Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Leads Us Along"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 84:11 – 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. (NKJV)
It was a bright, sunny day at the beach, a perfect day to relax and read. Yet the glare of the sun was so intense that my sunglasses weren't enough to block its powerful rays. As I shielded my eyes, today's verse came to mind: "The Lord God is a sun and a shield" — a beautiful promise for God's children.
I wondered, though, how God could be both a sun and a shield. It seemed incompatible. As I thought about it, I realized that the psalmist gives us a clue as to the meaning in the second part of the verse: "The Lord will give grace and glory."
The sun brings light and life to the world. Likewise, God brings light and life to those who trust in Him.
God is holy — He is pure, faultless, and without sin. In Scripture, His glory-presence is often depicted in light and fire, and is associated with His judgment, as well as a sign of His holiness and His covenant of mercy with His people. As a prime example, when Moses received the law, it was atop a fiery mountain. And when he asked to see God's glory, the Lord said, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (Exodus 33:20 NIV) Yet, what did God do for Moses? He shielded him with His hand when He passed by. In the New Testament, before Jesus began His earthly ministry, John the Baptist called people to turn from their sins. He said that Jesus would baptize His followers "with the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Matthew 3:11b NIV). Jesus Himself said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12b NIV)
As the sun exposes darkness, God's glory-presence exposes sin. The Lord "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts." (1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV)
When we are in Christ, God shines His light into the dark, stained-with-sin recesses of our hearts and minds, exposing and cleansing our sin, and yet, we're not destroyed. Why? Because Jesus' death on the cross shields us from God's wrath. "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Romans 5:9 NIV)
Today's verse holds a promise, too: "No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly." Friends, we can only be upright, or blameless, when our sins have been forgiven and our debt paid! Pray with me:
Prayer: Dear God, shine Your light into my life to expose the darkness of my sins. Forgive me, and help me to follow You. Thank You for being the shield of my life! Amen.