Ephesians 6 admonishes Christians to put on God’s armor for spiritual conflict. But Paul is not the only inspired writer to emphasize the importance of spiritual armor.
David often engaged in physical battles as king of the Israelite nation. He had great success in both the affairs of this temporal life as well as in his spiritual life and I believe both were under consideration in the 18th Psalm. In this song, David praises God and gives Him the glory for all his accomplishments. David no doubt wore armor when he went into battle, but the equipment he mentions in this Psalm has a definite spiritual connotation.
A Lamp. In verse 28, David says God provided him a lamp to illuminate his darkness. Psalm 119:105 says, “God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” It is one thing to be sure-footed in battle. It is even more significant that David had confidence that his steps in his life were the right ones.
A Shield of Salvation. In verse 30, David said, “The Lord is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” Later he referred to the “shield of salvation” (v. 35). In this passage David is talking about the blessings and protection of God in every area of the life of a person who puts his trust in Him.
A Belt of Strength. David also said that “God girds me with strength and makes my way blameless” (v. 32). As a shepherd, David had the strength to kill a lion and a bear and gave God all the credit (1 Samuel 17:37). But the strength of character that David exhibited throughout most of his life was even more impressive.
I can’t help but find some humor in the scene as David went out to meet Goliath with nothing more than his stick, five smooth stones and a sling. The armor worn by his 9 ½ foot tall opponent was pretty impressive, and the absurdity of the situation wasn’t lost on the giant. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?”
What Goliath didn’t know was that David had on armor that he couldn’t see! The Lamp of God, the Shield of Salvation and the Belt of God’s Strength were providing David with guidance, protection and lethal force that the Philistine could never have imagined. In David’s mind, the fight was over before it began, because the uncircumcised Philistine was fighting against the living God and he never had a chance.
The 18th Psalm is all about trust. Paul conveyed the same attitude as David when he said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Don’t’ worry. Put on your armor, engage the enemy and leave the victory to God.