When Paul was writing about the armor of God, the shield that was widely used was called the, “scutum.” It was a large rectangular shield. It was primarily made of wood, a leather covering and a bit of cloth lining.
The Roman army was a fearsome foe. They deployed their men in groups. They would hold their shields to the left to protect their neighbor. When done correctly, they formed a wall. The men would move in sync with each other; careful not to break formation. They’d keep marching forward in this stance, relying on their neighbor to defend them. If one man was taken out the formation would fall apart and they’d have to regroup immediately.
To prevent their shields from catching fire and to maintain the leather they would baptize their shield in water. Arrows of fire and other flaming projectiles would be quenched.
They had defensive maneuvers and offensive maneuvers. On defense, if they switched to a tortoise stance you can bet no projectile would get through. Men in the middle would hold their shields above their heads to protect from falling projectiles. All the men would bring their shields as close as possible so there would be no space for a weapon to get through. On offense, they would push forward at the same time to break the enemy line and force them out of formation. Once they saw an opening, they’d use their spears to pick off the enemies.
So what’s that all mean?
Our faith protects more than just ourselves. Our prayers of faith for our families, co-workers, friends and government are impactful. Our faith to heal others in Jesus’ name impacts others. Our faith moves mountains and splits seas to make paths for others to cross. Moses’ obedience allowed Israel to cross unharmed. So it is with our faith. You make a way for others.
We have to be refreshed by Holy Spirit to protect our faith. He encourages us when things happen. He reminds us of His goodness and deliverance. He shows us a good future free of chains and full of hope. It’s vitally important that we find our strength in Him! We can do nothing of our self. We certainly try at times but the flesh always fails. Jesus always wins.
You’ll defend what you love. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ and together make a stand in Christ. We will have an impact on our generation. The fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman avails much!