For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. (Eph 6:15)
What were the shoes like?
Literally “And your feet shod” – a reference to what was worn by the ancient soldier to guard his feet. The Greek is, literally, “having underbound the feet;” that is, having bound on the shoes, or sandais, or whatever was worn by the ancient soldier. The protection of the feet and ankles consisted of two parts:
- The sandals, or shoes, which were probably made so as to cover the foot, and which often were fitted with nails, or armed with spikes, to make the hold firm in the ground: or.
- with “greaves” that were fitted to the legs, and designed to defend them from any danger. These “greaves,” or boots, were made of brass, and were in almost universal use among the Greeks and Romans. Josephus, the Jewish Historian, described the Roman soldier’s shoes as being thickly studded with sharp nails. Other historians tell us that the successes of both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were due to their shoes. They tell us that their armies feet were shod with footwear that would allow them to travel great distances in a short time and to navigate rough terrain with ease. Wow proto Nike Air maybe. Ha ha. Remember [nikē] means Victory in Greek.
Can you imagine a Roman soldier, fully dressed for battle with all his battle dress in place but with no shoes on his feet? He would be crazy, wouldn’t he? It would be like getting ready for a game of rugby with no boots. You would be very vulnerable. Not only would you not have the cleats or the sprigs to grip the ground and give you maneuverability but your feet would be unprotected. Shoes are hugely important to a soldier’s readiness. Any little thing on the ground would make you vulnerable if you stepped on it. You need the shoes on your feet.
Why are shoes important in the list of armour? We can all understand how we need the other armour to protect against satan but “Shoes”? How do they help us in the spiritual fight? There is much conjecture here. Primarily because the link is not so clear. Some have caste illusions to the fact that shoes help us not only to be swift and fleet footed in attack but also equipped to beat a hasty retreat when we need to. The theory sounds good: “he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day”. But it doesn’t fit with Biblical Truth. Nowhere in the Bible do we read about it being us who run away. Rather it is the devil who flees when we resist him. So that just doesn’t sit right. How can we gain a perspective of our shoes helping us to gain a sense of advance rather than retreat?
Don’t forget about the image of feet as well. Does that help put it together for you? What references can you think of related to feet?
- Isa 52:7 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!
- Luke 9:5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
- Luke 10:11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’
- Rom 10:15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Note how all of these verses have to do with taking the Gospel to those who are unreached. Isn’t that what the fight is all about? Satan seeks to blind their eyes, we seek to lead them to the light. (2 Cor 4:4-5). In that context it is clear how this relates to spiritual warfare. But how do the shoes equip us as part of our armour? In what circumstances are our “beautiful” feet protected? More on that next Gem, ponder it in the meantime. And were you aware your feet were beautiful? What’s the importance of the shoes to spiritual warfare? Or in being fully equipped for the spiritual battle?
Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Then when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away + have his shoes!Anon
A lie can travel around the globe before the truth puts on its shoes.Rick Warren
The sermons most needed today are sermons in shoes.C H Spurgeon
I cried because I had no shoes then I met a man who had no feet.Anon