Vigilance

14 Stand firm, therefore, with YOUR loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and with YOUR feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace. 16 Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with which YOU will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles. 17 Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word, 18 while with every form of prayer and supplication YOU carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit. And to that end keep awake with all constancy and with supplication in behalf of all the holy ones…(Ephesians 6)

note to what this sword of the Spirit alluded to here in Ephesians 6 is compared.  It is identified as being God’s word.  Recall the context of the words when originally penned.  Throughout the domain of the Roman empire all citizenry would’ve been familiar with the scene of Roman legions.  note what Josephus wrote in his book,  the wars of the Jews (3) chapter 5, par.1:

1. NOW here one cannot but admire at the precaution of the Romans, in providing themselves of such household servants, as might not only serve at other times for the common offices of life, but might also be of advantage to them in their wars. And, indeed, if any one does but attend to the other parts of their military discipline, he will be forced to confess that their obtaining so large a dominion hath been the acquisition of their valor, and not the bare gift of fortune; for they do not begin to use their weapons first in time of war, nor do they then put their hands first into motion, while they avoided so to do in times of peace; but, as if their weapons did always cling to them, they have never any truce from warlike exercises; nor do they stay till times of war admonish them to use them; for their military exercises differ not at all from the real use of their arms, but every soldier is every day exercised, and that with great diligence, as if it were in time of war, which is the reason why they bear the fatigue of battles so easily; for neither can any disorder remove them from their usual regularity, nor can fear affright them out of it, nor can labor tire them; which firmness of conduct makes them always to overcome those that have not the same firmness; nor would he be mistaken that should call those their exercises unbloody battles, and their battles bloody exercises.

the imagery which would’ve clearly been evoked in the mind of the Greco Roman or even Judean reader is that of a Hardy disciplined vigilance manifested both in body and mind set.  Josephus description of the discipline of the Roman legions earns our admiration.  but the value of Josephus description lies in identifying the quality which should be lived, breathed and in fact embodied by the daily habits of any true Christian–especially in this time of the end: vigilance. And martial discipline.

 

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