Judah angled the blade of his knife and carefully etched a pattern around the base of the small, foil-covered shield on the table in front of him. There! That little shield added the perfect touch to the suit of armor which now transformed his action figure into a Knight of the Round Table.
When his Social Studies teacher, Mr. Barnett, had made this assignment as a part of their study of Medieval England, he had thought it sounded kind of dumb. But the project had actually proved to be fun. Those knights really had to wear a lot of equipment to be prepared for battle—he’d found that out as he researched each piece and tried to construct it out of cardboard and foil. He picked up the tiny sword and hooked the handle over the figure’s hand, adjusting the position of the arm so the sword stood out aggressively.
“Say, that turned out pretty good.” his dad’s pleased voice broke into his thoughts. “You’ve really got a fine looking suit of armor there.” Judah handed the figure to his dad for closer inspection.
“Yeah, this turned out to be kind of a fun project after all. Better than writing a paper, anyway. Making all these little pieces of armor almost makes me wish I could have been a knight back in those days. It must have been exciting.” Judah’s dad grinned. “I’m sure it had its moments. But, Judah you do have a chance to put on armor even today, you know. God has commanded us as Christians to do that.”
“C’mon, Dad,” Judah chuckled. “Don’t tell me you have armor in your closet, hanging next to your suit!”
“Well, not exactly. But we do have a daily battle against Satan and sin, and we are told to put on the whole armor of God, so that we will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. How important is each piece of this armor you made, Judah?”
“No knight would have wanted to go into battle missing even one piece.”
“I’m sure you’re right. And in our Christian warfare, having the full armor on is just as important. Why don’t you read Ephesians 6, verses 10 through 18, Judah? You might find it interesting to compare the pieces of armor mentioned there to the ones you’ve just made.”
Judah was intrigued. Later that night he picked up the Bible on his night stand. Where had Dad said that part about armor was found? Somewhere in Ephesians . . . ah, here it is.
Let’s see, the first piece of armor mentioned is in verse 14, “having your loins girt about with truth.” Well, it’s sure that a knight wouldn’t go out without having his body protected. What about truth? If he went without God’s truth in his heart, where would he be? Obviously, he couldn’t even start to be a Christian.
Next came the “breastplate of righteousness.” Judah picked up the figure and examined the breastplate he had made. This covers the chest, he thought. It goes right over the heart, the most vital part of the body. So, righteousness must be a protection against Satan’s getting into our hearts. That’s sure important!
Judah picked up his Bible again. “Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” It would have been pretty hard for the knight to run out to battle on bare feet! He probably would have just decided to stay home. I guess we, as Christians, should be prepared to share God’s peace with everyone.
Next came the shield. Certainly no knight would have gone out without that protection. With it he could fight off whatever the enemy shot at him. The Bible, in comparing the shield with faith, tells us we need it “above all.” Without it he wouldn’t be able to fight off anything Satan might send his way. Could he, without faith, work for God? No, that shield was very important.
“The helmet of salvation.” A knight would never have gone into battle with his head uncovered. Just think how necessary salvation is if it’s compared to the helmet!
How about the sword—surely the Bible mentions that weapon? Yes, there it is, in verse 17. “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” So the Word of God is what he should use to fight the enemy.
Judah closed his Bible. He was glad his dad had suggested that he read these verses. He had read this passage of Scripture in Ephesians before, but he’d never really thought about what each piece of armor meant or how important it was. Now that he compared them with the armor he had made, he had a little better picture of how vital each piece is.
This has been quite an object lesson, he thought. I learned, by making these little pieces of armor from foil, that they were necessary to the knights of old, and at the same time, I think I have a better idea of how important the Christian armor is.