15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
The shoes of the soldier are called, caligae. These are not as much sandals as they are marching boots. And when your enemy attacks you and pushes against you with his shield, you can stand firm because these shoes have spikes on them, almost like golf spikes.
These shoes of peace harken back to Isaiah were the prophet says,
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns! (52:7)
Because we have peace with God we can have peace with each other. We can experience the Shalom of God, where we know everything is going to be right in the end, even if we don’t know why. We can stand firm.
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
The Roman shield is the scutum. It is used to stop the enemy from pushing you back. The middle part can also be used to batter someone. But, the main use of the shield is to protect from projectiles. Now the word here for fiery arrows is plumbata. This is a dart weighted with lead that soldiers would carry in their shield. These could be thrown at a range of up to 70 yards. To be protected from these darts and arrows, a soldier would lift his shield over his head, or a whole group of soldiers can do this by forming a testuto, which is Latin for “tortoise.” You have seen this tactic used in Roman movies.
The fiery darts are the lies Satan sends our way. Where the devil tries to sow doubt, despair, bad circumstances, and temptations, including arrogance and pride. Faith is confidence in Jesus that says, No!” to all of that. It is having confidence in who Jesus is and my identity through him as having the same loving father. Confidence based on evidence.
Whatever the devil throws your way, you are strong and protected by Jesus. This protection is as it has always been and will be for you forever.
When gets in the way of your sensing the presence of God in your life? What can you do to change this?