Oil the Shields
Blog by Adam Scharfe
I love reading about the heroes of old, the men and women who did extraordinary things for God! In particular the Old Testament prophets tend to grab and hold my attention. They were from all walks of life and experience, plucked out of in some cases total obscurity and chosen as seekers of the Most High. Amongst the many miracles and extraordinary feats of faith and accomplishment therein lay a number of strange things God asked them to do, which leaves me often asking why? Why, to the point of even feeling sorry for them. Jonah for example, was asked to go cry out against violent hostile and disinterested people… Hosea, was told to marry an adulteress… Ezekiel, shave your head and burn it around the town, if that’s no bad enough Zeek, the Lord also requires you to make and eat some bread coked over a burning pile of cow dung…. hmm and you thought you were having a bad day!
These Oracles of Yahweh, Seekers of God and Seers of the Most High, envisioned emboldened messages of both grace and woe. Can you imagine the toll of that emotional burden? To them at times it was overbearing even to the point of physical exhaustion, the prophet Jeremiah wept over the decay of his nation in much sadness. Jonah finally obeyed God then he ran away depressed. At the threat of Jezebel, Elijah fled the scene after leading a national revival. Isaiah, the prophet who foretells the coming of the Messiah ‘pretty good news right!’ Scribes in the 21st chapter of his prophetic accounts that he’s in total anguish and in bewilderment at what he had foreseen. However let me draw your attention to the juxtaposed command he gives in response to foreseen calamity. Isaiah cries “Get up you Officers, Oil the Shields!”
Another version says “Arise O’ Princes Prepare for Battle!” This cry was no benign platitude or fleeting stir it was a command that required urgent obedience and action.
Have you noticed that in our culture there are critics near and far, nay sayers and pseudo prophets declaring the difficulty and challenges of life, voicing the negativity of seemingly bewildering, insurmountable problems of the world, not to mention the relentless opposition of culture to righteousness and a God centered life?…..BUT WAIT…..We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved the writer of Hebrews exclaims!
Isaiah’s charge to “Get up you Officers and Oil the Shields” sounds strange to us today just like many of God commands would have to the prophets of old, because honestly who owns a ‘shield’ in this age of technological transcendence and soundbite sensations. Well quite simply, YOU DO! Not a literal one but a spiritual one. The Bible states that your faith is a shield as well as oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and His anointing power!! The Bible, God’s word declares that we are modern day ‘officers and princes’ simply put we are LEADERS. Whatever sphere you are called to lead, you are called to GET UP AND ARISE!!!
CAN I ENCOURAGE YOU AS I ENCOURAGE MYSELF? C’mon be steadfast don’t look back, don’t give up, don’t falter left or right but choose, in the midst of it all, keep running, keep fighting, keep pursuing and keep seeking the Holy Spirit! Bathe your faith shield in His oil of anointing in His presence and watch the impossible become possible!!
“YOU WILL SEEK ME AND FIND ME WHEN YOU SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART.”
– Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) –