Wednesday, January 19 2022 - 11:51 AM
Photo by Pixabay

A Shield of Protection

I’ve come to enjoy reading the Bible, but when I do  I encounter words that are generally not a part of my vocabulary. Sometimes I loosely understand what they mean but I might not know various usages and meanings.

On one particular day, I clicked on my Bible App and started to read. I stopped abruptly when I saw the word, “rampart.” “A wall around a city,” I thought.

I reflected for a second about its meaning and thought to look it up to be sure. My finger gently pressed the word on my tablet screen until it was highlighted in blue. A dialog box popped up with several definitions. “A defensive wall of a castle or walled city, having a broad top with a walkway and typically a stone parapet.” I was almost right.

I haven’t seen too many walled cities but I enjoy seeing photos of the Great Wall of China. I often see its large and thick stones towering out of green foliage over hills and mountains. Its purpose was to protect the country from invasions from the North. It is reported to be over 13,000 miles of wall and it is 16 – 26 feet high.

As I kept reading about my new word, rampart, I noticed that it has modern usages. Several movies are named, Rampart, or has “Rampart” in the title. There are streets named Rampart, and one is a couple of miles away from my home. A musical group and videos share the same name, Rampart; and to my surprise, the word is right in the middle of the song, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

With a little digging, I also learned that the original Hebrew word is actually, ‘sinnah’, which means a large shield or a standing shield. But the NIV translates ‘sinnah’ as “shield and rampart.” Perhaps both words are used here to help the reader understand how strong and big God’s faithfulness is to His children.

Even though “rampart” is common, it did not impact my world in a significant way until now. I went back to reading my Bible text. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4, NIV).

I sat in silence as thoughts and feelings of encountering greatness welled up within. This is an amazing promise written in this verse. The writer tells us that God will cover us, we will find refuge in Him and God’s faithfulness will be a shield and rampart.

Now whenever I read Psalm 91, I pause and see the faithfulness of God as a great shield and a mighty wall that protects His children from the enemy’s invasions. No matter how the trials impact our lives, no matter the pain and heartaches, God’s faithfulness stands big and strong. I can count on Him to be faithful to all that He promises to do for His people. I will never think of “rampart” the same.

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

is a dietitian, photographer, and writer in Southern California.


  1. This was helpful to me as I was stuck on the word rampart while reading Psalm 91. I somehow got it confused with “battering ram” in my mind. Your explanation was one of the simplest I found, and spoke to my own soul more clearly. I like the imagery. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Diana,

      Thank you for your feedback and for your warm thoughts. How wonderful it is to share thoughts with each other because they can make a difference. I am appreciative of your words. Enjoy your studies!


  2. I have been committing Psalm 91 to memory over the past several years. I recently returned to it as one of the Scripture prayers I use as my husband and I participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign. I really appreciated your explanation of “shield and rampart”, or in the New King James version, “shield and buckler”.

    Putting the two terms, rampart and buckler together, and thinking of the TV show “The Vikings” where they posted their shields on the ground in front of them and made a tight circle to ward off attackers’ arrows, the passage became even more personal to me. God tells me he will literally post himself in front of me to keep me safe.

    God’s word is really a Love Letter to us believers. Oh, that all the searching souls in our society should know that!

  3. Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your comments and for your heartfelt words. I appreciate the imagery you have included here because it takes me deeper into Psalm 91. God is awesome and as you point out, it is indeed a love letter to His followers. And thank you so much for your kind words. The deeper our understanding, the greater the strength we receive from God’s words. Go in God’s strength and I hope you can memorize it all!

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