Hiding in the Word.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word. (NIV)
Our passage today teaches that God is our hiding place and our shield. Neither of these is offensive. He is not my arrow, my bullet, my grenade launcher. No, He is my hiding place. If we are honest, we want the attacks to stop. When people have attacked me or my family, I want God to stop my enemies. But I am reminded that God loves my enemies the same as He loves me. His patience with them brings me assurance of God’s patience with my wrongdoing. Instead, the Lord allows me to hide behind Him.
Those attacks aimed at me hit Him. This is a very good thing, but maybe not for the reasons we might think. Our first thought may be how good it is that we can hide from our enemies so their bullets get stuck in the shield that is our God. But also, when their weapons find a target in God, there is greater potential for repentance. When we hide behind the Lord, the attacks of others bring upon them the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that they might have remorse and change.
We hide behind the Lord by putting our hope in His Word. In other words, when under attack, we set ourselves behind the Lord as we obey His principles as we are attacked. Loving our enemies raises the shield. Responding to harsh words with kindness sets us within the strong tower of God. It is only when we take on ungodly words and attitudes that we stand in the line of fire with no defenses.
To respond to attacks with ungodly behavior not only leaves us vulnerable to attack, but it also creates a thirst for the attack in our enemies. Bloodthirsty men increase their thirst with each kill. Ungodly behavior in response to ungodly behavior makes both bloodthirsty. The anger increases and the arguments escalate.
Hiding behind the Lord while under attack is not easy. Our natural reaction is to return insult for insult. It requires self-discipline that also comes from the Holy Spirit. If we are not in the Word, meditating and communion with the Spirit daily, we will not be ready when the attacks come. Before we even know it, we will have lashed out. Prepare for the battle in peace so that in battle, you can maintain your peace.
Prayer: Lord, give me the discipline to seek You when things are good so I can hold on to You under attack. Amen.