Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:12
Christians are “the righteous” not because they have attained a standard of righteousness themselves but because Jesus has made them righteous by his blood. “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22). Christians are given righteousness, it’s not earned, it’s a pure gift.
As Christians, we’re blessed. God has given us righteousness and we’re eternally saved. This is an enormous blessing and one that we will only fully appreciate when we see heaven. Furthermore, we’re surrounded with the favour of the Lord.
God has numerous ways of bestowing his favour, sometimes through unlikely sources like in the times of Ezra: “Praise be to the Lord … who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord” (Ezra 7:27). God can move even a pagan king to act with favour towards his people. At other times he shows his blessings through ordinary people and circumstances.
Sometimes we’re like children who don’t appreciate the favour their parents show them, rather we take it for granted. However, the more grateful the child, the more favour they are likely to receive from their parents. Likewise, God is more able to bless grateful children who acknowledge his blessings.
In this verse, God’s favour is seen as a shield. The Psalmist could have described it as a coat or a blanket but instead, it’s portrayed as a shield which immediately speaks to us of protection. It’s not our preparation, planning, or clever schemes that protect us but rather God’s favour.
Do we acknowledge God’s favour and receive it with thankfulness?