“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

The psalm from which our thoughts are taken is a Psalm of the Sanctuary. The subtitle for it in our Bibles reads, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.[1] It was written by an anonymous author. In his excellent commentary on the Psalms, John Phillips observes that there are at least four perspectives from which this psalm can be considered. We could look at it as the thoughts of a faithful Levite in the days of Hezekiah, reflecting the desire to attend and serve at the temple built by Solomon; it could be considered as a prophetic psalm, relating to service in the temple of the Millennial Kingdom, written of by Ezekiel; It can be applied to ourselves, serving and worshipping in the house of God, gathering with those of like desire to honor the Lord; or it could be considered as above all these, a song of Heaven, sounded forth by those who have made it home.[2]

No matter which perspective we choose to take, we understand that it is a psalm that extols the greatness and goodness of our God. I am particularly interested in verse eleven of this psalm, for it reminds us of the person and provision of our great God.

First, the Person Who is our God“The Lord God is a sun and shield.” What wonderful truths are wrapped up in this simple statement! We are reminded that our God is A Sun for the Dark Days of Life. Throughout our earthly pilgrimage, there most certainly will come days of darkness. Many times our life may be darkened by clouds of disappointment, defeat, doubt, and difficulty, but in those dark hours, we can rest assured that there is One who will lighten our way. For “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).

Not only is He a sun for the dark days of our journey, but He is also A Shield for the Dangerous Days of Life. When times of trouble or temptation arise, we have One Who is watching over us. I think of the great words penned by W. C. Martin,

The valley may be dark, the shadows deep,
But oh, the Shepherd guards His lonely sheep;
And through the gloom, He’ll lead me home,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me,
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.

Secondly, The Provision from Our God“The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” This phrase summarizes the life of the child of God. There is Grace for the Commencement of the Journey“The Lord will give grace.” This is how every believer begins the journey of faith: “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). We are reminded that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11), and God has extended His grace that all may be saved.

Also, we are encouraged by the fact that there is Glory at the Conclusion of the Journey! – “The Lord will give… glory.” Not only has He granted grace to begin, but we are guaranteed glory at the end. The wonders of Heaven that await us could never be described by human tongue nor comprehended by human mind, but the center attraction in Heaven will be the presence of Christ Himself. Charles Gabriel captured this truth in his great song entitled, “O That Will Be Glory.”

When by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in Heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will thro’ the ages be glory for me.

Even though the journey may be difficult at times and the path may twist and turn, we know that the end will come, and the blessing of Heaven awaits.

The psalmist also reminds us that there is Goodness for the Course of the Journey“No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” As we make our journey on the pathway of life, we can rest assured that the Lord will provide His goodness all along the way. If we were to begin to count the blessings of God’s goodness, time would not allow us to list all of the goodness of God which has been showered upon us along this journey called life. It is too easy for us to focus on the problems and difficulties rather than on what we perceive as the blessings of life, but we must be reminded that even the problems and difficulties are meant as good for us as children of God: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Truly, David must have known this wonderful truth when he wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (Psalm 23:6).

[1] The Scofield Reference Bible, p. 640.

[2] John Phillips, Exploring the Psalms, Vol. 3 (Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1986) p.92-94.

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Craig Burcham, GSBC Faculty

Bro. Burcham served as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Golden State Baptist College before answering the call to pastor the Mountain Vista Baptist Church in Sierra Vista, AZ. Pastor Burcham travels each week to teach the next generation at GSBC. Before coming to GSBC, he served as a missionary with his family in Japan for several years and then pastored in Missouri.