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Summary: Aqaba in 1917 seemed impregnable. Any enemy vessel approaching the port would have to face the battery of huge naval guns above the town.

"Our Battle Armor!"

"Knowing Our Enemy" series - Part 6 of 7

Text: Eph. 6:16-17 & Selected

Cross Creek Community Church

August 6, 2000

God’s Word is Powerful, Relevant, and Up to Date!

Ephes. 6:13-17

"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

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."

-- Michael Boyland in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.

TO PUT ON:

The Belt of Truth

1. Truth is CHRIST the Living Word of God. John 14:6

2. Truth is ESSENTIAL. Prov. 23:23

3. Truth never CHANGES. Heb. 13:8

The Breastplate of Righteousness

1. This is putting on PRACTICAL Righteousness. Col. 3:9-14

2. Righteousness protects us from EVIL. Eph 4:24-27

3. Righteousness produces JOY. Heb 1:9

The Shoes of Peace

1. Peace WITH God. Rom 5:1

2. Peace OF God. Philip. 4:7

3. Peace ENABLES us to stand firm. 2Thes 3:16

The first three pieces of armor we put on, now we TAKE UP some additional armor:

The Shield of Faith

V16 "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

4 1/2 X 2 1/2 foot wood, leather, & metal shield, often linked together in battle.

The shield for a Roman soldier was a valuable piece of equipment. The kind of shield which is spoken of here was a large shield approximately two and one-half feet wide and four and one-half feet high. It was made of a solid piece of wood and covered with metal, leather.

The soldiers used these shields to stand behind.

Many of these arrows were wrapped in pieces of cloth and soaked in pitch. The tips would be set ablaze and the arrow shot at the enemy. Splattered when they strike something. Such flaming missiles could inflict serious damage on unprotected troops. Well-equipped troops, however, with leather-coated shields soaked in water, had a good defense. When the arrows would strike such shields, the wet leather would extinguish them.

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