The Lord Is Our Shield
Over the years, this publication has talked about God and what He is like. For myself, having now studied the Bible for over half of my life, it is still mind-boggling what is found within its pages. God is so incredible and what He wants to do for us is almost unbelievable. This world can be a threatening place and God, as our heavenly Father, wants to protect his children. Last issue we talked about God’s protection in wanting to be our fortress and rescuer. In this issue we will see that God also wants to be our shield of protection.
Read the third and seventh chapters of the book of Psalms and see this protection proclaimed. Psalm 28:7 says it perfectly, “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger.”
Staples Office Supply has a TV commercial out—two ancient civilizations are going to war. With horses running, swords drawn, and robes flowing, one leader pushes a button. A huge wall comes up from out of the ground and makes it impossible for the opposing army to get to them. That commercial is a picture of what God will do for us in every danger of life. (2 Kings 6) When we call upon Him, He becomes our shield! Unlike the commercial, when we call, Jesus always stands between us and the enemy. Is that incredible and awesome or what?
As for God his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory and the one who lifts my head high.
I cried out and he answered me.
In times of trouble may the Lord respond to your cry.
The Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt. God raised up Moses to deliver those million plus people out of slavery and into the promised land. Quite some time after the Red Sea had been parted and the Egyptian army destroyed, Moses sent twelve spies into the promised land to check it out. When they came back, ten of the spies didn’t believe God was able to give them victory in the land. However, Joshua and Caleb believed that God was who He said He was, and that God could do what He said He would do! (Numbers 13-14)
In Numbers 13:8 Joshua and Caleb say to the people, “And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. …Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” Joshua and Caleb saw the Lord fulfill these words many years later.
After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the people and brought the children, who by then had grown to adulthood, into the promised land. It was not without a fight; many brutal battles were fought at the command of the Lord. Under the command of Joshua, thirty one kings and their cities were destroyed. (Joshua 11:24)
Read the instructions God gives Joshua in the first chapter:
“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually, Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Periodically, throughout the book of Joshua, we can read, “And Joshua did as he was told, carefully obeying all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses.” (Joshua 11:15)
The battles of Joshua started with the defeat of Jericho. The army marched around the city for a week, and at the end of that week, they marched around the city seven more times, the only words that were uttered were, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city”, and the walls of the city fell inward and Jericho was destroyed. (Joshua 1-6)
Next we can read the story of Ai. Interestingly, Joshua forgot to inquire of the Lord and loses. After inquiring of the Lord, there was victory. (Joshua 7-8)
The third is the story of Gibeon. Gibeon was larger than Ai and the men were mighty warriors. (Joshua 10:2) These people became so terrified when they heard of the defeat of Jericho and Ai, that they didn’t even think about fighting Joshua. They resorted to deception to save themselves. (Joshua 9:3) Joshua and the other leaders fell for the lie because they did not inquire of the Lord what they should do. (Joshua 10:14)
An interesting thing happened after that. Gibeon had a reputation for being mighty warriors. When they surrendered, five other cities rallied together to fight Joshua and his army.
In Joshua 10:8 we read, “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I will give you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
Joshua traveled all night and took these 5 armies by surprise. The Lord threw them into a panic and then Joshua’s army attacked. The Lord destroyed the rest of the army with a terrible hailstorm. On that day Joshua asked God for the moon and sun to stand still. We read in Joshua 10:14, “The Lord fought for Israel that day. Never before or since has there been a day like that one, when the Lord answered such a request from a human being.”
Before Joshua killed these five kings he said to his army, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” (Joshua 10:25)
That same day Joshua also completely destroyed the city of Makkedah, killing everyone in it, including the king. Then Joshua went to Libnah and did the same. (Joshua 10:28-29)
At the end of the tenth chapter of Joshua we read, “In a single campaign Joshua conquered all these kings and their land, for the Lord, the God of Israel, was fighting for his people." (Joshua 10:42)
APPLYING THIS STORY TO OUR LIFE
The Old Testament is given to us as examples of what God does. (1 Corinthians 10:6) All of our successes in life come because of God’s favor. May the instructions given to Joshua become ours, as we seek to live a life of victory.
We must be strong, have courage and obey. We must study our Bibles and think about it continually.
We are going to make mistakes. When we make mistakes, we must repent and draw closer to God. We must not let the pain of our mistakes drive us away from God. Allow God to work our mistakes out for good. (Romans 8:28)
Even when we are Christians, we cannot make our plans and expect God to bless them. We must pray and ask God to show us His will, then move in His direction, at His timing. Then we will experience victory and success.
When God’s power is in our lives, it will make even our mightiest enemies fearful.
We must believe that God will protect and fight for us when we are in His will. We must have courage and make the effort to obey God. We must not be afraid to ask big things in prayer. We must lead others to God’s victories. God wants to use each of us to lead others into God’s grace and mercy. God wants each of us to experience great victory in our lives.
When we are fighting God’s battle, He will fight for us and we cannot lose.
We’re rodeo families living thousands of years later, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What he did for those in the past, He will do for each of us who follow Him with courage, strength and obedience.
Let’s trust and believe God and let the world watch and see what Almighty God can do when cowboys and cowgirls let Jesus Christ be the Lord of their lives.