Today we read more of God’s dealings with Abraham. “The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield …’” (Genesis 15:1). Abram had become concerned because he had not fathered a child and had no heir. God assures him that he will be a shield and protector to him, and that He will have an heir. But the details are only revealed step by step; it is a training in developing faith. Those who are committed to the Lord will have had the same experience.

As we read on, we see God’s promise is fulfilled in God’s good time, but Abram fails to wait for God to act. His sense of how God was his shield should have encouraged him to wait. When we commit ourselves to “working together with God” (1 Corinthians 6:1) as Paul found, we should keep our eyes open to see what pathways the Lord is opening for us. How keenly do we look? Do we pick those pathways that appear we feel comfortable with, that are not too difficult? There can be times when we might ask the Lord, “Why did you ever send me?” (Exodus 5:22). The lesson life teaches, if we are willing to learn, is that our Lord goes with us, He is our shield.

We read Psalm 18 today; how eloquent David has become about the relationship he had developed with God! The Psalm starts, “I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield …”. David loved the Lord, he was to later write of Him, “he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield …” (144:2).

This relationship with the Creator had its foundation when David was watching over his father’s sheep. In today’s Psalm he declares, “the LORD my God lightens my darkness … his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (verses 28,30). As we read “the word of Lord” we will find it will prove true for us. David’s perception of life – when it is lived in service to the LORD and His son – is as true today as it was then. The times are likely to increase when we need to “take refuge in him”. Let us agree with all our heart with the words of verse 35, “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great”.