By Bob Bunn
Helmets were made from metal and leather and protected not only a soldier’s head, but also their neck and shoulders from attack. The top of the helmet showcased a crest made from dyed horse hair to signify the rank of each soldier. Confidence in our salvation given through Christ allows believers to combat doubt with the assurance of our position in God.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years, especially in the world of contact sports where concussions occur regularly.
The concern is understandable, since CTE has been linked to mood swings and behavior changes, particularly in athletes who have suffered multiple concussions over their careers. Scientists believe the cumulative effect of these concussions is somehow linked to brain dysfunction later in life. It’s even been associated with violence and suicide.
That’s why hockey players are required to wear helmets. It’s why phrases like “targeting rule” and “concussion protocol” have entered our lexicon of football terms. And it’s why many parents are steering their children away from contact sports altogether.
Of course, this is nothing new. Even in ancient times, people recognized the importance of guarding their heads. Long before people knew much of anything about how their brains worked, soldiers wore helmets into battle. They knew that their heads were vulnerable, and they did all they could to protect themselves from danger.
That image of vulnerability resonates in Psalm 140. As a warrior, David understood better than most why soldiers needed to protect their heads when they went to war. But he also knew that other enemies were metaphorically taking aim at his head. They were targeting his weakest points.
While we don’t know the specifics of his struggles, the passage implies that David was facing a battle he knew he couldn’t win alone. He was dealing with threats from every side. He was feeling exposed and pressured. In response, he leaned into the only One who could shield his head when the real and proverbial arrows started to fly. He called out to his “strong Savior” (Psalm 140:7).
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, life feels like a constant parade of struggles. Depending on the timing, we are all heading into a storm, drifting in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm. It’s part of the human condition, and being a Christ follower doesn’t exempt us from the dangers of those battles. Just like David, our enemies are still taking aim at our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities.
But, as Christians, we can remember that we never face those attacks alone or unprepared. We serve a God who fights for us. He doesn’t just give us a helmet of salvation. He is our helmet of salvation. He knows the gaps in our defenses better than we do, and He serves as our shield in those moments when we are most vulnerable.