While reading today through the Old Testament portion of our morning devotions (below), two things (among many) stood out to me:
First, this is the passage from which Paul borrows his thinking on putting on the whole armor of God. And the armor is the armor of God. It is the armor God wears. So, the battle is fought and won by God. And God don’t lose. That is profoundly comforting.
Second, in Ephesians 6 Paul teaches us to put on the armor, which shows us that God puts on His armor and defeats His enemies through us. The battle that God wins for us He wins in us. God will not lose the battle, but neither will He fight the battle without our participation. If you want God to suit up and kick the fancy pants of that lying devil in your life, then you have to get up off the floor and put on the armor of God. God knows He can whup that ol’ debil (to paraphrase a lovely little girl in our church), but He wants to show you that He can do it through you. He delights to make His victory yours. Amazing!
And a bonus observation for you eschatology junkies: Paul sees the evangelistic conquest of the earth (which is the point in Ephesians 6 of putting on the armor) as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning God judging the nations and restoring His good creation. Dearly beloved, evangelism is the heart and soul of eschatology!
Boy, I sounded preacherly there. And can the church say, Amen!
Isaiah 59:15b-21 (ESV)
“The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives. “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”