Summary: This part of the spiritual armor is good news for us but very bad news for Satan and his domain.
Let’s begin today with a review. Paul is in prison chained to a guard 24 hours a day- seven days a week. As he is observing the soldiers uniform, the Holy Spirit begins to speak to him about spiritual armor.
He takes note of the belt around the soldier’s waist. He notices that it’s a place to for him to rest his shield and spear. He notes that it has a place to hold the soldier’s sword. He notices how the belt is wrapped around the soldier’s armor holding it all together. He relates that belt to God’s written Word.
We were reminded how its God’s written Word that holds everything together. Without God’s Word we have no place to rest when we are weary. Without God’s Word we have no place to hold our weapons of warfare. Without God’s Word our spiritual armor is useless.
Next he takes note of the breast plate. It covered the soldier from his shoulders to his knees. Being made of brass, he notices the flame of the torch reflecting back into his eyes. He remembers seeing the columns of soldiers marching as a unit through the streets and being blinded from the reflection of the sun on their shiny breastplates. He also notices the protection that the breastplate offered from enemy attacks, both from afar and near. He relates that breastplate to God’s righteousness.
We were reminded that it is God’s righteousness not our own that offers protection from our enemy. This righteousness was given to us by God so that we would be in right standing with him. It is a defensive weapon when attacked by the enemy with accusations of guilt. It is also an offensive weapon when used to reflect the love, kindness, and acceptance of Jesus into he dark corners of Satan’s domain.
Next, he ponders the soldier’s shoes. Ephesians 6:15 “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”
The shoes were made of brass. There were two parts to the shoes. From the knees to the ankles was the greave part. It was two pieces of metal formed to fit the calf of the soldier.
This part of the shoe protected the soldier from his leg’s being bruised, lacerated, or broken. A damaged leg could have led to a soldier falling and unable stand to protect himself.
Often the battles were fought in rugged terrain. Without the greaves their legs could be cut by jagged rocks, leading to a loss of blood. Sometimes the battles were fought in thorny places. If you have ever made the mistake of hiking off trail in shorts and finding yourself in a briar patch, you know how painful that might be. But the soldiers very rarely got as much as a scratch on their legs due to the protection of the greaves.
Also their opponent would have been foolish to try and break the soldier’s leg by kicking him in the shin. More damage would be done to the foot of the one kicking then to the metal covered shin of the soldier.
The second part was the shoe itself. It also was made of brass and consisted of two pieces of metal, one for the top of the foot, the other for the bottom. The bottom of the shoe was equipped with metal, sharpened spikes from one to three inches long. They were used not only for firm footing in a battle, making it hard to push the soldier back, but also to stomp on an opponent should they fall. It’s rather strange that Paul would be led to associate such a fierce weapon with peace.