Our Shield and Defence
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16
Read Psalm 3
We all know what the function of a shield is: to ward off the blows of an enemy. In our text, Paul speaks of fiery arrows. This was a well known, tried and tested, offensive technique in ancient times. Arrows were dipped in pitch, lighted with fire and shot toward the enemy. If such an arrow hit its intended target, houses and bulwarks were set aflame. If such an arrow hit a soldier, the injury inflicted was usually fatal. There was only one remedy against this ammunition: shields that were covered with wet animal hides. A fiery arrow would be doused by the wet skin, thereby saving the warrior from being harmed. In those days, armies used both larger and smaller shields. In any case, the combatant sought refuge behind his shield. What is your shield?
Paul speaks of the shield of faith. This does not mean you should put your trust in your faith, for that would be a form of self-reliance. Instead, he is saying that you and I can only be safe through faith in Christ alone. The Christian’s shield is not the exercising of faith but the object of faith. Such a faith always rests upon the living God and His infallible Word. David often declares in the psalms that the Lord is his shield and defense. This is only possible for Christ’s sake. We must become small and insignificant in ourselves and seek refuge behind the cross of Golgotha. The Lord Jesus has directed the fiery arrows of God’s wrath towards Himself. Therefore, do not travel today without this shield as your defence.
Thought: What happens when you have a shield but do not use it?
Psalter 5:1,2 (based on Psalm 3) O Lord how are my foes increased! Against me many rise; How many say, In vain for help He on his God relies! Thou art my shield and glory, Lord, My Saviour O Most High. The Lord from out His holy hill Gives answer when I cry.