January 26, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
There is more in this series, Doorkeeper Or Tent-dweller? than what I originally thought! But that’s the way it often is as we delve more deeply into His Word. The featured scripture is Psalm 84:10 through 12:
…a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a door-
keeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For
the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no
good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of
hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You.
I want to point out some Gems I have learned from the last two verses.
• Psalm 84:11 – “For the LORD God is a sun….” We have some idea from our everyday life how important the sun is. The idea here is the light it gives, as in Proverbs 4:18 and 18:
…the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the
perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what
makes them stumble.
As Christians we are guided by Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12 and 9:5). Jesus is such powerful light that John wrote in Revelation 22:5, “…there shall be no night there [in the New Jerusalem]: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” And the apostle also wrote in I John 1:7, “…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” And where do we access this light? Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The written word reveals – and you might say, internalizes – the Living Word, Jesus Christ!
• Psalm 84:11 – “…the LORD God is…a shield….” A shield means the small kind of portable shield a soldier would carry into hand-to-hand combat – as it is used in Psalm 91:4: “His truth shall be your [large] shield and buckler [small].” I would imagine also – but I find no proof of it in historical records – that soldiers on the march through the desert, or camped out in it under the blazing sun, might use such a shield to offer themselves some shade.
So God is not just the sun, He is also the shade as needed, as it says in Psalm 121:5: “The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.”
But there is another meaning denominatively derived – a verb formed from a noun – from the first word shield in Hebrew that we considered, and I find it most interesting and relative. It means surrender. It is translated three time in the Hebrew text as deliver or delivered, as in Genesis 14:20. Abram had defeated the armies of four conquering kings who had conquered Sodom and other area cities and had taken Abram’s nephew Lot and family captive. As the patriarch returned victorious, with his extended family and spoil intact, he met and gave tithes to Melchizedek, “…the king of Salem [Jerusalem, and]…priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18). In verse 20 Melchizedek blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” The idea is that the enemies had surrendered to Abram’s army!
Are we not to be delivered over unto God? Are we not to surrender to Him? This is what Paul had done, and he proclaimed that fact beautifully in Philippians 3:7 through 14:
…what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. But
indeed I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count
them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having
my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through
faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may
know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain
to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am
already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which
Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to
have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press
toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
You might say that this is the apostle’s purpose statement. And Paul, in the next verse exhorts us, as growing Christians, to do the same: “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this same mind….”
Is He your sun and shade? Are you surrendered unto Him? Think about it!