My rambunctious, sometimes out-of-control sons love to wrestle and battle each other with pretty much anything that could remotely resemble a weapon. They’ve also recently learned how to deflect their brothers’ blows by crafting shields from cardboard boxes with strings attached to slide their arms through. While these cardboard shields may be effective enough for the battle raging in my living room, they are nothing compared to the impenetrable shield in today’s passage.
In Proverbs 2, the search for wisdom is compared to looking for valuable things like “silver” and “hidden treasure” (v. 4) When we receive this wisdom from the Lord, it gives us success and protection. Indeed, the Lord “is a shield to those whose walk is blameless” (v. 7). Shields are valuable defensive instruments— they offer protection from an attack, creating a barrier between you and the attacker.
When a child is playing, they don’t really need a shield. They are not in real danger of being hurt, but the ancient audience of Proverbs would have recognized the importance of a defensive weapon in actual hand-to-hand combat. They would surely hear echoes of the promises God made both to Abraham—“I am your shield” (Gen. 15:1)—and the wilderness generation just before they entered the Promised Land—“He [the Lord] is your shield and helper and your glorious sword” (Deut. 33:29). God was their shield, their divine protector. He had gone before them into dangerous situations. He had protected them from their enemies.
As with the ancient Israelites, and with us today, God is a shield to those who seek Him and fear Him. Whatever may come our way—and Jesus promises that we will experience both sorrow and difficulty—we can trust that God will be our shield.
>> Think about how God has protected you as you’ve served Him. Thank Him today for His promise of protection and for the ways He has shielded you from harm.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil” (Ps. 23:4). Thank You for protecting us spiritually and physically, from dangers known and unknown.