Unlocking the Belt of Truth
By Tom Olson
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth… (Ephesians 6:10-14).
God is telling us here that we are in a spiritual war. We are facing the schemes of the devil, and our earthly struggles are not, ultimately, against flesh and blood – things of earth. We’re wrestling against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. That will wake you up!
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Wonderfully, then, God has not left us alone but has given us armor to protect us and to help us in our fight, so that we might stand firm (v. 13). And the piece of armor we see first to aid us in this all-important fight against the evil one is…a belt. What?
What the Belt of Truth Means
Almost everyone in those days wore some sort of long sheet or light robe – typically as a heat-defeating undergarment – quite similar to what you’d see in some Middle Eastern countries today. But, if you were a solider, this arrangement would present a problem. A long robe would make it very difficult to move quickly (you’d trip over your robe) and make you easily grabbed.
So, what the soldiers would do is take a belt to fasten all the excess fabric more tightly to their body. That’s why the older translations of Ephesians 6:14 will say something like, “Gird up your loins with truth.” What this belt did was free the soldiers’ legs up to help them be ready for the fight, ready for action.
Most scholars believe that this was the first thing a soldier would do in putting on armor – fasten their belt. For with their robe, their undergarments fastened into place by the belt, they could now put on all the other armor.
So that’s what the belt means – but what “truth” is being referred to in “belt of truth”?