Scripture often refers to God, the Almighty, as our shield (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 5:12; Prov. 30:5), and we must keep this in mind as we consider Paul’s call for us to take up the shield of faith. Roman shields, depending on the type, could protect a good portion of the body especially in the Roman phalanx formation. Soldiers would stand shoulder to shoulder in files several ranks deep with interlocking shields and weapons ready. The shield protects as a defensive measure, but does a lot more than take blows from arrows and weapons. The typical Roman shield could also be offensive and push back against the enemy.
How do we see this in terms of faith?
God is our Commander in Chief giving us our war strategy. He is telling us how to conduct ourselves in battle. The shield of faith doesn’t lose hope, it doesn’t give up and it doesn’t quit. The shield of faith believes God and takes Him at His Word—no matter what the situation looks like. This heavy shield can withstand the impact of fiery strikes. We hold onto our faith like a shield. We have to deliberately choose faith in all circumstances. Faith cannot only protect us from the blows of the devil, it can help us push back against him. Second, we can extinguish arrows that Satan sends our way. Not only can faith handle the impact of them, but it extinguish false ideas and doubt. Third, when we band with other Christians, in phalanx formation, it strengthens our faith. Although God won’t shield us from tragedy or loss, he can provide us faith when we need it most.
Carol Verbeek, Principal