By Sandy Mittelsteadt, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice
Psalms 5:12 states: “For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
This is a promise from God to you! In fact, Martin Luther quoted this verse when he was walking to meet Cardinal Cajetan, who had summoned him to answer for his heretical beliefs at Augsburg. As Martin Luther and one of the Cardinal’s associates were walking, the associate asked Luther what would happen to him if his patron, the Elector of Saxony, should desert him? Luther’s answer was “under the shield of heaven!” And, you might be thinking that Martin Luther was a righteous man and surely God would protect him, but I am not that righteous. Allow me to assure you that, according to God’s way of thinking, you are righteous. As a follower of God, it is not your righteousness, but His righteousness that covers you. Thus, this verse in Psalms is very much a verse for you and me. This is a favorite verse of mine and I pray this verse several times a day. To my way of thinking, you cannot have too much favor from God.
When I first read this verse, I decided to test it out by using people from the Bible and I wanted to see if I could find God favoring both Jews and Gentiles and both men and women. I asked myself, how were they favored by God? The best person I found as an example of a Jew and a man to use for this verse is Joseph. You might not think that Joseph was favored by God, but he was!
(Favored) He was his father’s favorite son and his father gave him a coat of many colors.
(Test) His brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery,
(Favored) He was sold to Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard, who promoted him to oversee his household.
(Test) Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he refused, and she accused him of rape and he was put in prison.
(Favored) In prison, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners.
(Favored) Pharaoh had a dream and Joseph interpreted that dream, so Pharaoh made him the highest ruling official of the kingdom of Egypt.
As you can tell, Joseph had favor in all kinds of circumstances. Because of this favor, he saved his family and the Jewish people.
Another example for this verse in the Bible was Ruth. She was not a Israelite, but rather a Gentile from Moab and all she had in the way of favor was a poor mother-in-law, as both her husband and her father-in-law had died. She and her mother-in-law decide to travel back to the Promised Land, specifically the town of Bethlehem, to find protection. They arrive in Bethlehem in a state of terrible poverty, but Ruth wins the love of Boaz through her kindness. She is being, in fact, both favored and protected by God, through her relationship with Boaz. In the Book of Matthew, Ruth is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. I would say that Ruth was not only favored, but she was highly favored. So in the Bible, we can find both Jews and Gentiles and both men and women being favored and compassed about as with a shield.
I would encourage you to take this word of God in Psalms 5:12 and apply it to your life. Test to see if it works. I personally have taken this test and I have seen God work in miraculous ways in my life! I would like to tell you of one of my stories about God’s favor on my life. As my husband and I were traveling in Morocco several summers ago, I received a call from the Association of Career and Technical Education. They told me they had just been awarded a grant from the Gates Foundation to hire a consultant to head up their Coalition for Workforce Development through CTE. I didn’t even know about the grant and had not participated in writing it. There were literally thousands of qualified people all over America who could consult for this grant, but ACTE located near Washington, DC, reached out to me living across the country. This had to be a God-thing, because I had prayed and asked God for the opportunity to work after I retired from being the Principal of the Career and Technical High School in Taft. I had not applied for any positions nor told anyone that I was looking for work. I had only told people that I was retiring and had prayed.
I believe that God will also work in miraculous ways in your life. Think of places where you don’t have favor and pray Psalms 5:12 daily. Where do you need God’s favor – with your family, your business dealings, your job, or promotions? Allow God to open doors for you.