YHWH Chereb and YHWH Magen
Names of God – Part 31
The LORD our sword
The Lord our shield
YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God.
The second part of the name here is how God relates to us:
Two names here which are closely related, I am dealing with them together because of the way they are treated as one in the book of Deuteronomy (with my bold added):
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.
Deuteronomy 33:29 ESV
The context, the Israelites have come out of Egypt, and after wandering in the desert for 40 years, being fed by God, a new generation, born in the desert who did not witness God’s power in the plagues of Egypt or the parting of the Red Sea, are about to cross the Jordan and take possession of the land God has promised them.
The military imagery here is important, it is not by the power of their own armies that they will be taking the land, but God will be leading them. Protection and victory come from God.
God is our protector and God fights for us. The Israelites soon found this out, trying to fight in their own strength caused disaster. The book of Joshua is an example of this, by the end of that book the whole country should have been subdued and the Israelites ruling, but the book of Judges which follows tells of the Israelites having been subdued and having to rise against their oppressors.
Paul uses the imagery of the shield and sword in the passage on the armour of God. Faith, relying on God, is our shield and the sword is the Holy Spirit.
This is still about God’s relationship with us. God wants to protect us and fight for us. He wants us to rely on him for protection. He wants to fight our fights for us. We have our part to play in this, our part is to go where God leads us, trusting in him.