Summary: This the second part of my message on the armor of God.
• Today we are going to finish our look at the full armor of God. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen who our enemy is and we started to look at some of the equipment that God has given to us so that we can win the battle we fight with the enemy each and every day.
• The U.S. Military has some of the most sophisticated equipment the world has ever seen. It amazes me to see how the military can have a line of 7 cars and they can take out the second and fifth car in the line without hitting any of the other ones.
• What would happen if our military had all of these fabulous weapons, but did not know how to use them? The weapons would be useless. God gives us some wonderful weapons so that we can successful conquer the enemy. We need to know what we have and how to use it. I believe as I said before that we do not take the enemy as seriously as we should. I believe we do not spend the proper amount of time learning how to use the weapons that are at our disposal. Then we get mad at God when we struggle and fail.
• Aqaba in 1917 seemed impregnable. Any enemy vessel approaching the port would have to face the battery of huge naval guns above the town. Behind Aqaba in every direction lay barren, waterless, inhospitable desert. To the east lay the deadly "anvil of the sun." The Turks believed Aqaba to be safe from any attack. But they were wrong. Lawrence of Arabia led a force of irregular Arab cavalry across the "anvil of the sun." Together, they rallied support among the local people. On July 6, 1917, the Arab forces swept into Aqaba from the north, from the blind side. A climactic moment of the magnificent film Lawrence of Arabia is the long, panning shot of the Arabs on their camels and horses, with Lawrence at their head, galloping past the gigantic naval guns that are completely powerless to stop them. The guns were facing in the wrong direction. Aqaba fell, and the Turkish hold on Palestine was broken, to be replaced by the British mandate and eventually by the State of Israel. The Turks failed to defend Aqaba because they made two mistakes. They did not know their enemy, and they did not have the right weapons. We must be careful not to make the same mistakes. Ephesians 6:12 makes it very clear who our enemy is: "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world."
• Today we are going to learn about taking up our shield, protecting our head and we will look at the offensive weapon we have to fight with!
• READ EPHESIANS 6:16-17
I. GRAB YOUR SHIELD
• Verse 16 says that will all the other armor of God we are given, in addition to the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the gospel of peace, we are to take up some additional items.
• The first of these is the shield of faith!
• If you remember, last week I said that the vast majority of combat in the days of Paul was hand to hand. No soldier would want to engage the enemy without a shield.
• There were a couple of different types of shields used by the soldier. One was a small one that attached to the arm that was used to deflect the blows of an enemy soldier at close range. The other one was a large one that was as wide as a soldier and about 4 feet high.
• They were made out of leather many times and before battle they were soaked in water so that when the enemy would fire flaming arrows at them, the flame would not burn through the leather.
• This type of shield was more than just a piece of personal protection. The shield was made to interlock with the shields of other soldiers. The shields formed a “portable wall” for the protection of the whole army, when soldiers stood side by side. This made a wall of protection for all the soldiers.
• In verse 16 this is the type of shield Paul speaks of.
• When an army was approaching the people would take arrows and dip them in a pitch solution and fire flaming arrows at approaching army. The wetted shields would extinguish the flaming arrows. The wall of shields would also protect the army.
• What do was use to deflect the flaming arrows of the evil one? What kind of arrows does he shoot at us?