(16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.Ephesians 6:16
The Roman soldiers shield was an important tool at his disposal during battles. Much has been written on what these shields were like. The word for shield here is “thureos”. The word comes from a root word “thura” which means ” a portal or entrance (the opening or the closure, literally or figuratively): – door, gate.” It is connected with the word door because there were different kinds of shields. This “thureos” was a large door shaped shield that could cover the whole body. One commentator wrote this about the shields:
“Before a battle in which flaming arrows might be shot at them, the soldiers wet the leather covering with water to extinguish the arrows. The Roman legionaries could close ranks with these shields, the first row holding theirs edge to edge in front, and the rows behind holding the shields above their heads. In this formation they were practically invulnerable to arrows, rocks, and even spears.”NET Bible Notes
How is faith a shield?
Is it faith or trust in God or faithfulness to God that is the focus of the shield of faith?
We do trust in God as our shield. Certain psalms refer to God as our shield:
(3) But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.Psalms 3:3
Interestingly, like a shield, there is protection when we trust in it.
(11) 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. (12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.Psalms 84:11-12
If you do not put your trust in the shield by getting behind it, then it will do you no good. Do you see that in verses 11 and 12? “The Lord God is a shield… Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”
Obedience brought about by faith protects us all the time. Isn’t the obedient child protected because of his trust in his parents? He may not understand why he should stay out of the road when playing, but when he obeys, he’s protected from the traffic. We must learn to understand that when God says “Do not” it is for our good. He does not want us to hurt ourselves or others. We must trust His Word. We must trust his law. We must trust Him implicitly.
When we do not trust in God, and when we disobey, we will find our selves in battle without protection. Flaming arrows are headed our way. These arrows are the “methodias”, or wiles, or strategies, or our enemy. We must depend on the Lord to protect us by trusting in Him.
Lord, please help me not to trust in anything more than I trust in you. Amen.