I had the chance of growing up during one of the most exciting eras for new technology, the creation of video games and consoles. The implementation of PONG in the 70’s, followed by the Atari 2600, Coleco Vision and Intellivision consoles started off the revolution. Then the next era of Nintendo, Sega, NEC SuperGrafx and NeoGeo. Eventually we got to Playstations and Xboxes, and the revolution is now infinite to the world of gaming.
In midst of this revolution was also the personal computer. Starting with the Vic20, into the Commodore 64 and eventually the Amiga the predecessor of the modern computer. Personal computers brought video gaming to whole new level. Can’t even imagine how many hours I played games in my childhood. As the creation of FPS’ with Duke Nukem and Doom appeared on the scene, they competed heavily with an era of RTS games of Dune, Age of Empires and Command & Conquer.
It was during this time that my fascination with military conquests, armies and war began. It would be fair to say that we developed a mild addiction to AOE. It was a game with many different civilizations and military strategies. Each uniquely designed with different units and armour. It was the armour that was so cool. Particularly the shields that complemented the armour set. The styles and purposes for each type to protect in a different way always peaked my interest. So when I heard one day that God had a name as a shield, I was all over it. So today we gonna look at Jehovah Magen, God my Shield.
Let’s look at two scriptures to bring this out. Psalms 18:1-2 (NKJV) and Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield (Magen), and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler (Magen);
I choose these two scriptures because they bring out something relevant. One translates the word shield and the other buckler. In the second scripture it actually says shield and buckler separately. Personally, I found this confusing so I looked into it. So when you look up the word Magen, it means “A shield; a protector; also the scaly hide of the crocodile” Scutes (scales on crocs): serve a protective function; body armour against environmental abrasions and predators.
BUCK’LER is a kind of SHIELD, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off.
A buckler differs from a shield in that a shield is carried by straps and worn on the arm whereas the buckler is held in a “fist” grip. Over time, the weapon has changed and developed regardless of whether it was held in the fist or worn on the arm. What can be said is that the buckler was small and more maneuverable as a hand-held shield for deflecting and punching blows then the larger often full body defensive shields. A buckler actual is combination piece that is used offensively as well, as it is an object that assaults your foe.
So really what does this mean, it means that God is not only a full body shield for us but he is also a smaller fist shield used in combat. They both are shields, they both serve a purpose and they are both effective weapons of war. As time has continued we have seen the evolution of bubble shields, these can completely surround us on ever side. Ultimately God is a shield to us on every side and when I pray, I like to envision myself surrounded by this impregnable defense system of the Lord.
The Bible says Jehovah is a shield to those who walk uprightly (Proverbs 2:7), trust him (2 Samuel 22:31), and fear him (Psalm 115:11). What does this tell us? It reveals that we need to be confident with our trust in God and walk in the fear of the Lord. This is a life of faith, but as we do so we can surely know that our God is going to hedge us in on every side as we go through the storms of life.
Another attribute of the shield we discussed was that they had an umbo in the middle of them. This was important because as the enemy sends attacks of fiery arrows, the umbo deflects them to the side. The attacks against us end up being useless duds as they fall to our feet. We have to always remember that we are in a war everyday. Sometimes, we can sure up in the fortress, but other times we are on the front lines of the battle and Jehovah Magen being our shield is a strong defense on the battlefield. It should always be remembered that not only does a shield protect, but it allows us to advance as well.
Here is how you can pray the name of Jehovah Magen. Father God, I thank you that you are my shield this day. That I can be confident knowing that you surround me, you protect me when trouble is near. When the onslaught of things come against me, my character, my family, my finances etc., I know that you are hedging me in from the enemy’s attacks. Your word says that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and I know that the weapons the enemy uses this day will deflect off your shield and fall to my feet.