By: Alan Smith
Ps 5:11-12: But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (NIV)
The favor of God—what an awesome concept! Is it real? Do you really think we can have the favor of God? Does God really “pour out” His favor on us? It is obvious from these two verses that David believed that the favor of God was real. We can also see that David made a request of God; a request that God’s favor would be a shield for him from his enemies. Wait a minute: a shield from his enemies? I know that Jesus tells us to love our enemies and to pray for them; but how can we do this? Is it possible that we can do this because we have the favor of God on our lives? If this is true, then when we love our enemies, do they see this invisible shield around us? What does this shield look like to the enemy? Could this shield be a reflection of the favor of God? Could this reflection be a light which blinds the enemy?
It seems to me, that for me to reflect this shield, I must first believe that it is there, just as David did. In the verses above it says that the “righteous” are the ones that will be surrounded. Well, at first glance of this verse, I know I am doomed because sometimes I am not too righteous—can you relate? So, will this favor come and go, as my righteousness comes and goes? If so, then this creates another problem. How will I know whether or not I have this favor from one day to the next? Perhaps the apostle Paul can help us understand this better. Let’s look at what he has to say in the book of Romans.
Rom 3:21-22: But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (NIV)
When I am truly honest with myself, I know that I am not really very righteous. It seems that the best I can pull off is being very religious. But in honesty I can also say, without hesitation, that any righteousness in me means that I have appropriated my faith in Jesus Christ. What a message we have to give to the world: “Just believe in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in you, and God will see you as righteous while you are working out this great salvation”! This faith in Jesus sure does have a lot of benefits. I can sign up for this program. God’s rehab program for mankind allows us to make it no matter what our test scores are. Psalm 5 says: You bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Not only has God given us this righteousness, through His Son, as a free gift; but He also sends us a shield from heaven that comes from the very heart of God: a shield of His favor. Whoa, a spiritual shield that is the very favor of God: our shield, our protector! God really does love us, doesn’t He?
My prayer for us is that we will believe more each day in this One called Jesus from Nazareth. He is the One that has given us the gifts of righteousness, favor, and a shield. Now, may we take refuge in Him and be glad, and may we ever sing for joy at this wonderful truth! We can now believe that the stories of our lives will end with this statement: “And they lived happily ever after”!
Well, just a thought for today.