The Comfort Psalms: God Is Our Protector

Part 1 of a 5-part devotional by Brent Lanigan 

The psalms are some of the most beautiful books written in the Bible. They articulate many emotions that people experience throughout their lives – both in times of contentment and in crisis moments. There are many psalms that reflect people’s praise to God: their joy, worship and adoration of him. But did you know that there are also psalms that express peoples’ honest and raw emotions: their fears, anxiety and hopelessness?

During this COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps you or your family are feeling overwhelmed in a way that you have never experienced before. The beauty of these “comfort psalms” is that they don’t leave us feeling emotionally helpless. Instead, because these passages beautifully reflect pictures of God’s caring character, we are reminded of how much God loves us. Comfort psalms give us hope, peace and assurance that God is always with us and fully understands all the emotions that we feel deeply during times of crisis. Are your ready to discover God in the comfort psalms? Let’s get started:

Part 1: God is Our Protector

Psalm 3: 1-6 (King David sang this psalm when his son Absalom was trying to kill him) “Lord, I have many enemies! Many people have turned against me. Many people are talking about me. They say, “God won’t rescue him.” I will pray to the Lord. And he will answer me from his holy mountain. Lord, you are my shield. You are my wonderful God who gives me courage. I can lie down and go to sleep. And I will wake up again because the Lord protects me. Thousands of enemies may surround me. But I am not afraid.

Historical Tidbit

In ancient Rome, soldiers in the Imperial army were well trained in the use of their shields. Roman armies used their shields with great ingenuity. One maneuver they used was called the testudo (tortoise) formation. This formation involved cohorts of Roman soldiers using their shields to create a protective cover over themselves like a turtle. A group of soldiers would create a protective canopy by having every soldier either hold his shield in front of him or over his head, depending on where he was in the square formation. When all the soldiers did this at the same time, it created a wall in front and a roof over the entire cohort, protecting them from any projectiles their enemy would throw or shoot at them. Today’s reading focuses on God as our protecting shield.

Scripture Study

For the first time in his life, King David was really afraid. His son Absalom was trying to kill him so that he could be king instead of David. Knowing his son was literally trying to kill him truly frightened David. In addition, David was very troubled in heart because many of his people had turned against him and were doubting that God would help him. So David did what he had always done: he prayed to God and told him how afraid and discouraged he was. And though we don’t know the specific answer God gave him, we do know that David came away from this experience fully confident and assured that God would be his Protector.

Sadly, there are many people who think that God does not care about them enough to hear their prayers and protect them from their fears. Especially now during the COVID – 19 pandemic. But we can rest in peaceful confidence knowing that God does hear our prayers and will protect and shield our hearts and minds from all anxiety and fear Satan tries to attack us with. How do we know this? David tells us in the simplest way possible: “I will pray to the Lord and he will answer me…Lord you are my shield. You are my wonderful God who gives me courage…and protects me.” God is our Protector! Isn’t that a wonderful promise?

Questions To Discuss

1) The Merriam Webster dictionary defines shield as a “device that serves as a protective device or barrier.” Have you ever thought of God as your “protective barrier” from fear?
2) When you think of God as a Protector, what do you imagine him protecting you with? A shield like David personifies? Or does another word picture come to your mind?
3) With that word picture in your mind, how do you imagine God specifically protecting your heart whenever you feel anxious, or troubled or overwhelmed about things like COVID – 19?


Thank you God for being our Protector. Thank you for hearing our prayers and protecting our hearts and minds like a shield whenever we feel anxious, troubled or overwhelmed. We praise you for caring about us and loving us so much. Amen.