THE SHIELD OF TRUTH
“For Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
When the Christian looks at the wicked world, his comment is, “How can we escape?” In addition to the obvious worldly pleasures of the flesh like sex and drugs and alcohol, there is the creeping influence of feminism and homosexuality. In all honesty, the pious believer wonders how long he can hold out against these devastating evil forces. After all, the believer is human, too, and susceptible to every pleasure the world has to offer. St. Paul aptly describes our evil inner nature when he writes, ”Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:3
Our times are truly wicked, but no more wicked than the days of Lot, or of Moses, or of the Greeks or the Romans. The flesh will have its way, and idleness and the little yellow coin simply make it worse. What can we do to fight it? Actually, nothing. Certainly, we would lose all if we tried to attack the devil. He is a spiritual force immensely stronger than the staunchest believer is. The same is true of our flesh. No way are we strong enough to say, “I will go so far and no further.”
What we need to realize is that we are nowhere called to attack temptation, but to flee it. Fight we do and fight we must, but not to attack the devil or eliminate evil from the world. Our battle is to keep from losing our precious faith. Martin Luther said it well when he wrote: We pray that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world and our flesh may not deceive us.” The Psalmist says it this way: God encloses us with a large shield, a shield larger and infinitely stronger than the huge shield of Goliath, which the Psalmist was unable to carry.
The shield with which our Lord guards and keeps us is the shield of truth, as the Psalmist wrote in another place, “His truth shall be thy shield.” What is that truth? It is the only truth in the entire world, the truth of God’s word on which our hope of heaven is based, the truth that our Savior destroyed the power of the devil by his holy life and death. That is our shield. When temptations assault us with all kinds of lies about what makes us happy, the shield of God’s word assures us how much we need our heavenly Father every moment of our lives and that there is no happiness without Him. God’s word gives us the amour and the strength to use it in our battle against the Force of Evil. May the Holy Spirit keep our hearts focused on God’s word, the shield that will keep us unto eternal life!