Tag: meaning

My Shield and Buckler!

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With Covid-19 we have been watching a LOT of TV.

How about you?

 

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At one point a while back, we committed to watching all of the Marvel Avenger movies and TV series in chronological order.  And WOW!  Is that ever a LOT of TV!

If you’re familiar with Captain America, you’ve seen the round shield that he holds and flings and defends himself with.

Last week I was praying Psalm 35 in the New King James version – not my regular NIV or NASB, and noticed the title of this Psalm of David is The Lord the Avenger of His People.  Interesting since we are in the middle of watching the Avenger movies.

I have asked God many times to contend with those who contend with me and fight against those who fight against me.  Meaning, as Ephesians tells me, that my fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  So it is a spiritual battle.

I have prayed the second verse many times too, but this time when I read and asked for the Lord to Take hold of shield and buckler and stand up for my help, I stopped to wonder what is a buckler?  And what’s the difference between a shield and buckler?

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When Paul was in prison and wrote about spiritual warfare, he was seeing the large shields the Roman Guard used. When they marched into battle the shields gave them head to toe and side to side coverage.  The heavy shields were thick and could repel lances, spears, and an onslaught of artillery. And they would fit together with other warriors’ shields forming a veritable wall which they could rest or advance behind.

So that’s what I picture when I read and pray scripture.  But in trying to understand more I see that the word buckler is a different kind of shield.  It’s more of the Captain America type.

super-hero-1132272_640It is a smaller handheld round shield, for lack of a better word, that can repel slings and arrows and be used for more close personal combat.  A buckler is worn on the forearm and gives the wearer the flexibility of engaging in hand and combat.

It creates a very different picture in my mind of how God defends me – not standing tall behind a shield and dispensing perfectly targeted shots – but beside me or standing back to back with me, fighting up close and personal, hand to hand.  I’ve got to say, it’s an exciting way to envision it!

Now I know God is all powerful, and is far greater than I can picture or even imagine.  He far exceeds a Roman soldier or Captain America.

But going deeper into His Word, investigating the Hebrew and Greek languages, understanding the context of scripture is enlightening and exciting!

book light on girlAs I am investigating more, there may be another layer of understanding.  I looked up the word in English to get a better picture.  But there are also 2 Hebrew words that seem to add an additional element to yield even more understanding of shield and buckler.

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Try looking up a word in a scripture you like.  Investigate the original word that was used before translation.  See if that sheds any light on your understanding.

It’s one major way God speaks!

Who wants to be blessed?

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And what does that even mean anymore?

When someone sneezes and we say “Bless you!” is it just a conditioned response?  Or are we really conveying a spiritual consecration?

 

 

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In scripture, there was a special blessing spoken over the people of Israel once a year by the High Priest.  A Hebrew teacher who goes by The Rabbi’s son teaches the full meaning behind the 6 verbs that make up 6 separate elements of blessedness in this Aaronic Blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26.

 

As I was growing up, it was sung over me every Sunday in the Military Chapel we attended on the Army bases where we lived.  Whether in Arkansas, Arizona, or France it provided a sense of how constant God’s love and protection was over me.  But I never understood the full breadth of it’s beautiful meaning until studying with this Rabbi’s Son.

Here is a more complete translation of these holy words:

May the Holy One infuse you with unlimited potential and empowerment and release you from restrictions and limitations preventing you from reaching the fullness of your potential to participate in your divine purpose.

May He zealously cherish and treasure you, diligently defending and keeping watch over you to protect and save you.

May the light of His innermost being and essence illuminate you physiologically and spiritually, impacting your body, mind, soul and spirit with His warming, healing, soothing, restorative, empowering and constantly renewing energy.

May the Holy One give you what you really need, not out of pity, benevolence, generosity or some misguided thought that you have earned it, but because He has promised, as the stronger covenant partner, to strengthen you and enable you to reach your potential and enjoy the covenant He entered into with you, when you accepted Him as Savior.

 May He come out of the Holy of Holies to be present with you so you can experience true spiritual reality.

And may He place in and establish in you wholeness, wellness, purposeful living in joy, with abundant provision, harmony, safety, security summed up in the Hebrew word ‘peace.’

 

Perhaps you’ve heard this sung on you tube or facebook recently.  Several performances have been released lately as a response to the pandemic.  Here’s the link to one of my favorites:

Click here.

And if you want to read more about The Rabbi’s Son, go to: https://biblicallifestylecenter.org

Here is the scripture in Hebrew and English:

The “Priestly Blessing”

Y’varechecha Adonai

[May the Holy One bless you]

v’yish’merecha

[and zealously cherish and keep watch over  you]

Ya’er Adonai panav elecha

[May the Holy One’s Face shine upon you]

v’chuneka

[and shower you with grace]

Yisa Adonai panav elecha

[May the Holy One lift up His countenance upon you]

v’yasem lecha shalom

[and may He give you wholeness, wellness, security, abundant provision, and peace].

[Numbers 6:24-26]

 

God Bless You!

You Light My Path

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Recently I found myself walking with a group of friends in the dark. I had a small flashlight that came in handy as the sidewalk had a broken and uneven surface.

 

detective-flashlight-260x300We huddled together and moved forward cautiously. At first, I thought it would be best to shine the light up ahead of us so we could see where the path curved or stopped at a curb or was cut off by bushes.   But it became clear that we could walk with the most certainty and speed when the light shone brightly on the very next step we were to take.

Looking ahead is good for getting a sense of direction, but we needed the close, step by step guidance to be sure our ankles didn’t turn or slip off the narrow path.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Your Word, the Bible, is that light for me. The scriptures come alive in the circumstances of my life.

Pros_and_Cons_of_Tech_Communication_When I am not sure which option is best, Your Word tells me “Trust in the Lord with all Your heart and lean not on Your own understanding.” So while it is wise to make a list of pros and cons and count the cost of decisions, the logic of the world is not the final answer. Trusting in You to lead me through prayer and Scripture helps me make my final choice.

When I feel frustrated with something I had hoped would turn out better, You tell me “Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time [you] will reap a harvest…”. It picks me up and lets me know that instant gratification isn’t always available.   And reiterates that some things take time to see desired results.

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Or when I feel discouraged, alone and depressed, You tell me “I have carried you since your birth…I will continue to be with you and sustain you, even when you have gray hairs. I will always carry you; I will always sustain you; I will always rescue you.” [paraphrased to personalize] Your Word reminds me I am never, ever, no never, not ever alone.

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Like the flashlight on the path, Your Word helps me see that next step and take it.

Thank You Father, that You care so much for me that even in the darkness of this world and its ‘wisdom’ You have made a way for me to stay on Your path and keep moving ahead safely.

Click on these to read the scripture again and see what God might be saying to you:

Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5; Galatians 6:9; Isaiah 46:3-4