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in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

Shield of Faith

The shield of faith is listed fourth among the items of armor. If we examine our priestly example, it appears that he is missing this particular piece of armor. Or is he?

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great." (Genesis 15:1)

 

G-d says that He is a shield to Avram. In Deuteronomy 33:29 that same declaration of G-d being a shield is extended to Israel as a nation. Consider also the words of the writer of Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Faith is by its nature related to things that are not seen.  G-d declares that He is the shield of Israel.  Messiah tells us that no one has seen the Father (John 6:46) which fits well with the picture of an unseen shield.  The shield is present, but it is invisible.  As the prophet Isaiah once declared "no weapon that is formed against you will prosper..." (Isaiah 54:17).  It is because G-d Himself is our strength and shield (Psalm 28:7).

 

The Flaming Arrows

Paul describes the shield as serving to "extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."  The "evil one" is likely Satan whose name means "accuser" (Psalm 109:6, Revelation 12:10).  His accusations may likely be those "flaming arrows" since James connects our speech and fire in James 3:5.  G-d is our shield against the fiery barrage of the evil one.

 

Torah Portion

צו (Tzav)

 

 

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Today is

Yom Chamishi, 14 Adar II, 5779

Thursday, March 21, 2019

 

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