The Shield Of Faith

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).

More than any of the elements of the defensive pieces of God’s armor for the Christian, this “shield of faith” is so important that it is said to be “above all.” Perhaps this is because it is to be used to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” These flaming arrows were designed to create fear in the heart of the soldier and to set fires within the camp, thus driving the soldiers away from their ranks and into the unprotected open. It worked, too, unless the shield was used.

Usually, the enemy would fire great volleys or salvos of arrows, thousands at a time, only seconds apart. Both the sights and sounds of the effects were terrifying. The sky was ablaze and the air alive with the hiss and sizzle of these awesome missiles. And, interestingly enough, the most effective defense against this barrage was for all soldiers to form ranks together and raise their individual shields, joining themselves side to side, end to end, to form a “roof” (shield) over themselves and the camp. When the arrows fell (they were shot from a distance and at a high angle), they would clatter harmlessly on the firm “roof.” But let one soldier drop his shield, or open a gap between his shield and those next to it until the fire storm was over (they sometimes went on for hours), a “fiery dart” would get through, setting fire to the clothing, equipment, or ground cover under the “roof,” which would quickly spread and destroy the “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13), scattering the soldiers and giving an advantage, and perhaps a victory, to the enemy.

These “fiery darts” are so effective that they can be disguised as “ministers of righteousness” (II Corinthians 11:15). But Satan flees if we “resist steadfast in the faith” (I Peter 5:9), above all, taking the shield of faith. HMM, III

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