In that regard, Ephesians 6:16 says in effect, “Now that you’ve prepared for battle by girding your loins with truth, protecting your vital organs with the breastplate of righteousness, and securing your feet with the gospel of peace, don’t forget to take up your shield.”
Two types of shields were commonly used by Roman soldiers. One was a small, lightweight, round shield that was strapped to the soldier’s left forearm and was used to parry blows during hand-to-hand combat. The other, which Paul refers to here, was a large shield measuring about four and a half feet high and two and a half feet wide. It was made of sturdy wood covered with metal and a thick layer of oil-treated leather. The metal deflected arrows, while the oily leather extinguished the fiery pitch with which arrows were commonly swabbed. That type of shield was ideal for full-body protection.
In the initial stages of a battle, the front-line soldiers knelt behind their large shields to protect themselves and to provide a defense barrier for the troops behind them who were firing offensive weapons. The goal was to inch their way forward as a human wall until they could engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.
As a believer, the shield that protects you is your faith in God. If you never question His character, power, or Word, you’ll never fall victim to Satan’s attacks. That doesn’t mean he won’t besiege you; but when he does, his assaults will be ineffective.
MacArthur, J. (1993). Drawing near. Includes indexes. (September 18). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.