TITLE: Who Is Our God? - Our Shield
By Diane M. Bowman
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Who is the God we serve? How would you explain Him to someone who doesn't know Him? Where would you start? Maybe the best place to begin is looking at how He describes Himself. Unlike most of us who, at times, would hardly know how to accurately portray ourselves, God is the ultimate authority on His own character.
<BLOCKQUOTE>After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: <b>I am thy shield</b>, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1 KJV)</BLOCKQUOTE>
I am thy shield. I am thy ma^ge^n meginna^h (maw-gane', meg-in-naw'). I am thy buckler, protector, defense and ruler. Another way to translate this Hebrew word is 'the scaly hide of the crocodile.' God is to us what the skin of a crocodile is to the fearsome reptile?
How could this apply to the description God gives of Himself? To start with, He never leaves us. Have you ever seen the skin walk off a crocodile? Now, if He had said he was like the skin of snake that would be an entirely different story. The scaly hide on a crocodile begins to form before birth. God gave us His protection and defense even before we were born again. <i> (But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 KJV) </i>
He is protection in time of trouble. Unlike a shield that a warrior would carry, this reptile's hide encompasses them, leaving no part vulnerable. When attacked by a crocodile, your best hope of self-defense is to poke out their eyes. A bullet will often merely bounce off their hide. An arrow is generally just nuisance, only inflicting enough to damage to annoy.
Yet, while our God is a shield difficult to pierce, He is sensitive. Recently, scientists have discovered that what we typically think of as the impenetrable hide of the crocodile is actually as sensitive as or even more so than human fingertips. Not only does this bumpy, scaly hide protect in a time of attack but also has sensors that allow the crocodile to feel heat, cold, and touch, The sensors also identify the chemicals surrounding it. No other vertebrate has these sensors known as integumentary sensory organs or ISOs. ISOs allow the crocodile to detect prey in the water even when they are unable to see them. They sense heat and cold to prompt the crocodile to move to a cooler or warmer area in order to regulate their body temperature. Sensitivity to chemicals leads them to a suitable place to live. Interestingly, ISOs form on the embryo of a crocodile before the scaly hide begins to form.
God, our shield, directs us away from too much heat, too much cold. He tests our environment to determine whether the place we are in is a healthy habitat. Even when deep in the water, He shows us where we can find food for our souls. (<i>When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee... Isaiah 43:2 KJV)</i>
Another interesting fact is that the hide of a crocodile is secretory. Essentially, it sweats an oily substance that washes the mud off its back. Without the ability to remove mud from their backs, crocodiles would be unable to live in the environment they do. They would eventually have such a heavy load of mud that they would be unable to move. Our shield cleanses us. He removes the filth of our world before it begins to stick to us.
Who is He a shield for?
<BLOCKQUOTE>* He is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31 KJV)
* He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (Proverbs 2:7 KJV)
* Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (Psalms 115:11 KJV)
* 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. (Psalms 84:11 KJV)</BLOCKQUOTE>
To have access to this shield, fear Him, trust Him, and walk uprightly.
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