Have you ever felt vulnerable to a million different dangers? The number of scenarios stacked up against us can be disheartening, if not terrifying. Anxiety becomes a close companion when we begin counting everything that can go wrong in our daily experiences. Perhaps this is why God gave us, in His Scriptures, a picture of His protective nature. Psalm 3:3 declares, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.”
What does it mean that God is a shield for us? This historical visual of a shield in battle deflecting the enemy’s attack can feel irrelevant to us today. However, there is a shield we can glean context from that is protecting us this very moment. We only need to lift our gaze, as King David did in Psalm 19:1-2, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Looking to the heavens and sky, we gain insight into God’s protective nature.
We have an advantage King David did not. We can understand more of the heavens’ declarations and the sky’s speech because of scientific discoveries made since his time. Looking up, we can consider earth’s atmospheric blanket and gain insight into the precise ways in which God is a shield for us. Earth’s atmosphere is far more than cosmic coincidence. In Genesis 1:2-3, we see God setting the stage for life on earth: “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Knowing the exact conditions we would need for earth to be habitable, He covered our planet with a protective atmosphere — a shield against countless dangers.
With slightly less than 21% oxygen, the earth’s atmosphere creates a perfect shelter. If its oxygen level were to rise one percent, the likelihood of wildfires would increase by 70%. Can any of us imagine living on a planet with such an exponential increase in fires? Conversely, if the atmosphere’s oxygen level was slightly less, we could not live here. Not only is it the perfect balance of oxygen, but it also guards us against deadly substances. We often think of our atmosphere like the earth’s blanket. However, it operates more as a filter, protecting us from harmful radiation while, at the same time, working with our seas to maintain our climate.
Without the scientific advancements of our day, King David could not have grasped any of this as he stared into the heavens. However, what he did know was this: God’s creation speaks to His wisdom, providence, and provision. In His foreknowledge, God created a shield for the earth to sustain our lives. But it’s not only our physical lives He wants to preserve. No, God Himself is the protector of our souls and watchman of our spirits. As the atmosphere is constantly defending our planet, God guards us in countless ways every day. Just as the atmosphere filters out harmful substances, God deflects toxic thoughts and worries from our minds. He diffuses the fiery attacks of the enemy. On this side of heaven, we’ll never realize the full extent of His protection.
Looking at all God has made, including a shield protecting every piece of His handiwork, may we remember how carefully He protects our lives. He is a shield for us.
“This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30
“For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:7
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in Whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:18
“You are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah” Psalm 32:7