Sun and Shield

My 13-year-old daughter loves amazing facts.  She researches them on the internet and brings them home from school.

Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee

She doesn’t ask for sappy teen romance novels on her Kindle but for books with names like, “100 Fascinating Facts!”

One day last week she brought home a fact about the sun.

“Did you know that if the sun went out the global temperature of the earth would drop to 0 degrees Fahrenheit within one week?” she asked.  “Within a year, the temperature throughout the earth would be -100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

“No, I didn’t know that,” I responded. “But it sounds terrible.”

I was reminded of this in the middle of the night last night when the storm raging outside my window awakened the migraine storm in my head to rip me from sleep at 2:30 a.m.  In the middle of my misery, God began to sing strands of Psalm 84 through the pain raging in my head.

“…the Lord God is a sun and shield;

the LORD bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withhold

from those whose walk is blameless.”  Psalm 84:11

What does it mean, I asked myself, for God to be my “sun”?  What did that mean for the Psalmist who penned this song thousands of years ago?  When I think of the sun, I think of the fact that the earth and all of the planets revolve around it, but I assume the Psalmist did not know that.

What did the sun mean to the ancient man who wrote Psalm 84?

I think the sun meant everything to him.

You see, modern man with his electric lights and glowing screens has learned to ignore the sun, to take it for granted.  This was not the case for the Psalmist.  For him, the day began when the sun rose and ended when it set.  Ancient man knew just how dark the darkness truly was.  He was also well aware that without the sun’s rays, his crops did not grow.  Apart from the fruit of the earth, hunger and death stalked his children.

The sun was the warmth on the Psalmist’s face, the hope of a new day dawning.

He may not have known the earth revolved around the sun, but he was well aware his very life depended on that fierce ball of fire in the sky.

And so my life depends upon the The Creator of the Light. Upon His command alone, do I awaken to face each new day.  At night, He graciously cloaks me with sleep so that I may rest from my labor.  He is the light, the only light, in my darkest hour. He is the Great Life Giver, the One Who Supplies My Daily Bread.

He is my comfort in a harsh, cold world.

He is forever my hope of a new day dawning, and His mercies are ever new.

He is my sun and shield.





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