6 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Remember that the shield and the belt were linked together. Without the word of truth you can have no faith. The shield of the Roman Soldier was door-shaped and completely covered the man. It was not little and lightweight. They were made of multiple layers of animal hide ( 6 layers woven together) Yet because it was made of leather, it required a lot of care. If leather is not conditioned properly it gets brittle and starts to crack. So the soldiers were given instructions on how to care for them Each morning when they awoke they would use a small vial of oil and begin to rub it on to the leather to keep it soft and pliable. To insure success, they had to apply the oil everyday. What does that mean to you? Without a fresh touch of the Spirits power, your faith can become brittle and start to crack. Faith ignored will almost always break down and crumble in the face of adversity.
Interesting as well was the fact that many of the soldiers dipped their shields
in tubs of water before battle until the animal hide was saturated. Why?
Read vs 16 again so that you may be able to quench the fiery darts /arrows
of the enemy"(the darts were dipped in tar and set on fire-they also had
arrows that were filled with combustible fluid set to explode on impact) )
This made it crucial for your shield to be well oiled and saturated
(Ephesians 5:26 says that we are cleansed by the washing of water by the
word) The more saturated they were, the more slippery and sometimes
arrows just slipped off..even ricocheting back towards the enemy and
The condition of the shield would determine your probability for survival in
battle. Daily applications of oil and water would assure that enemy attacks
could be extinguished and faith would remain intact.
When the believer "puts away" faith(lays down the shield) he is a prime
candidate for a shipwrecked life.
The reason we are still subject to some of our "habitual hangups', the reason
that we still feel "hassled" by problems that won't go away could be directly
related to how well oiled and saturated our faith is. If it has not been
maintained, the cracks will allow these irritations to get in and eventually
there will be a breakdown.
As we end this week, renew your commitment to putting these pieces of armor on. You have to get dressed for battle. Truth, righteousness, peace and faith. Don't leave home without them!