Well, I am back. I got a lot done, even had to do a few more things today, but it is good to be back.
All this talk about feet and shoes made me think about a passage that seems strange to us in 21st century America without knowing the background regarding it’s meaning, when it speaks about “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass“.
It is common for believers to be confused about expressions that seem so unusual to us, especially many Old Testament passages; and this becomes the reason why so many people get frustrated by Scripture, yet when they are explained, it becomes clear what God has said and the passage makes prefect sense.
This is because God in His wisdom utilized idioms and expressions that were common in the day it was written, whereas a search of history concerning the area and culture where the passage was referring to, would render clear what the original context was, in order that the meaning could be obtained – yet forever frozen in time.
How ingenious of God to do this in this particular manner, not attempting to present things in such a generic way (In which there would not be a historical marker that through searching of history, the idioms and expressions could be deciphered), but setting them in stone according to a classical meaning buried in history – unchangeable through time.
What this means is that to the diligent student that would NOT simply read God’s Word 2000 years after it was completed, but would study it; seeking to understand the context of what was said historically, as well as literally; he could unearth the richness that God had meant to convey – yet always at the direction and illumination of the Spirit.
How thankful we should be that God constructed history in such a way (protecting the record of history) that we can go back and understand things that were done in the Semitic languages and cultures, and have a reference point to define these idioms and expressions.
The following is a good example of this blessing.
“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass;and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Feet always represent our walk through life, thus to walk with the Lord speaks about our lifestyle as far as our behavior (denotatively ~ precisely), and as well as what happens to us during that walk (connotatively ~ generally).
Shoes are what we wear on our feet, to cover us, to protect us as we walk through life.
The ancient warriors / soldiers would wear shoes which were modified sandals that would have iron nails on the bottom for traction in rugged terrain and for grip, and because brass could be more easily molded, they would have brass arched over the top part of their shoes for protection in battle.
A common advanced sword technique used was to swing high toward the opponent’s head, which was normally blocked, then follow through with the drawback of a sweep to the lower legs and feet.
If you could damage the opponent’s feet or legs, he would be unable to continue to defined himself.
I was taught this technique in fencing (Foil, saber and broadsword); as well as in police training using a baton.
I used this technique more than a few times when dealing with an opponent using a standard baton.
You would raise the baton in an upward swing toward the head, not to make contact but to distract him into a block, then on the down sweep strike the knee on the inside; it would take the perpetrator down to the ground every time.
Therefore, according to this passage, the shoes referred to were military shoes, implying that the person referred to is in battle – he is a warrior, a soldier.
Thus God’s promise to His own, to His children, His followers is that they are soldiers that are to prepare for battle (Emotionally in feeling claim by reassuring ourselves mentally that God is faithful, and will take care of us no matter how bad it gets. Mentally by dwelling upon God’s Word, and therein holding His Word in our hearts [in Greek & Hebrew, “heart” always means the complete inward part of a person, not just the emotions. It is the mind, & the emotions, and the seat of the will, where discretion is made between the two, where decisions proceed from.], which why David said concerning the heart: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,1” wherein we cannot maintain or “hide” words, such as God’s Word in our emotions, but do so in our mind. And lastly, concerning our Will, we exercise faith in choosing to trust God, that what He says we can count on, that God has not promised to always take us out of trouble or trials – which develop spiritual maturity2 – but to be with us through the trials), by wearing the proper equipment (this is also seen in Eph. 6:15 ~ “and have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” ~ we do this by studying God’s Word with our minds – becoming prepared. The fight was to bring men to God, so that they would be at peace with God, stop fighting Him. A believer is to advance in their walk as going though a battle, yet not to kill, but to save) because we were meant to go through the battle, without being taken out of the battle. This is also seen in the passage where we are NOT told that He will take us out of the valley of the shadow of death, but that He would always be with us as we go “through the Valley of the shadow of death,” (Psalms 23:4).
It is human nature to seek to be relieved of pain and trials, yet many times; in fact most of the time it is His will for us to go through the pain and trials – trusting in Him.
This is not a poplar teaching, presenting that we are to be soldiers going through battles as opposed to being victims waiting to be rescued from those battles.
However, the church is God’s army; the gathering of believers is a boot camp in preparation of the battle which takes place in the world the other six days of the week after Sunday.
Yet, seeker friendly churches act like they are hospitals, not training grounds – where is their true victory?
There is no victory when all we do is focus on ourselves, rather than on Him.
When we take our focus off of the best and place it on the inferior.
We gather to learn about Him, and His Will for us.
How to “fight the good fight” of “faith“ (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7), it is NOT about us, it is about HIM.
There is always the mending of wounds suffered during battles back at the base, but the base’s main purpose is preparing soldiers for battle.
This is why Ephesians 4:11-12 says:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”
The work is to be done by the followers, not the pastors, pastors as to prepare and train the followers – the soldiers for the battle that they enter each day.
Pastors are about “edifying,” the “body of Christ” (which is a synonym for the followers of Christ), the Greek word translated “edifying” is an architectural term, it is the word: oikodome, which means “to build,” the pastor builds up the follower by teaching the Word of God, so that the follower can function as a soldier by being able to wield the “Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) – the “Word God” with great skill.
Therefore, God’s promise to us as soldiers concerning the second part of Deuteronomy 33:25 is that “as thy days, so shall thy strength be,” meaning He will give us enough strength for each day, every day of our life.
Not two days in advance, otherwise we might run into battle without Him – we need Him – daily.
This is the same reason that when God gave Israel manna in the wilderness, yet it only lasted for one day (except for that which fell the day before the Sabbath; which would last for 2 days in order that they did not have to work on the Sabbath in collecting it), God was teaching them to come to Him daily for their needs, and this is what is also implied in this passage in Deuteronomy as well.
God will meet our needs daily, in order to maintain our reliance upon Him so that we do not become presumptuous, nor seek to walk in our own power.
If God did provide far in advance, He would be tempting us to be presumptuous due to a reliance upon the provision, rather than the Provider, to rely upon the system rather the Designer, to rely upon the supplies, rather the Supplier.
It must also be understood, that trials (the same base word used of tribulation & temptation), are a necessary part of growth and the development of faith.
Fear is never the opposite of faith. Faith is what we do when we are afraid.
Without fear there is no opportunity to exercise faith, yet we are not to dwell upon the fear and allow the fear to overtake us.
It is during times of fear that we reassure ourselves of God’s faithfulness of according to His Word.
This is done by dwelling or thinking upon God’s Word as is stated above by David.
David learned to memorize Scripture to the extent that when the Battles came, which they will, he would immediately think upon and dwell upon God’s Word.3
God – which is our strength, and today God is your strength as well!
1. Psalms 119:11 ~ “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
2. 1 Peter 1:7 ~ “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold.” (James 1:2-4; 2 Peter 1:5-7).
3.Philippians 4:8 ~ “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
This poses the question what are the different reasons for trails?
The Reason for Trials in the Life of Believers
- To glorify God ~ Most important for us (Dan. 3:16-18; Dan. 3: 24-25, 28)
- To build faith ~ Most important to us (1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4)
- To cause growth (Romans 5:3-5)
- To prove the reality of Christ in us (2 Cor. 4:7-11)
- To testify to Angels (Job 1:8; Eph. 3:8-11; 1 Peter 1:12)
- To equip us to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
- To prevent us from falling into sin (1 Peter 4:1-2)
- To keep us from pride ~ Paul’s thorn (2 Cor. 12:7)
- To teach obedience & discipline (Act 9:15-16; Php. 4:11-13)
- To Discipline for known sin (Hebrew 12:5-11; James 4:17; Romans 14:23; 1 John 1:9)
Chuck Missler Reminds Us:
Two possible errors concerning trials (which are synonymous with temptations & tribulations):
1. Not anticipating trials ~ which are necessary for spiritual growth
2. Holding a morbid fear of trials ~ “what time I am afraid I will trust in the Lord.” (Psalms 56:3)
We Need a Divine Perspective
Remember: Job & his 3 friends ~ bad things don’t always happen because of bad choices ~ trails?
Remember: Paul & his “Thorn in the flesh” & how he measured “success” (SEE: 2 Cor. 4:7-18; 11:21-28)
“An apparent Biblical contradiction is the Holy Spirit’s way of getting the reader’s
attention so as to point out a hidden deep truth, which must be examined at great
expense, in order to discover the precious faith building treasure it contains.”
(Brent L Bolin ~ 1990)
I will never look at a pair of shoes the same way again. LOL….and perhaps I should throw out the sixty pair in my closet! None of them are fit for battle…unless you wanna use the heels of them. Great post Brent, thanks. I get it…when we go into battle, we need to be fully prepared, inside and out! Put on the full armor of God. No better way to prepare than to study His word, be prepared for the attack, walk the walk and live the talk…again Thanks! Nonni~~
Thanks Nonni, bb
Great points Brent, wielding the sword without proper instruction on how to use it is of little value, and welcome back!
I don’t know if you will receive this since it is five years later, however, it is today that I read it, and needed to read it. I first say; “Thank You Holy Spirit of GOD, of YESHUA CHRIST JESUS” for our Lord taught me me in His most Holy Word, Isaiah 65:24;
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” KJV
On this day, during this week, as I have fought against depression for loneliness as well as not steadily ministering the gospel of JESUS CHRIST, this is the word I needed on this day that was placed here before He placed the foundation of the worlds. Bless the Holy precious Name of YESHUA CHRIST JESUS. My Lord. My Savior. My Comforter.
Thank you Mr. Brent for being a great soldier in the army of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
Thank you Timothy, your kind words do my soul well.
This teaching is one that I have to come back to very often to remember at the end of a very long and hard day.
As you have so rightly Alluded to, Yeshua is in total control of our lives.
I love the fact that the Hebrew language does not have a word which resembles our English word “coincidence,” or the concept of an “accident.”
They were always taught that God is in total control of His creation and all things.
It is I that must remind myself that Romans 8:28 does NOT say “all things are good,”
But rather “all things work for the good,” which in the Greek introduces the idea of not immediate gratification, but of delayed gratification which is always much more satisfying, complete, and long-lasting in its edification.
It is the difference between happiness, which shares the same root as the English word “happen,” meaning “something that happens to us,” and therefore the immediate positive feeling which many time is short lived; as compared to God’s use of the word “joy,” which is not always synonymous with immediate gratification, but more aligned with long-term gratification which is spiritual in nature, as opposed to physical and temporal.
The point being when Romans 8:28 states:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
I understand that my day may be tedious, and that my current situation may be troublesome, but that in time, everything in my life, good or bad, God will work for the good of me when I stand before His presence.
Encouragement comes from hope, and hope is always the final reward of God’s grace, mercy, and love, and gives us just grounds for faith.
Faith is the only value or principle which pleases God, and our faith is the foundation of our relationship with Him.
And our faith is tied to our hope, HE IS THE BLESSED HOPE, it is Yeshua that purchased it for us.
God bless you timothy, I will pray for you; and please pray for me as well.
P.S. I am sure you know this, but the meaning of your name, Timothy is;
Timothy is a masculine name. It comes from the Greek name Τιμόθεος (Timotheos) meaning “honouring God”, “in God’s honour”, or “honored by God”. It is a common name in several countries, including non-English speaking ones.
Mr. Brent, I was stunned when I was browsing my “Favorites” and saw your website and clicked on it just to view it and you had responded to me. After our Lord so blessed me with writing my testimony in a book form, I sent it with an accompanying letter which resulted in receiving a letter thanking me for my interest in their ministries accompanied with a letter to send money, therefore, I was stunned to see you had responded to me; and responded to me. I praise the Holy precious Name of JEHOVAH YESHUA CHRIST JESUS for you sir.
That I responded to you was due to the depth your words had in my heart and spirit encouraging my mind and soul resulting in me receiving the again the power of my Lord’s Holy Spirit. He never leaves me, but I, unfortunately, take my eyes off of Him at times which results in me sinking and as with my example of Apostle Peter, my Savior’s Holy Spirit lifts me up and just smiles at me not even wasting His breath to say, “Oh yea of little faith, how long, before you trust me?”
I just want to say with no religious residue on or in my words, “Thank you.”
Thank you sir, that you, a man of a Great GOD, would so minister to a simple brother. I just want to say, Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I just want to say, Thank you.
Have a very blessed day/night in our LORD and Savior and thank you for responding to His beautiful, warm, healing, comforting, loving voice. May the LORD my GOD pour you sir out a blessing that you could not possibly have room enough to receive. In JESUS’ Holy Name, Amen.
Sincerely; Timothy Shephard.
Oh Mr. Brent, please forgive me, I forgot to say, in one of Dr. Missler’s classes I took, our homework was looking up the Hebrew meaning for certain words and after completing my homework, I looked up my name in Hebrew;
Timothy (Precious one of GOD)
Michael (Who is like GOD)
Thank you again for the Greek meaning as well as your added encouragement. If I have your permission, I’d really like to stay in contact, you are a most encouraging man of GOD. Thank you again, again.
Thank you very much for your kind words, they draw me to tears hearing that the words I believe the Holy Spirit has given me to say, are blessing you. There is not a greater joy as a child of God, than to have Him use us in some way. There was a time that I taught in front of large groups and loved seeing believers display that they learned a deeper way of understanding Scripture. Then I went through the back side of the desert, spiritually speaking; yet God held onto me, and as a prodigal son, He brought me back. Now as a hospital chaplain I mostly deal with individuals and small groups. Then with this website I put at articles, and have been blessed with many viewers, but rarely do I hear from them, such as with you in these comments. Therefore, your words are a true blessing. Thank you, your brother in Christ YESHUA, Brent
I love Dr. Spiros Zodhiates. But the best thing to do is start dealing with the Greek verbs by parsing them, learning the tense, voice, mood, number,
PS. You uncovered the root meaning of your name (read my article concerning “Strong’s” regarding it being a root dictionary, which does not give the detailed meaning according the passage it is taken from. Remember Chucks teaching on the root meaning of Hebrew name as found in Gen. 5, the Greek has the same distinction as the Hebrew. Strong’s is a Root Greek dictionary, read the preface to the Greek dictionary, most other dictionaries are the same, root. Even word studies give generic meanings some time. I love Dr. Spiros Zodhiates. But the best thing to do is start dealing with the Greek verbs by parsing them, learning the tense, voice, mood, number, gender; and then noun case. This is what Chuck does, and you can do it on your own, of course only in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Chuck became my teacher decades ago, I graduated the Bronze program, and many classes up until a few years ago. He is mightily used of God, I know his heart is hurting because of Nan going to the Lord, we must lift our prayers to God for him.
Please keep me and my ministry in your prayers, and I will pray for you, Brent
Thank you, your brother in Christ YESHUA, Brent