Got Your Buckler?

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
“Thy faithfulness is my shield and buckler…” To paraphrase one of my favorite modern theologians: “Right, Lord. …What’s a buckler?” 

A buckler is that small hand shield you see in the image above. According to Wikipedia, it has several purposes, all of which seem to have spiritual applications. Let’s look at them:

Hand protection: The primary use of the buckler was to protect the sword hand. — We know from Ephesians 6:17 that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, The Word of God has no meaning if it is not tied to His faithfulness, His truth, the reality that He is who He says He is, and He does what He says He will do. It is that faithfulness which protects the hand wielding the sword of the Spirit.

Deflector: The buckler’s lightness and curved center made it excellent for deflecting attacking blades. Such a deflection would leave the attacker open for a rapid counter-attack. — It is holding His faithfulness out in front of us that deflects the attack of the enemy.

Blinder: The light blades used in conjunction with the buckler depended on rapid movements, which meant that a single second was an important advantage. The wielder of the buckler could use the buckler to shield his sword-hand’s position from view, keeping his opponent from guessing his next strike. — When we neglect to call to mind God’s faithfulness to us personally, we are an open book to the enemy. He knows our habits, and preys on our natural tendencies. But when we are positioning the sword of the Spirit, which is His Word, behind His faithfulness to us, we can strike blows the enemy does not expect.

“Metal fist”: A buckler could be used to directly attack an opponent by punching with either its flat face or its rim. — God’s faithfulness to us is in iteslf a powerful blow to the enemy and His lies.

Binder: The buckler could be used to bind an opponent’s sword hand and weapon as well as their buckler against their body. The buckler was also very useful in grappling, where it allowed an opponent’s arms to be easily wrapped up and controlled. — God’s faithfulness binds the enemy’s hands.

Sight light: In France, a type of buckler was created that had a small door in it. In the small door was a hole that the soldier would put a candle in to provide light — God’s faithfulness throws light on the schemes of the enemy.

We are in a battle. Don’t forget your buckler!


Got Your Buckler? — 5 Comments

  1. If I’m continuing your analogy. (Perhaps too far). One of most noticable feature of buckler is that it’s almost useless if you use just it. Medieval combat sources, like I.33 -manual, are always sword&buckler -manuals. You actually can not block effectively solely with buckler. It’s small and it’s easy to strike through it with powerful strike. But when you combine it with sword, the other sword supports the buckler and buckler supports the weapon. And like that buckler is versatile and useful.

  2. My insight is not spiritual, but pragmatical. As a HEMA -active (Historical European Martial Arts) I can perhaps give something.

    Buckler is surprisingly small. It looks like it would not do much anything. But this is kinda illusion. When you keep buckler with proud and straight hands, it protects larger area. (Usually people keep shields too close to their body, and lose much of the desired effects.)

    You must use buckler combined with your weapon. You can’t “just block”. When defending you use your buckler to deflect the attack – not stop it, but change it’s angle. And your weapon is used to stop attack in certain position. And when attacking, your shield is used to open the line of attack.

    And one fun use of buckler is to hide your hand and weapon. Opponent don’t see how your hand is and loese important information.

  3. Hi Susan,
    I am doing a study in my devotions on Psalm 91 and have as a goal to memorize the chapter, as it is so rich. Thank you for this section on buckler, (vs. 4). I got to your site when I typed in “picture of a buckler”. Glad to have run across you! Are you in the UK? I am in California. I love the connection between God’s faithfulness and the buckler.

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for stopping by, and for letting me know how you found my site! That’s so cool. I’m in Florida, but like to talk with a British accent :-)

      I’m sure your focus on Psalm 91 will bless you richly. Enjoy!

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