“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;” (Ephesians 6:16 (ESV)
The shield of the Romans soldier was large enough to cover his entire body. It was made of wood, covered with animal hide, and then bound with iron at the top and bottom.
Prior to entering battle, the soldier’s shield was dipped in water. The purpose of doing so was to soak the animal skin covering the shield. Typically, an enemies’ arrows were dipped in pitch, or tar, and then set on fire. A water soaked shield could effectively extinguish such fiery arrows, protecting the soldier from harm.
In every circumstance in our lives, believers in Christ are to personally bring their protection, or shield, against sin. This is their trust in, commitment to, dependence upon and worship of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It is interesting to note that in the Old Testament, the LORD is the shield of His people (Gen. 15:1; Psalm 144:1-2).
Such faith can extinguish (σβέννυμι; sbennymi) or stop the attacks originating from the evil one, or the devil. A professor of mine once remarked that the devil’s flaming darts could very well be the searing thoughts enticing the believer to sin against God.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “This Greek word (for shield) usually refers to the large shield (2.5 x 4.5 feet) that protected the entire body. The faith to which Paul refers is not the body of Christian doctrine (as the term is used in 4:13) but basic trust in God. The believer’s continual trust in God’s word and promise is “in all circumstances” necessary to protect him from temptations to every sort of sin. All sin comes when the victim falls to Satan’s lies and promises of pleasure, rejecting the better choice of obedience and blessing.”
What flaming darts has the evil one been attacking you with lately? Keep you shield of faith up and ready. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!