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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

August 15 2023


The LORD is Our Sun and Shield


Psalm 84:9-12

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

“O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 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. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”


Psalm 84 is called a “Pilgrimage Psalm or Song”. We believe it was a song that was sung by the Jewish people as they travel up to Jerusalem for one of their feast day celebrations. The psalmist who wrote it had a great desire to go on this journey because he delighted in the Lord (vv. 1-4). He also acknowledged that his strength was from the Lord (vv. 5-8).


Now in verses 9-12, this psalmist declares that his trust is in the “LORD of hosts”. In verse 8, he was pleading "hear my prayer" (v. 8), but then in verse 9, lifted his petitions to the Lord, beginning with a prayer for the king: “O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed”. The word "shield" is often used as a symbol of the Lord (Psalm 3:3; 7:10; 18:2, 30; Gen. 15:1), but it also refers to Israel's anointed king (Psalm 89:18; see 2 Sam. 1:21). But why pray for the king? Because the future of the Messianic promise rested with the line of King David (2 Sam. 7), and the psalmist wanted the Messiah to come. Today as believers we should pray faithfully for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4).


In verse 10, we learn that when you walk by faith, you will put the Lord and His will first, and will also keep your priorities straight. “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness”. This is the Old Testament version of Matthew 6:33 and Philippians 1:21.


According to the inscription, this Psalm is associated with "the Sons of Korah," who were Levites assigned to guard the threshold of the sanctuary (1 Chronicles 9:19), an important and honorable office. Remember that their ancestor rebelled against God and Moses and was slain by the Lord. You read about this historical event in Numbers 16. The people who were killed with Korah were said to dwell in "tents of wickedness” (Numbers 16:26). Korah's children were not killed because of their father's sins (Numbers 26:11) but continued to serve at the sanctuary.


This psalmist did not aspire to a high office, to be a “doorkeeper", but was willing to "sit at the threshold" of the temple, just to be close to the Lord. To men and women of faith, the Lord is all they need. In verse 11, he declared that “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.” The LORD is to them what the sun is to our universe. He is the source of life and light (27:1; Isa. 10:17; 60:19-20; Mal. 4:2). Without the sun, life would vanish from the earth, and without God, we would have neither physical life (Acts 17:24-28) nor spiritual life.


John begins his Gospel with this message: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)


God is our “shield”, meaning He is our provision and our protection. He is a giving God, and He gives grace and glory. He gives us grace for the journey and glory at the end of the journey (Rom. 5:1-2; 1 Peter 5:10). If we walk by faith, then whatever begins with grace will ultimately end with glory. God does not give us everything we want, but He bestows upon us all that is good for us and all that we need. (Psalm 1:1-3.)


Although times of solitude and spiritual retreat can be very beneficial to us spiritually, believers today have constant open access into the presence of God because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His constant intercession for us in heaven (Heb. 7:25; 10:19-25).

Today, we need to ask ourselves these questions. Do we delight in the Lord and seek Him? Do we depend on His strength? Do we walk and work by faith? Are we among those who walk uprightly (v. 11)?


God bless!

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