Ephesians 6:15: The Shoes of Gospel Peace-readiness
- Ready to stand
- Ready to run
It was Napoleon who said, ‘An army marches on its stomach,’ as true as that is, it is also true that an army marches on its feet. This truth was especially felt during WWI. There was a condition called trench foot, due to the cold, wet and insanitary conditions the feet would go numb swell and begin to blister. Gangrene could set in and amputation would have to happen. The soldiers were ordered to change their socks several times a day to prevent this condition. In one war in Alaska it is estimated that 40 percent of the casualties were from trench foot. The importance of footwear in warfare was something that Romans learnt from Alexander the Great. The Romans wore a thick soled sandal which had hobnails in the bottom for grip, and was designed so as not to chaff during long forced marches. Many booby traps were set for advancing armies using small sharpened sticks in the ground, the sandals were vital to protect the feet against such traps. The hobnails also gave traction during clashes, wet weather and enabled quick manoeuvring.
It is to this vital and often overlooked aspect of the armour that we turn to consider next, Eph. 6:15, ‘and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Notice as we begin what the shoes are. We know the breastplate is righteousness and the belt truth, but what are the shoes? Are they the shoes of peace or readiness? We see that they are the shoes of readiness, which can also be translated firmness, and this is given by the gospel of peace. It is vital that we understand this connection because it is the gospel which produces peace which produces our readiness/firmness in spiritual warfare. They are the shoes of Gospel peace-readiness. Today our task is twofold we want to look at how the gospel of peace makes us ready to stand, and ready to run.