Deuteronomy: Hear, O Israel


Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 

Luke 24:27
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Photo By: courtesy photo

Get your archaeology tools ready for today’s excavation. We are continuing our search for Jesus in the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch). Before we begin today’s quest to find more sightings of Jesus in the book of Deuteronomy we first need to view the book through the eyes of our Lord.  

Jesus in the Shields

The Holy Spirit often uses a shield symbolically to communicate His protection; our protection has its root in our faith; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8), “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one…” (Ephesians 6:16)

We saw this protection for Abraham: After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (Genesis 15:1) We also find this same message from the Holy Spirit to the Israelites. There are several places in Deuteronomy where God uses the idea of a shield such as Deuteronomy 33:29

“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, 
    a people saved by the Lord, 
the shield of your help, 
    and the sword of your triumph! 
Your enemies shall come fawning to you, 
    and you shall tread upon their backs.” 

We also find this symbolic message from the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 6:16, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

Let’s take a rabbit trail and consider what God was communicating. We have the most information about Roman shields, shields that were familiar to the Ephesians.

The Roman shield of the time was called a scutum. This type of shield was as large as a door and would cover the warrior entirely. Such a shield was not just defensive but could also be used to push opponents. When fighting as a group, a phalanx of soldiers could position their shields to form an enclosure around themselves, called a testudo (“tortoise”). This was especially helpful to protect against arrows launched from the walls of cities they were attacking. Shields, often made of wood and then covered in hide when wet, could extinguish flaming arrows.

God’s shield of faith is available to every believer. Jesus has also promised us, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (Matthew 18:20)” Therefore, when we gather together in the name of Jesus, we can join our shields of faith and, within the will of God, create a “tortoise” shell (testudo ) of protection for whomever we agree for in prayer. 

Wrap Up

We will return to Deuteronomy next time because Jesus shows Himself in many more places in this amazing book of the Bible.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

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