“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
This is a beautiful verse from a beautiful psalm of David. According to the subtitle in my bible, it was written when David was fleeing from Absalom, his son, who was trying to take over the kingdom. From the first two verses, we can see a two things. One is that David has a lot of enemies at this point in time. There are a lot of people out to get him – literally. Secondly, they’ve begun to condemn him. In verse 2 it says, “many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’” So not only are people seeking to take his life, but they’re also saying that not even God will save him now.
David knows that isn’t true though. Directly following those words, he says in defiance of their condemnations, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
How amazing is that? I just imagine David, tired, running for his life from his own son, probably feeling a whole range of emotions from betrayal to sadness to anger, yet this is his mindset. He focuses himself on God. He doesn’t let the words and the condemnation of others change what he knows to be true about God. He has enough of a relationship with God already that little things like that can’t shake his foundation of faith.
He says that despite all of the things that are against him, he knows that the Lord is with him, surrounding and protecting him. When his glory with man has been ruined, he knows that his true glory is in God alone. When everything is stacked against him, and his chin is down from all the anger and sadness and anxiety is mounting, God lifts his head to face it all with confidence.
That’s a powerful relationship. That’s confidence. And that’s the relationship and the confidence that you and can have with God too. David was a man just like us, with plenty of shortfalls and failures, but what he did have in his favor was that he always, always turned back to God. In every moment of weakness or trial or guilt, he humbled himself and turned to God. Ironically, it’s that humility that made him Israel’s most powerful king.
Let’s be encouraged by this psalm of David today. Know that God is your shield, your glory, and the lifter of your head. He is with you and he will not leave you. Humble yourself before him in your trials, hardships, disappointments, and guilt, and he will lift you up.
You are my shield and my strength. You are my glory. You’re the lifter of my head. I praise you God, and I humble myself before you. Surround me, Lord, and give me strength and life and peace.
In Jesus’ Name,