Have you ever walked across a dark room and bumped into a stool or some other object that’s knee high? Oh, the pain! If you have had that experience, you understand the idiom ‘a kick in the shin’. That phrase is used to describe an extremely painful event or situation. The shinbone, or tibia, is just under the skin and is therefore extremely vulnerable to about any kind of blow. A hard strike to the shin can be debilitating.
In ancient days, warriors and people who had to negotiate rugged, rocky terrain often had their lower extremities protected by armor for the shins called ‘greaves’. The primary purpose of greaves was to shield the tibia from attack. The Bible specifically mentions greaves: “And he (Goliath) had greaves of brass upon his legs” (1 Samuel 17:6).
In our modern day, it is no surprise to me to find that athletes in any number of sports wear shin protectors. But I was shocked to see the large number of companies that sell shin protectors for the elderly. As balance and strength diminish, the need for this kind of protection increases.
In the spiritual world, Satan attacks areas that are most vulnerable or that will result in the most harm. He delights in ‘kicking us’ in the spiritual ‘shins’. It is nearly impossible to develop an all-inclusive list of highly susceptible areas in believers’ lives. Weak areas vary from person to person. The following list is illustrative rather than exhaustive: greed, materialism, a critical attitude, self-centeredness, cheating on your taxes or engaging in unethical business practices, pornography, lust, gambling, gossip, slander, lack of personal devotional and prayer time.
God can equip believers with greaves to protect the soul. Consider these verses of scriptures:
- “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head” (Psalm 3:3, NKJV).
- “You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great” (Psalm 18:35, NKJV).
- “As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless, He shields all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30, NKJV).
- “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 5:11, NKJV).
God’s Word promises us that we can protect our ‘shins’ in the face of life’s uncertainties. Walking daily with Jesus, spending time in God’s Word, and maintaining a consistent prayer life will protect us from an unexpected ‘bump in the night’. Psalm. 91:5 (NLB) says, “Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore.”
“His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night.” (Psalm 91:4-5, NKJV)
~ Brother Roy