The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7; 1 Samuel 19
A human shield is a military and political term describing the deliberate placement of non-combatants in or around combat targets to deter the enemy from attacking these combat targets. (Wikipedia) As an experienced warrior, David understood the importance of having a shield in battle. A shield is an important source of protection in combat. It can deflect the swing of a sword or knife in close combat. It can provide valuable protection when arrows are shot or a spear has been hurled. Having a shield increases the odds of surviving in battle and giving a defensive edge against the enemy. In our devotion this morning, we will see three valuable people God used to shield David from the wrath and attacks of King Saul. Each of these people are spiritual human shields God provided David at a critical time in his life
First, David is helped by the advocacy of a CONFIDANT.
“And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good.” Jonathan was the first man to approach David after he defeated the giant Goliath. Jonathan and David were knit heart-to-heart as friends. At a very needy time, Jonathan put his own reputation and namesake at risk by advocating for David’s safety and restoration into Saul’s presence. There was a truthful transparency between David and Jonathan. Jonathan’s friendship is a reminder that “a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” He shielded David through his intervention. In a day of superficial friendships, all of us need to step up and be a Jonathan who speaks well and takes a stand for the Davids that God places in our lives.
Second, David is helped by the affection of his COMPANION.
“Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain. So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.” David had been followed home. The messengers of Saul were watching him with the intent of taking his life in the morning. Michal lovingly counseled David to immediately escape that night for his personal safety. The only means of escape was down the wall from a window high up. Michal held the rope so that David could escape. She shielded him through her involvement. Marriage is a God-designed relationship where spouses will hold the ropes for each other no matter what. Holding the rope takes a lot of strength, is very exhausting, and is risky. It could result in injury to the one holding the rope at the top. However, Michal accepted all the risks and “Let David down through the window.” Hold the ropes for your spouse at all times, but especially when he or she is going through a time of immense pressure and trial.
Third, David is shielded by the advantage of his COUNSELOR.
“So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.” Samuel was the man of God in David’s life. He was the one who anointed David to be king. He was the one who showed absolute confidence in God’s selection of David. Samuel shielded David through his practices. Samuel was serving God in Naioth when David came. David knew he could find safety where God was being served. He also shielded David through his prayers. Samuel shielded David through his intercession. He had a man of God who valued David’s spiritual wellbeing by being in God’s presence for him.
Each of these human shields risked themselves for the benefit of David. They had faith in God’s Word and plan; and did not allow the loss of reputation, respect, or reward keep them from being a help to someone in need. Doing right for God will sometimes cost us, but it is always worth it. Be ready to respond when you are needed the most.
Have a faithful God Morning!