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Summary: THERE IS NO NEED THEN FOR CHRISTIANS TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. INSTEAD WE MUST RESIST THE ATTEMPTS OF SATAN BOTH TO RETAKE TERRITORY NO LONGER HIS AND TO DEFAME CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM BY CAUSING US TO FAIL.

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FEET SHOED WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE

TAKE ON THE SHIELD OF FAITH

THERE IS NO NEED THEN FOR CHRISTIANS TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. INSTEAD WE MUST RESIST THE ATTEMPTS OF SATAN BOTH TO RETAKE TERRITORY NO LONGER HIS AND TO DEFAME CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM BY CAUSING US TO FAIL. TO “STAND IS NEITHER STATIC NOR PASSIVE, BUT THE ACTIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR PRESENT TASK.

THE SANDALS OF PREPARATION

IT IS INTERESTING THAT ALTHOUGH ONE MIGHT EXPECT SOLDIER’S BOOTS TO BE AT THE END OF THE LIST OF EQUIPMENT, THAT PART OF THE EQUIPMENT COMES IN THE MIDDLE OF PAUL’S LIST.

WITH OUR FEET GIRDED PROPERLY REFERS TO THE “CALIGAE”, TOUGH BUT LIGHT SANDALS, BECAUSE THE TOES WERE OPEN, THAT WENT PARTLY UP THE LEG, WITH SOLES STUDDED WITH NAILS FOR A SECURE GRIP ON THE GROUND. SOLDIERS COULD WEAR THEM IN HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT, RATHER THAN THE HEAVY BOOTS USED IN LONG MARCHES.

THE PURPOSE WAS TWO-FOLD:p TO MAINTAIN A SOLID FOOTING, AS COMMANDED, AND BE ABLE TO READY FOR ACTION.

ISAIAH 52:7: HOW BEAUTIFUL ON THE MOUNTAINS ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS, WHO PROCLAIM PEACE, WHO BRING GOOD TIDINGS, WHO PROCLAIM SALVATION, WHO SAY TO ZION, “YOUR GOD REIGNS!”

ROMANS 10:15: AND HOW CAN ANYONE PREACH UNLESS THEY ARE SENT? AS IT IS WRITTEN: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS!”

THE EMPHASIS IS ON READINESS FOR ACTION, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE WARFARE THEME, BUT THE KEY TERM THAT IS COMMON TO ISAIAH, ROMANS AND EPHESIANS IS GOSPEL OR “GOOD NEWS.”

THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WHERE THE WORD “PREPARATION” IS USED IN THIS FORM. THE ROMAN SOLDIER SUBSTITUTED FOR THE “GREAVES” OF THE GREEK (METAL PLATES COVERING THE LOWER PART OF THE LEG) THE CALLGAE OR SANDALS, BOUND BY THONGS OVER THE INSTEP AND ROUND THE ANKLE, AND HAVING THE SOLES THICKLY STUDDED WITH NAILS.

HAVING SHOD OR HAVING BOUND UNDER, MEANS TO MAKE READY, THE READINESS OF MIND THAT COMES FROM THE GOSPEL WHOSE MESSAGE IS PEACE.

BINDING SHOES UNDER YOUR FEET, RELIABLE FOOTWEAR WAS ESSENTIAL TO FOOT SOLDIERS IN WARFARE. IT ALLOWED THEM TO ADVANCE AND ENGAGE THE ENEMY WITHOUT BEIND DETERRED BY THE TERRAIN.

FEET SHOD – ENSURING AGILITY AND A FIRM FOOTHOLD. PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE. – PREPARATION MIGHT PERHAPS GIVE WAY TO PREPAREDNESS.

FEET FITTED WITH THE READINESS PICTURES THE HOBNAILED SHOES WHICH KEPT THE SOLDIERS FOOTING SURE IN THE BATTLE. TO PUT ON THESE SHOES COULD BE UNDERSTOOD AS BELIEVING THE PROMISES OF GOD IN THE GOSPEL AND COUNTING ON THEM TO BE TRUE FOR YOU. FAITH IN THESE PROMISES YIELDS PEACE IN THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE.

MATTHEW HENRY WRITES:

“RESOLUTION MUST BE AS THE GREAVES TO OUR LEGS: AND THEIR FEET SHOD WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE. SHOES OR GREAVES OF BRASS, OR THE LIKE, WERE FORMERLY PART OF THE MILITARY ARMOUR.

1 SAMUEL 17:6: 6 ON HIS LEGS HE WORE BRONZE GREAVES, AND A BRONZE JAVELIN WAS SLUNG ON HIS BACK.

THE USE OF THEM WAS TO DEFEND THE FEET AGAINST THE GALL-TRAPS, AND SHARP STICKS, THAT WEW WANT TO BE LAID PRIVILY IN THE WAY, TO OBSTRUCT THE MARCHING OF THE ENEMY, THOSE WHO FELL UPON THEM BEING UNFIT TO MARCH.”

WITH THIS OUR FEET MUST BE SHOD; FOR BY LIVING A LIFE OF REPENTANCE WE ARE ARMED AGAINST TEMPTATIONS TO SIN, AND THE DESIGNS OF OUR GREAT ENEMY.

DR. WHITBY THINKS THIS MAY BE THE SENSE OF THE WORDS “THAT YOU MAY BE READY FOR THE COMBAT, BE SHOD WITH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, ENDEAVOUR AFTER THAT PEACEABLE QUIET MIND WHICH THE GOSPEL CALLS FOR. BE NOT EASILY PROVOKED, NOR PRONE TO QUARREL, BUT SHOW ALL GENTLENESS AND ALL LONG-SUFFERING TO ALL MEN, AND THIS WILL CERTAINLY PRESERVE YOU FROM MANY GREAT TEMPTATIONS AND PERSECUTIONS, AS DID THOSE SHOES OF BRASS THE SOLDIERS FROM THOSE GALLTRAPS.

IF WE ARE GOING TO “STAND” AND “WITHSTAND” THEN WE NEED THE SHOES OF THE GOSPEL. WE MUST BE AT PEACE WITH GOD AND WITH EACH OTHER IF WE ARE TO DEFEAT THE DEVIL’S SCHEMES.

JAMES 4:1-7:

WHAT CAUSES FIGHTS AND QUARRELS AMONG YOU? DON’T THEY COME FROM YOUR DESIRES THAT BATTLE WITHIN YOU? 2 YOU DESIRE BUT DO NOT HAVE, SO YOU KILL. YOU COVET BUT YOU CANNOT GET WHAT YOU WANT, SO YOU QUARREL AND FIGHT. YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. 3 WHEN YOU ASK, YOU DO NOT RECEIVE, BECAUSE YOU ASK WITH WRONG MOTIVES, THAT YOU MAY SPEND WHAT YOU GET ON YOUR PLEASURES 4 YOU ADULTEROUS PEOPLE, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD MEANS ENMITY AGAINST GOD? THEREFORE, ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD BECOMES AN ENEMY OF GOD. 5 OR DO YOU THINK SCRIPTURE SAYS WITHOUT REASON THAT HE JEALOUSLY LONGS FOR THE SPIRIT HE HAS CAUSED TO DWELL IN US? 6 BUT HE GIVES US MORE GRACE. THAT IS WHY SCRIPTURE SAYS: “GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD BUT SHOWS FAVOR TO THE HUMBLE.” 7 SUBMIT YOURSELVES, THEN, TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.

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