I wrote this post shortly after we moved to Texas before my husband and I were married.
July 20, 2008 [edited]
A Sun and Shield
Hot, hot, hot! Welcome to Texas. The land of heat, wasps and dead grass - well, at least it is this year since this area is presently having a bit of a drought.
Today I was walking down from my future house to the house of my brother and sister-in-law where I'm presently staying. The two places are next door and connected by a longish driveway which makes a great path for walking between them. There is more or less sunshine on this driveway depending on where the sun is in the sky, and since the sun is so hot here right now I generally try to walk in the shade as much as possible. Some people might wonder at my apparently erratic course when I'm walking between the two places because I don't follow the shortest distance between two points, but the shortest distance between two shadows. So, I tend to zigzag somewhat on my journey.
This afternoon the temperature here was apparently hovering around 100F when I made the trip down that path. I could actually feel the change in the temperature when I walked out of the sun into the shade, there was that much difference between them. In thinking about that it brought a verse to mind, and other thoughts as well.
I looked up the part of the verse I thought of and here is the passage it comes from - Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
I believe this is probably speaking of the Lord Jesus in the Messianic sense. He is a man who is a hiding place and so forth. He is also a shadow of a great rock in a weary land. On a day like this I can appreciate this thought. It truly is a weary land here today. If you had to spend much time out in this heat it would make you tired. It would make some of us very tired.
I also think of this verse: Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
The Lord is both a sun and a shield because at different times we need both. Sunshine is very necessary to me in dealing with the anxiety disorder that I have. In the winter time in Tennessee it was not uncommon for me to struggle through days when the sun didn't shine and I could not get this important ingredient, especially if there were several cloudy days together. The sun's rays supply us with vitamin D and probably other things that are essential to our health both physically and mentally/emotionally.
In that respect, the Lord is a sun to us. He supplies us with necessary things that we need to keep us healthy spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. As it says in Malachi 4:2, But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. The Lord, in the role of providing spiritual sun for us provides us with the growth and health that we so much need. The idea behind a calf of the stall is that it never wants for anything.
But, thank God that He is also a shield! He does not burn us up with His strength, glory and power as the physical sun would if we were subjected to too much of it. The Lord provides protection and comfort as well as light and growth. The shadow of a great rock, a covert in the tempest, water in a dry place, a hiding place from the wind - these are all things that represent protection and comfort for the weary and struggling. What a blessing that when the way is too long, the struggle too hard, the heat too great we can step into the shield of the Lord and find protection and a time of rest and refreshing!
Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day...
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
Elizabeth C. Clephane
Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.