Shield of Faith (1): Faith as a Shield

That night, when Danny and Becky were ready for bed, their mother pulled out the book on Roman armor. “We’re up to talking about the shield of faith.”

Danny peered at the picture of the Roman legionnaire standing next to his shield. The shield was so big it came up to his waist. “They had big shields.”

“Yes. The Roman shield, called a scutum, was big. It was made of three layers of wood covered with leather and reinforced with iron. At the time when Paul was writing to the Ephesians, the scutum was rectangular in shape and curved.” Danny’s mother pointed out the different parts of the shield on the picture. “But the big shields had a purpose in battle. The Roman soldiers could crouch behind their shields and the enemy swords and arrows couldn’t get to them. The shields were strong and thick enough that arrows couldn’t penetrate.”

“Like the Bible says, the shield of faith will quench the fiery darts of the devil.” Becky piped in, swinging her feet against the edge of the bed.

Their mother nodded. “Exactly. The shield of faith is very important to the Christian’s armor. The Bible says to take it up “above all.” When we crouch behind our shield of faith, Satan and the world can’t get to us. We’re protected.”

Danny frowned. “If the Roman shield was so big, then wouldn’t it be heavy?”

“Yes, it could be heavy.” Their mother nodded. “It weighed anywhere between 12 and 22 pounds. That’s about as heavy as having two gallons of milk strapped to your arm.”

Danny scrunched up his face as he tried to imagine all that weight on his arm while marching into a battle.

“Like the big, heavy Roman shields, our faith is strong and sturdy. We don’t have a flimsy, small faith that falls apart after a bit of battering. Sometimes, faith can feel heavy because it is constructed from the knowledge we are given in the Bible, like how the Roman shield was made of layers of wood to make it strong. That’s why we have to study the Bible to learn what it tells us about God and how to live as Christians. Each piece of knowledge we learn reinforces and builds our shield of faith.”


Questions to think about:

  1. Read Ephesians 6:16, Hebrews 11:1, and Heidelberg Catechism LD 7 Q&A 21 by yourself or with your parents. What is faith?
  2. How does faith protect us?