are facing ‘deep waters’, ‘rivers of difficulty’ or ‘the fire of oppression’.
– Throughout life it remains and even when we pass through the valley of the shadow of death it is as real as at any other time.
– He is the rock of refuge that never fails.
C. IT NEVER FAILS
– He is a shield to each one who will trust in Him.
– This shield does not just cover one area of our lives.
– The problems with shields are that they only protect you on one front.
– Our Heavenly Shield will never fail us no matter what side the problems may come from.
– Psalm 3:3  ‘You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.’
– HE is a shield that goes right around you – even on your blind side.
– Psalm 5:12  ‘Surely, LORD, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.’
D. IT IS OUR ONLY ALTERNATIVE
– Just like with the ozone shield around the earth where there is no alternative, so it is with God, He is our only shield our only alternative.
– Every other thing that you think is a shield will fail you, but He will remain faithful.
– Human wisdom and human power cannot compare.
– He is the only sure, enduring and everlasting defense and shield to us His son and daughters.
– Psalm 7:10 ‘My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.’

5.  WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE BE TO THIS WONDERFUL KNOWLEDGE?
A. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR SHIELD
– Take refuge in Him.
– Don’t try to do it on your own.
– You are not your own best defense, He is.
– Cling to your shield.
– Enjoy the benefits of living within the benefit of your shield.
B. BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR SHIELD
– Let thankfulness arise with your heart and soul because you have a shield and defense.
– Live with thankfulness for the fact that you have a shield.
C. DON’T TRY TO LIVE WITHOUT YOUR SHIELD
– Don’t do anything to jeopardize the protection your shield offers.
– Live within the slipstream of your shield.
– As a child I would ride behind my father on his motorbike. I loved it and occasionally I would try and push my head out to feel the wind on my face. My father would always tell me to pull my head in. While I sat behind him I was secure and protected from the head wind and any flying object in the air. It was only years later when I got my own motorbike that I discovered that without my father as a shield I had to be careful that things did not fly into my face or eyes.
– When we live within the slipstream of the shield we can enjoy the protection He offers.
– When we decide to move out from that protection either through sin or just doing what we want to do, we expose ourselves to many forms of onslaughts, most of which have the power to destroy us.
– So live within the slipstream of Your Shield and remain there.
– John 15:7 ‘If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’

BY: Andrew W Roebert
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