Character and Compensation for Ministry

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84.11, KJV).

The pleasures of sin are but for a season of time. We make it our aim to be well-pleasing to God. We choose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy these pleasures. We esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in this world. We look to a Continuing City and a heavenly reward. We prefer a life of godliness over the ways of sin. We make sacrifices in this life without any guarantee of a payoff. We choose to wait for our reward. We know that grace eventually gives way to glory.

Grace tried is better than grace, and it is more than grace; it is glory in its infancy.      – Samuel Rutherford

The Psalmist proclaims, “Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84.9-10). A day in His courts is better than a thousand days without HIs presence. Why?

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84.11).


Photo Credit: Sue Oesterwind

The Lord God is not a sun and shield to those who walk self-righteously. He is not a sun and shield to those who walk sinfully. No, He is a sun and shield to those who walk uprightly. We find in this verse both the character and the compensation of godly people.

Character of Godly People: They Walk Uprightly

We walk uprightly before God and people.

Our upright walk is before God and man. We might have hidden motives for an upright walk before people, but we cannot deceive God. Our goal is the glory of God. Our approval must come from Him. God has given us righteousness. We demonstrate this righteousness for His glory in our lives. We walk in this way not for our honor or to be seen of men; we walk in this way so that we might have the pleasure and smile of God upon our lives.

We walk uprightly in sincerity and truth.

An upright walk is not easy. Spiritual maturity and wisdom are the fruit of an upright life. Such a life cuts through the deceitfulness of sin in our hearts. We might think that we walk uprightly when we are actually walking in great sin. Jesus said that there would be people who would kill His disciples and think that they were offering God a service.

One such person was Saul of Tarsus. He said that he thought he had to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus. He even imprisoned many believers who were later put to death. He cast his vote against these believers (John 16.2; Acts 26.9). That’s why the upright walk must be a sincere one. The upright walk must be pure and undefiled. It is an informed walk filled with the Word and the Spirit. Our daily intake of the Word is set ablaze by the Spirit of God who guides us into all truth while steering us away from self-deception. Those who walk uprightly don’t shrink back from the rebuke of a brother or a harsh critic. We strive to keep the way clear. Our desire is for an eternal quality of life.

We walk uprightly in faith and duty.

An upright walk is measured by the Golden Rule. Those who walk uprightly do unto others as they would have them do unto them.

  • Those walking uprightly have holy and altruistic motives.
  • They set their hearts on above things where Christ is.
  • They follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • They bathe their lives in prayer and commune with God as friend with Friend.
  • They lean into the Lord in complete dependence upon Him.
  • They hate the hypocrisy in themselves.
  • They strive to find true satisfaction as doorkeepers in the house of God rather than dwelling in the tents of wickedness and ease.
  • They hate every false way.
  • They pray, “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep the two great commands of the Lord Jesus while fulfilling His great commission.”

Compensation for Godly People: God’s Goodness

God is good to those who walk uprightly. His goodness is demonstrated by what He becomes for us. Secondly, His goodness is demonstrated by what He does for us.

  1. What God Is for You
  2. God is Both a Sun and Shield for You
  3. God is a Sun for the Upright

We are anxious and worried in the darkness. But the sun lights the pathway ahead. It provides warmth and security. It fosters growth. “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: [the LORD] is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous” (Psalm 112.4). When Israel sat in darkness, the LORD was a light for them (Micah 7.8) and so He shall be a light for you. “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4.2).

God is a Shield for the Upright

We are weak and vulnerable before the world, the flesh, and the devil. There are things that we know we shouldn’t do and yet we do them. There are things we know we should do and yet we don’t do them. The upright are savagely attacked from every quarter. Persecution, trials, and inner despair render many ineffective in their ministries for the Lord Jesus. But our God is a Shield for us. The fiery darts are hurled, and the shield of faith extinguishes them before they cause harm.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
And every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (Isaiah 54.17).

Our God is a Sun and Shield for those who walk uprightly. As such He produces an eternal quality of life through us and protects us as we pass through this world as strangers and aliens in it.

What God Does for You

God Gives Grace

You only walk uprightly because of the grace of God. You cannot work for righteousness; God gives you this righteousness as a free gift. Yet we live in an arrogant, divided world. We fight and do not have. We do not have because we do not ask. We ask and don’t receive because we seek pleasure rather than a passion for God.

Friendship with the world is enmity with God, but God gives to us more grace as we humble ourselves before. Him. We all need grace. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4.16). The grace of the Lord Jesus is sufficient for all of us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12.9). God gives grace for this moment in your life.

Grace and glory differ very little; the one is the seed, the other is the flower; grace is glory militant, and glory is grace triumphant; and a man may as well plead for equal degrees of grace in this world, as he may plead for equal degrees of glory in the other world.  – Thomas Brooks

God Gives Glory

The problem is that as we walk uprightly, we find suffering precedes glory. God gives grace for the present and glory for the future. He grants us victory after victory on the field of battle today and an unfading crown of glory tomorrow. We shall indeed reign with Christ!

God does not withhold these good things or any other good things from those of us who walk uprightly. If it is good for you to have a wife, the LORD will provide. If it is good for you to have children, the LORD will provide. If you should need wealth and prestige in this life, be certain that you will have these as well. God doesn’t withhold from you now and will not withhold from you at the Judgment Seat of Christ. God gives grace, glory, and many other good things to those who walk uprightly!

Psalm 84.12 says, “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” We are blessed of God because we trusted in Him. We are upright because we trusted in Him. The LORD is our Provider and Protector. He gives grace and glory. What more could we ask for?

Some of the people you minister to will wear the mantle of morality. They will strive for integrity and build a mountain of self-righteousness that will be nothing more than a heap of rubble before the LORD.

  • God is not a Sun to these people; instead, He is a consuming fire.
  • He is not a Shield to them; instead, He is set against them.
  • He shall not give them grace and glory; instead, they shall have wrath and indignation.

He will not give them grace in the present and glory in the future. They live a futile life today and beg for a drop of water to cool their tongue tomorrow. Always remember why a day in God’s presence is better than thousand days without Him…

For the Lord God is a sun and shield:
The Lord will give grace and glory:
No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly

Psalm 84.11

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