King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place and committed them into the care of the captains of the royal escorts who guarded the entrance to the king’s palace. – 2 Chronicles 12:10
Shishak, the king of Egypt, captured the fortified cities of Judah and in the process took the gold shields that had been fabricated by Solomon’s artisans as a reward. To replace them, King Rehoboam had shields made of bronze and gave them to the captains of his royal escorts. Do you get the picture? From that moment on, whenever Rehoboam went out with his royal entourage, there would be 300 escorts carrying bronze shields instead of gold ones … and everyone who saw it would be reminded, not of the king’s power, but rather of his defeat. Rehoboam’s reign was, from that moment on, forever tainted by failure. While bronze and gold are both shiny, they are certainly not the same thing. The inherent worth of the latter surely exceeds the former … and most of us know the difference.
Maintaining a pure testimony is also not easy. The enemy is cunning and defeat is an ever-present reality. In fact, failure … at least in part … will most likely occur in some form over the course of our lives. Yet, the answer is not in pretending to be something we are not, by trying to make bronze look like gold. The answer is in pointing to the greater “gold” of His grace. Testimonies are never pure, but the One to whom we testify is.
You may clean it up and buff it until it shines, but your “shield” is not your own glory and power, no matter how lustrous. Your shield is Christ.
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. – Martin Luther