Shields and Bucklers
“Shields and Bucklers” by Kay Burgess.
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)
What’s a buckler anyway you ask? Excellent question – I’m so glad you asked. I wasn’t sure either, although I have read about them in the Bible many times. Then I had the opportunity to visit several medieval castles in Spain, and there in those historic armories with all sorts of weird and scary weapons, I discovered that shields and bucklers are by no means the same.
Shields are larger, heavier weapons held by straps attached to the forearm that could be employed against an attacker or stuck into the ground and used as a deterrent against oncoming projectiles. A buckler is also a shield, somewhat smaller, more rounded, also held by the opposite hand, also very effective as an offensive weapon.
Yet David declares in Psalm 91:4 that the Lord shall be our shield and buckler. Why the distinction? The shield offers more overall protection and can be used as part of a shield wall, whereas the buckler would more likely be used for personal defense in times of faster, more aggressive fencing. Up close and personal, when the attack gets into our personal space. David’s distinction lets me know that either way – whether we are fighting in company with our brethren or whether the enemy has attacked us individually – God is our refuge and strength and has already provided for our protection and defense.
Psalm 91:4 specifically declares “his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Today more than ever, His truth is what sustains us and protects us. The Word of God has not changed or diminished in any way, regardless of the enemy’s attempt to cancel everything even remotely godly or good. We can stand firm on the truth of God that He will never leave us or forsake us. We can trust that any weapon formed against us will not prosper. When the enemy comes in like a flood (or a pandemic) the Spirit of the Lord in us (His truth) shall lift up a standard against him.
So fight on, my sister. Keep fighting the good fight. Put on the whole armor of God and pick up your weapons of the Spirit. Build a wall of prayer and praise around your home, your family, your church, your city. Use the weapons God has provided for your defense – the enemy has no power against them.
The buckler also serves one other important purpose: gripped tightly in the left fist, it is used for deflecting blows and for protecting the thrusting hand. I don’t know about you but that excites me. That tells me that not only do we have the weapons we need to vanquish the enemy, but our great God has also provided protection for us as we use them. When we trust in, and employ, the Word of God in our lives, we have a tried-and-true promise that He will be our defense. “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30).
Note: Wife, mother, and veteran missionary, Kay Burgess lives in Madrid, Spain, where she and her husband pastor Tabernáculo de Vida Madrid and serve as Superintendents of District 1, Madrid. She also currently serves as National Ladies Secretary for Spain.
(Info from: Ladies Prayer Intl June 2021 – UPCI Ladies Ministries – email@example.com)