What’s Your Shield Made Of?
Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
I like how this verse is sort of a two parted deal; the first part dealing with God’s word, and the second dealing with the way He comforts and protects us. When I first read it, the two parts didn’t seem very connected. I thought about it a bit more, and it struck me that the two parts are dependent on the other. (So many verses in the Bible are like this – they’re great when you first read them, but you find even more good stuff when you study it out)
The first part is pretty straightforward. God’s word always proves true. God simply cannot lie – not even a little white lie, exaggeration, etc. – so by default everything He says is true.
This goes for what He speaks to us directly through the Holy Spirit, and what is written in the Bible, since it was inspired by God.
The second part takes a little more explanation. I would ask, “how is God a shield?” and, “how do we take refuge in Him?”. Have you ever seen a battle scene from a movie based on an ancient culture, like Gladiator or Braveheart? Either way though, you know that usually the warriors had a sword and a shield. Obviously, the shield is for their defense. Now, do you think the shield would be of any value to them if they left it at home before that battle? Or what if they set it down by a tree, and wandered away from it? Would the shield run over to them if the warrior called for it? Of course not, the warrior had to carry the shield- he had to keep the shield right by his side. Get the parallel yet? I’ll just say it: why do we so often “leave” God elsewhere, and then expect Him to come running to us when we’re under attack? I’m not saying that He doesn’t come to our rescue when we’ve neglected Him. But why do we think this setup will work out great for us? Shouldn’t we stay close to Him at all times so that we will be safe when the enemy attacks?
In moving on to the second question, “how do we take refuge in Him?”, we’ll actually go back to the first part of the verse, “every word of God proves true”. We take refuge in God through His words. Why? Because it’s all true! All of His promises are true, so therefore we can take comfort in them. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, He promises us eternal life through Christ, He promises us that He’s watching all the little details of our life, etc. When you grasp (as much as you can, anyways) what God promises us, you gain a lot of comfort from that. You have strength to stand up to attacks, joy to help you endure, as well as a long-term, supernaturally-minded focus. It doesn’t come easy though. We have the obligation to go to God, not the other way around. It will take work on our parts, if we want to take refuge in Him. We’ve got to be constantly in the Bible (His written word) and spend time in prayer listening to Him, or else we won’t know what He’s saying, and we won’t be able to take refuge in His word.
So let’s put the two parts of the verse together, in some different language: Because God’s word is always true, we can hide behind His word and stay safe when we’re attacked. Further than that, when we are being attacked, God’s refuge will come through what He’s said or is saying to us.
So, what’s the bottom line? Stay close to God through prayer and reading the Bible, so His words can keep you safe when trouble comes.