Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Psalm 84:8-9

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of Your anointed.


These verses are about approaching God: "...hear my prayer, give ear..."

I think it is very interesting that the psalmist says to the Lord, "Behold our shield."

Usually the Psalms tell God that He is our shield; they don't ask Him to look at our shield. For instance:

Psalm 3:3
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Psalm 18:2, 30
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold... This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Psalm 33:20
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 115:9
O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.

Psalm 119:114
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. get the idea. God is our shield. So in this Psalm it is slightly unusual and strange that the Psalmist should say, "Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of Your anointed."

If God is our shield, what is going on here?

I picture Jesus as our shield, and God looking into the shiny metal surface of this protective battle gear, seeing His own image, perfectly reflected in His Son who covers us with His grace. Jesus, God's anointed.

It is because of Jesus that we can pray to God and have audience with Him. It is only by the blood of Christ, spilled on our behalf, that we can have access to the Father.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16, ESV)

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