It was a weird sensation, being airbrushed for a video shoot. I sat very still while a fine mist of ivory liquid swept across my skin. “Ah,” the makeup pro said at last, smiling at her work. “Flawless.”
Nice try, sister. All the Cover Girl in the world can’t hide my many imperfections—inside or out. When it comes to flawless, there’s only One place to look.
Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God…Proverbs 30:5
I love how the Bible makes this crystal clear. Not some words, not most words, but “all God’s words” (CEB) are counted here. “Everything God says” (CEV) and “every word that God speaks” (ERV) is perfect, finished, complete.
Want to know how “you can trust this” (ERV)? Because “God keeps every promise he makes” (GNT).
I don’t know a soul who has kept every promise they ever made. Not my parents, not my teachers, not my siblings, not my friends, not even my darling husband. And I hate to even think of how many times I’ve neglected to follow through on my own promises.
We all drop the ball now and again. But God? Never.
…is flawless;… Proverbs 30:5
Even the finest diamonds have flaws, but God’s Word is “pure” (CJB) and “perfect” (NIRV). We know this, not only because He says so, but also because His Word has been “tested” (NASB) and “fire tried” (DRA). Not in a blacksmith’s forge—in real life.
When fear starts to creep into my heart or skitter up my spine, I turn to His Word and read it aloud: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). Then, I take His promise and run with it. I tell that ugly fear, “God is here.” I stand still, breathing quietly and listening intently, until I sense God’s presence, just as His Word describes.
We do our part because we desperately need Him.
He does His part because He said He would.
And because He loves us completely.
When we take God at His Word and trust what He has promised, it “proves true” (ESV) and “passes the test” (EXB), every time. Have you tried Him? Then you know: God always has your back. “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
God might make you wait, but He never makes you wait alone. How can we be sure? Jesus said, “I am not alone, for my Father is with me” (John 16:32). God is our Father as well, beloved, and He offers the same assurance to us.
I think I just heard a huge sigh of relief. And it gets better.
…he is a shield… Proverbs 30:5
Several months ago, we learned that God is “a shield to those whose walk is blameless” (Proverbs 2:7). In Hebrew, magen means a literal “shield,” which is why the six-pointed Star of David is more properly known as the Shield of David.
Who carries shields? Soldiers. Protectors. Knights. Defenders. And God, who “guards” (NCV) us with “a shield set afire” (WYC). Wow. What enemy would dare come near a mighty God with a flaming shield?
…to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
His refuge offers a “safe place” (ERV) for us. We just have to be willing to run to Him and let the Lord handle things.
This is where I get in trouble. Miss Do-It-All-By-Herself says, “I’ve got this. No problem. Here, hold my Diet Coke.”
So, let’s say I tackle a difficult email (the kind that starts out, “I don’t mean to criticize you, but…”), and I forget to consult God. My first draft sounds defensive, the second sounds petulant, until I finally turn to God for help. Only then do my words sound more like His words—compassionate and understanding—instead of grumpy and childish.
Thank you, Lord.
Still, think of all the wasted time and unnecessary teeth-grinding I could avoid, if I simply ducked behind His shield in the first place. If I said, “I trust you for the perfect words, Lord. Please show me what to say.”
Because He will. Gladly.
Who’s welcome to step behind His shield? The people who “hope in him” (DRA) and “put their trust in Him” (MEV), the ones who “come to him for safety” (CEV) and “seek his protection” (GNT).
It’s a big shield, my friend. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is the One holding it, providing “a safe-covering” (NLV) for all who are willing to admit they need His help (yeah, that’s the hard part).
Some of us have been bruised by abuse. Broken by disappointment. Weighed down by depression. We don’t think we’re worth protecting, worth rescuing. But the Lord says of His people, “You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isaiah 43:4).
Have you been redeemed by His righteousness? Made whole by His holiness? Set free by His sacrifice? Then you can jump behind His shield, anytime. In fact, you can live there, safe and secure, the whole of your life.
Does that mean you’re weak? Oh, no.
It means you’re strong. It means you’re wise.
It means you’re His.
Heavenly Father, how comforting to know that I am never alone, never defenseless. You hide me behind Your shield. You hold my fears at bay. You keep me safe. You give me peace.
Now it’s your turn
- How does this verse from Proverbs comfort you? challenge you?
If you have a moment to share your thoughts, just click Post a Comment below. So appreciate it when you do! Your Printable of Proverbs 30:5 awaits you, as do all our favorite Proverbs on Pinterest.
Meanwhile, something FUN is on the horizon: Monday, November 24 join Ann Voskamp and me on Twitter as together we watch a reprise of last year’s Christmas on the Farm, while we chat with you in real time on Twitter!
All you need to do is…
Start watching the Christmas at the Farm video on your computer at 2:00pm ET (or whenever you join us)
Jump on Twitter and look under “Search” for this hashtag: #TheGreatestChristmas
Join our live, on-screen conversation, cup of tea in hand, as the Tweets fly by!
It’s BYOC—Bring Your Own Cookies—but we do have some yummy Christmas at the Farm Recipes for you to try. It’s gonna be a BLAST (especially since I’ve never Twitter Partied before!). We both have some lovely gift packages to share too.
(If Twitter isn’t your thing, not to worry. We’re trying to figure out how to party on Facebook—surely it can be done. If you receive my NewsNote, I’ll be giving away goodies there as well, plus special custom-made gifts for you here on my blog—just a small way of saying a big thank you for opening God’s Word with me each week!
Your grateful sister, Liz
For friends who love getting lost in a story: A Wreath of Snow
For friends who love being inspired: The Women of Christmas
Thank you for sharing such wisdom that is woven with the Scriptures Liz. I facilitate a GriefShare group and belong to a church that has a lot of hurting people in it this season and these words are timely. May you be blessed abundantly as you continue to be faithful to His calling.
Thanks, Rebecca. This IS such a hard season, especially for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one this year. Add shorter, grayer days and colder, inclement weather, and the last two months of the year can be a real challenge. Bless you for your ministry to the hurting!
Thank you for sharing this! It is very encouraging to remember/be reminded that God is my shield!
So visual, right? And yes, so encouraging, Martha. Thanks for your comment!
What a great verse! And so timely. The holidays are so hard for so many reasons. Some people can’t deal with their families for whatever reason. And some wish they had families. The local six pack shop had this message on the sign out front “we have beer to help you deal with your relatives”. For far too many, beer is a refuge. I prefer to snuggle under a warm blanket with my Bible, either nook or actual paper, and a cup of tea with milk and sugar. No matter how trying my family can be at times, I don’t think they would ever plot to kill me, sell me to foreigners instead, and tell my dad I must’ve been killed. If Joseph’s brothers don’t make us feel better about our own families, certainly God’s words in Jeremiah do-“I know the plans I have for you…” God’s Word is the best refuge anyone could want.
I never thought of reading Joseph’s story as a way to deal with our own family challenges: “At least we’re not THAT bad!” Love it, Jaime. Joy to you this holy season!
Thanks so much for your posts they are such a blessing!
I love it that His Word is flawless, we can always trust everything the Word says. I also am so encouraged He is my shield. I love it that you said “you can live there”…what a great idea -that’s what I’m going to do!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving Liz!
Seems wiser than running back and forth, murmuring, “I’ve got this!” “No, I don’t” “I’ve got this!” “No, I don’t.” (Pretty much how I did life for MANY years!) Bless you for sharing, Susan.
God’s timing is always perfect and your blog was what I needed today.
Can’t express my gratitude, just know how blessed I was reading your “words”
May you be blessed. Elaine
So right, Elaine. God delivers what we need when we need it!
This is the second time this week that God’s word has spoken to me about a shield, refuge, a safe place ( Hebrews 6:18). I feel encouraged and challenged to live under His protection daily. Those words bring comfort to me. My family is so broken and when I try to make sense or fix it I only stay disappointed. Under God’s shield I can trust Him and be safe no matter the circumstances around me. I am so thankful for the treasures of God’s word you share and that I discovered your books several years ago now.
Honored to count you among my readers, Linda, in print and online. I am very sorry to hear about the brokenness in your family. May God comfort you and heal those relationships as only He can.
Liz, thanks so much for these encouraging words today. I enjoy your studies very much.
It’s my JOY to prepared them for you and our sisters, Diane!
I read this today and became highly aware that God is speaking to me through this devotional. I needed this reminder today. When all around us things seem to be falling apart, we still have HIS promises! Thanks for sharing, Liz.
Isn’t it wonderful to know God loves you, Joann, in a profound and personal way?
Again, I loved this reminder that our God is trustworthy!! and His word is flawless. Over and over He gives me chances to trust Him and know that He is good!!
And how I need to know that!!! I wish this Proverbs study was in a book!!!! Any chance of that?
Those words are powerful, aren’t they? Trustworthy. Flawless. That’s our God. And YES, Irene, I am proposing that very idea to my friends at WaterBrook Press. Hoping they say yes! :>)
So thankful for this verse Liz, it really encouraged me again to know that I am totally safe in Him. And that His word is flawless. WOW!
Wow is exactly right! Really more than our finite minds can grasp. Happy Thanksgiving, Jannie.
It has been another difficult year for us, since I fell and shattered my leg last Jan. Oh how I wanted to go to Scotland with you, Liz. I think my heart shattered as well as my leg because we realized I would have to cancel my trip with you. Then after months of rehab I was disappointed once again, when the original plate that they placed in my leg broke. A second surgery, this time by a trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt, put new plates in with stronger screws. They did a bone graft and everything looked great only to have a third surgery to clean out infection in my leg. A week in the hospital on antibiotics and I was so despondent, all I could do was cry. I’ve only been home a few days, but again Our Father has shown me how much He loves me. As others have said, He is indeed faithful even when I am not. He is my Shield and Jesus goes along with me through thick and thin forever. Thanks Liz for being you. Your blog through Proverbs has strengthened me all along this year, and I pray that it becomes a devotional, so even more sisters can be Blessed by it, like “Rise & Shine”. Sorry for the long post. You are the true heroine of your books!
Our pastor talked about this very same thing at church this morning. Don’t you love when that happens? Thank you for writing about this today.
I’m looking forward to Christmas at the Farm again this year! What a blessing.
Thank you for the reminder that no matter what or how bad the situation is God is always there as a protector that cares about me and my little problems.