Shielded Day 10 Shields Together: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Shields Together!

The Questions

1) Why is God being described with so many different visual images by David?

2) How does the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:10 connect with this passage?

3) Why would David refer to God as his “shield of salvation” in verse 35?

Psalm 18

I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock,

my fortress, and my deliverer,

my God, my rock where I seek refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation,

my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I was saved from my enemies.

4 The ropes of death were wrapped around me;

the torrents of destruction terrified me.

5 The ropes of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.

6 I called to the Lord in my distress,

and I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.

7 Then the earth shook and quaked;

the foundations of the mountains trembled;

they shook because he burned with anger.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils,

and consuming fire came from his mouth;

coals were set ablaze by it.

9 He bent the heavens and came down,

total darkness beneath his feet.

10 He rode on a cherub and flew,

soaring on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his hiding place,

dark storm clouds his canopy around him.

12 From the radiance of his presence,

his clouds swept onward with hail and blazing coals.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven;

the Most High made his voice heard.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered them;

he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.

15 The depths of the sea became visible,

the foundations of the world were exposed,

at your rebuke, Lord,

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high

and took hold of me;

he pulled me out of deep water.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy

and from those who hated me,

for they were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

19 He brought me out to a spacious place;

he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me

according to my righteousness;

he repaid me

according to the cleanness of my hands.

21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord

and have not turned from my God to wickedness.

22 Indeed, I let all his ordinances guide me

and have not disregarded his statutes.

23 I was blameless toward him

and kept myself from my iniquity.

24 So the Lord repaid me

according to my righteousness,

according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 With the faithful

you prove yourself faithful,

with the blameless

you prove yourself blameless,

26 with the pure

you prove yourself pure;

but with the crooked

you prove yourself shrewd.

27 For you rescue an oppressed people,

but you humble those with haughty eyes.

28 Lord, you light my lamp;

my God illuminates my darkness.

29 With you I can attack a barricade,

and with my God I can leap over a wall.

30 God—his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord is pure.

He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God besides the Lord?

And who is a rock? Only our God.

32 God—he clothes me with strength

and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer

and sets me securely on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for war;

my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have given me the shield of your salvation;

your right hand upholds me,

and your humility exalts me.

36 You make a spacious place beneath me for my steps,

and my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursue my enemies and overtake them;

I do not turn back until they are wiped out.

38 I crush them, and they cannot get up;

they fall beneath my feet.

39 You have clothed me with strength for battle;

you subdue my adversaries beneath me.

40 You have made my enemies retreat before me;

I annihilate those who hate me.

41 They cry for help, but there is no one to save them—

they cry to the Lord, but he does not answer them.

42 I pulverize them like dust before the wind;

I trample them like mud in the streets.

43 You have freed me from the feuds among the people;

you have appointed me the head of nations;

a people I had not known serve me.

44 Foreigners submit to me cringing;

as soon as they hear they obey me.

45 Foreigners lose heart

and come trembling from their fortifications.

46 The Lord lives—blessed be my rock!

The God of my salvation is exalted.

47 God—he grants me vengeance

and subdues peoples under me.

48 He frees me from my enemies.

You exalt me above my adversaries;

you rescue me from violent men.

49 Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord;

I will sing praises about your name.

50 He gives great victories to his king;

he shows loyalty to his anointed,

to David and his descendants forever.

Original Intent

1) Why is God being described with so many different visual images by David?
This psalm was written as a song of worship after the Lord gave David victory over his enemies; specifically, God had delivered David from the hands of his greatest enemy, Saul. The images David evokes in
verse 2 are often used throughout Scripture to describe the strength, ultimate safety, and sovereign power of the Lord God. (Psalm 62:1-2, Psalm 46:1) Here, David emphasizes God’s ability to protect as a rock, employing the name for God “Jehovah Machseh” meaning “our refuge”.  David’s imagery paints a visual picture for God as being a place to run and find shelter. Rock, fortress, deliverer, shield (Jehovah Magen), horn of salvation, and stronghold are all images David uses to describe how God has acted towards him in his recent battle, and these are just in verse 2 while the rest of the psalm is flooded with additional word pictures of the saving, rescuing God.

2) How does the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:10 connect with this passage?
In Old Testament times, the shield, as part of a soldier’s armor, was typically as large, or larger, than the soldier himself.  It was tall enough and wide enough to hide behind, and constructed of various materials, but most often leather. During battle, enemies would often lob flaming arrows, but the leather of the shield would be able to quickly extinguish the flames rather than ignite the whole shield, providing adequate protection for the soldier hiding behind it. David calls the Lord his shield here in Psalm 18, as well as in Psalm 3:3 “You are a shield and in Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield. David trusted God because of what he’d read in Scripture of how God had previously acted on behalf of His people as well as his own experiences of how God had worked in his life. While David wrote some Psalms of Lament when he couldn’t see God at work or understand the “why“ of his situation, most of David’s writings point to the faith he had in knowing God would make all things work out for the good of himself, the good of the nation of Israel, and for God’s glory. Even in the midst of his laments, David still reminded Himself of God’s faithful love, even if he couldn’t see or understand the ways of the Lord. 

3) Why would David refer to God as his “shield of salvation” in verse 35?
David repeatedly declared that God was a shield, not just any random shield, but his own personal shield. David didn’t view God as an inanimate object as a rock or a shield, but as a personal, deeply intimate Protector who fought specifically and intentionally for David. This protection could not be replicated in any other form of rescue, only Yahweh, the God of the Bible, could bring about David’s salvation, which was ridiculously impossible against such a strong and cunning foe as King Saul. God alone, as David’s loving and mighty shield of protection, brought David victory and saved his physical life against all odds. David also recognized that while this rescue from the hand of Saul was temporary and physical, he knew the salvation of his soul for eternity could only be won by through the Mighty Rescue of Yahweh as the Shield of Salvation. (Psalm 91:14-16, Psalm 27:1, Psalm 118:13-14, Psalm 71:15-16) Here David praises God for His salvation.

Everyday Application

1) Why is God being described with so many different visual images by David?
Because Jesus is the exact representation of the fullness of God (Hebrews 1:3), (meaning, He IS fully God), every description of God in the Old Testament also applies to Jesus in the New Testament. Describing the divine, infinite God of the universe is daunting, but through our encounters with Him, we can use the words and descriptions we are familiar with to attempt to describe Him to the world around us. This is what David did in his victorious song, and this is what we can do as well! Where David called God, “the rock”, we also see Jesus being called “the cornerstone” in Acts 4:11 by Peter and in Ephesians 2:19-20 by Paul. By saying Jesus Christ is our Rock, believers mean He is our unshakeable foundation and unending source of strength when we are weak. Another word picture for shielding protector is the image of an eagle spreading his wings over you, or a mother hen gathering her chicks and holding them close (Psalm 91:4). Jesus wants to hold you close. How have you experienced God in your own life? What descriptions would you use to describe Him to others as David did? Take the time to write out several of these and practice sharing them with others as God gives you the opportunity to tell about Him!

2) How does the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:10 connect with this passage?
While the shield of faith helps us extinguish flaming arrows of the enemy thrown our way (Ephesians 6:16), we can also use our shields to protect others within the Body of Christ. Just as armies often did in the past, some would hold a shield in front of archers to protect the archer as well as the shield bearer.  The Romans had an amazing tactic called Testudo (Turtle) formation , whereby locking their shields together with their fellow soldiers, they provided covering for all of them.  That is something we can do as well! We don’t have physical shields we can hold in front of our friends, family, or ourselves, but we do have the Shield of Faith. When we use our shields in connection with others’ shields it can help protect those we know may be going through a time of struggle and doubt. We can use our faith to cover them when they are going through a battle of their own. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24-25, Galatians 6:2) While our faith isn’t tangible and we can’t hold onto it like a physical shield, the Bible describes faith as “confident evidence for something we cannot see with our eyes.” (Hebrews 11:1, paraphrased). Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthian church that we only see a reflection of the fullness of God in the here and now. The King James Version gives the image of ‘looking through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12) to help us understand we cannot see the whole picture now. We can only trust and have faith that Jesus sees all, knows all, and is working on our behalf because of His great love for us. This is faith, trusting God by taking Him at His Word revealed through Scripture. When we anchor in His faithful Word, we are taking up the shield of faith and allowing Christ to fight for us!

3) Why would David refer to God as his “shield of salvation” in verse 35?
David understood God not only protected him like a shield against his enemies like King Saul, but he also had eternal salvation in God. Our foes are many, and often come attacking on all sides. By far, however, our greatest enemy is our own sin, which brings our eternal death and separation from God. This is an impossible-to-defeat foe when we rely on our own strength or “goodness”; we are simply neither strong enough nor good enough. But Christ is! Through Jesus, we can have salvation because He paid the penalty for our sin, which is death. He paid for it with His own death. When we believe that He did indeed pay this ultimate price for us when He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and crucified, not for His sins because He was sinless, but for ours, He becomes our shield of salvation! (Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, 1 Peter 1:18-19) Sisters, is He your Shield?!

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with Shields Together!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

Digging Deeper Community

Share What You’ve Learned!
Pray Together!
Join us in the GT Facebook Community!

Our Current Study Theme!

This is Shielded Week Two!
Don’t miss out on the discussion!
Sign up
to receive every GT Journey Study!

Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.