For it is You who blesses the righteous [wo]man, O LORD,
You surround [her] with favor as with a shield (Ps 5:12NASB 95 emphasis added)
With Doreen Hanna, coauthor (with me) of Raising a Modern Day Princess, I stepped out of the evening meeting at the International Christian Retail Show. The sky seemed a little foreboding, but it was just a few blocks back to our hotel, so we thought a nice evening walk would be a lovely treat. However, about halfway to our goal, the skies opened and harsh, cold, wet torrential rain poured down! We looked for a shield from the downpour. We wished we had brought an umbrella. Under an umbrella, we would have been safe from the storm, yet still able to navigate forward to our destination.
Our spiritual life is the same. According to Psalms 5:12, God promises a surrounding shield, his favor, to those that are righteous. This promise is echoed in these verses as well:
- Lord, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. (Psalm 125:4 NIV2011).
- My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart (Psalm 7:10 NIV2011).
- May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you (Psalm 25:21 NIV2011).
- Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering (Psalm 26:1 NASB95).
- Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever (Psalm 41:12 NIV2011).
- He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones (Proverbs 2:7–8 NIV 1984).
- Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out(Proverbs 10:9 NIV 2011).
- The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity (Proverbs 11:3 NIV 2011).
So what do words like integrity, upright, and blameless mean?
Integrity: to be perfect, completeness, integrity.
Upright: straight (as opposed to crooked) and morally innocent and proper according to a standard.
Blameless: innocent . . . condition of moral goodness, with a focus of being guiltless and not liable for sin or wrong.
Your choice to be blameless and to walk upright with integrity secures your place under God’s “umbrella.” Are there any areas you have been cutting corners that might move you out into the storm of the world’s values?
If you do not own an umbrella (or if yours is boring black), buy one, a memorable one—fuchsia, lime green, rainbow stripped, or polka-dotted—something vivid to remind you that the best place to live is under God’s umbrella of favor.
 Swanson, J. Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic edition). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.