christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

psalm 91, His shield and buckler

Read Psalm 91 at Bible Gateway.

We saw from the chiastic structure of this psalm, that the benefits of Psa 91:3-7, and Psa 91:10-13, mirror each other:

1a) Psa 91:1-2, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High;
– 1.1, Psa 91:3, Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
– 1.2, Psa 91:4, He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
– 1.3, Psa 91:5-7, You shall not be afraid, for it shall not come near you;
central axis) Psa 91:8, Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked;
2a) Psa 91:9, Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place;
– 2.3, Psa 91:10, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
– 2.2, Psa 91:11-12, For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways;
– 2.1, Psa 91:13, You shall tread upon the lion + cobra, the young lion + serpent you shall trample underfoot.

Let’s look at the second matching pair:

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler,” (Psa 91:4), pairs with, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone,” (Psa 91:11-12). These both paint a picture of divine protection in the middle of the storms of life. His wings and feathers cover and deflect, and His angels guard and protect.

The interesting phrase is in vs. 4: “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Everyone knows what a shield is, and its role as a portion of defensive armor. A shield is large enough to protect the whole body if necessary. A buckler is like a shield:

“A buckler differs from a shield in that the latter is carried by straps and worn on the arm whereas the former is held in single-hand in a “fist” grip.  It is difficult to trace the history of the weapon as many times any type of round shield or small targe would be called buckler, regardless of whether it was held in the fist or worn on the arm. The buckler was a small, maneuverable, hand-held shield for deflecting and punching blows. It was usually round and made of metal but occasionally of hardened leather or layers of wood. (Tarassuk & Blaire, p. 105).  Bucklers were typically round and frequently between 8 to 16 inches in diameter, but octagonal, square, and trapezoidal versions were also known.” Sword and Buckler Fencing

Both of these pieces of armor are used for defense against attack. So let’s look at this. Yesterday we saw that the enemy is the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy (Joh 10:10). How exactly does he accomplish this?

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Joh 8:44

His attacks and fiery darts come in the form of lies. He might say to someone, “God is ashamed of you. You can’t confess what you did. There is no forgiveness for you now.” Is that a true statement? No, not a bit of it! But for someone who does not know the truth, a statement like this, that seems to be true, brings him into the prison of condemnation and binds them with the chains of shame. The tool which was used as an effective attack against that person, was a lie … and becomes an effective tool, when it is believed.

This is why His truth is our shield and buckler. His truth is effective defensive armor which deflects those fiery darts and prevents them from wounding us (Eph 6:16; Paul calls His truth “the shield of faith,” because truth must be believed in order to defend). And His truth is found in His word …. do we know what His word says for ourselves, from Genesis to Revelation? Read it and believe it!

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