The Romans used two different shields, a small round one and the one Paul mentions — 2 1/2 x 4 feet. It provides a movable defense, and allows many men to advance on the enemy in formation, while being protected. The integrity of the shield was critical — as with other weapons, when you need it it’s too late to find out it doesn’t work.
above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Warfare involved flaming arrows — usually dipped in tar and ignited. As the arrow found its target, not only did it injure the person it hit, but bits of flaming tar splatter and injure others around.
Satan shoots fiery arrows such as:
- God doesn’t love you anymore.
- God isn’t hearing your prayers — you’re not doing it right.
- You gone too far, you’ve lost your salvation.
It’s our shield of faith — faith that God says what He means and means what He says — that extinguishes these fiery arrows of the enemy.
First, it’s the maneuverable part of the armor, and to some extent, covers weaknesses in other areas. When things go really sideways, when you’re stumbling backwards, when all else fails, you can take cover behind the shield.
That means faith. Faith is not blind trust, it’s a reasonable expectation based on facts and experience.
Your faith in God’s Word must be solid. You may not understand everything, but what God says, He means. The more you put that faith into action, the stronger your shield becomes. It’s not based on our understanding, it’s based on His promises. We must insure we understand the nature of God, as that’s where faith begins.
Roman soldiers locked shields together to advance on enemy positions, creating something akin to a tank, allowing advances on fortified positions, if soldiers work together.
The Christian soldier must use the same tactic. Going it alone fails in combat — both spiritual and worldly, which is why divide and conquer remains a valuable military strategy. Spiritual enemies know this as well, and want to pick you off by separating you from the remainder of your unit.
Study Nehemiah 4, and notice in verse 18 Nehemiah had next to him someone who blows a trumpet.
Why? Whenever you hear the trumpet, everyone was to rally around. In trouble? Having trials? Blow the stinking trumpet! Don’t try to go it alone.
Never forget the Roman soldier’s lesson — you advance shoulder to shoulder with your team.
It’s critical ideas learned on Sunday aren’t put in the back pocket for the next six days. No, they work Monday as well. If you ignore your combat gear six days of the week, you can’t be very effective.
Main ideas for the shield:
- What God says, He means.
- Faith isn’t for Sunday only.
- Soldiers advance together.
Get those down, and you’re well on your way to having a superior shield.