Today's Word of Encouragement
MY HIDING PLACE AND SHIELD
Friday, May 15, 2020
You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word (Psalm 119:114).
King David declared God to be his 'hiding place' and 'shield' in the 'Samekh' (S) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 113-120). He declared the same in Psalm 32:7, You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance, and in Psalm 28:7, The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.
A 'hiding place' (sether) is a covering, a shelter, a place of secrecy, an asylum. Note that David did not say God provided a hiding place for him - he said God is that hiding place. In this text the protection God provides is from the 'double-minded' (vain, empty) people, and from 'evildoers' (those who devise evil). In other places he found a safe haven from sin, weakness, weariness, and conflict.
A 'shield' (meginnah) is an instrument of warfare used to defend against swords, arrows, or spears. Like the 'hiding place', the 'shield' provides protection from people or things that would injure or kill a person. The difference between the two is that a 'hiding place' is a stationary place of safety. A 'shield' is an instrument you take with you to protect you from danger when you leave the 'hiding place'. To the psalmist, God is both.
David spoke from experience. Over the years, through many dangerous situations, he found God to be his protection and safety - the time he killed a lion with his bare hands because it was attacking his sheep. On another occasion he defeated Goliath who defied the God of Israel. On another occasion he spent 4 years running from King Saul who was dead set on killing him. The point is, David found in the Lord not only a place of refuge, but also a Person who walked with him to defend him. Not only was the Lord with David in these and other times, but His Word was a comfort to David during these times as well. It was his 'hope'.
It's easy to exercise 'hope' (yachal: to wait, delay, hope) when we have experienced help in times of trouble. Sometimes when fear grips the heart, when anxiety captures the spirit, when doubts invade the mind, the only thing we can do is to 'wait' upon the Lord, to trust in Him, to find Him to be our 'hiding place', our 'shield' from those thoughts and fears that come against us. The Word of God always sets before us His promise of hope and a reason to hope in Him.
"There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.
There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God.
There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God;
Hold us who wait before Thee, near to the heart of God."
(Cleland B. McAfee)