The War of Life
1 Kings 20:11
And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girds on his harness boast himself as he that puts it off.

These are the words of Ahab, and, so far as we know, the only wise thing he ever spoke. The saying was probably not his own, but a proverb common in his time. As a warning to Ben-hadad the words proved true, but Ahab's own conduct in going up to Ramoth-Gilead where he perished, showed a strange forgetfulness of his own saying.

I. WE HAVE ALL A BATTLE TO FIGHT. We all know what is meant by "the battle of life," but that of the Christian is inward and spiritual — a battle within a battle. Conversion to Christ brings at once peace and warfare. Our peace with God means war with the world, the devil, and the flesh.

II. WE HAVE ALL "A HARNESS" TO PUT ON. As the enemies we fight are spiritual so must be our armour. Some prefer an ostentatious profession, pride of intellect, and the weapons of human learning and science "falsely so called," but experience proves their insufficiency. The Divine armour must be "put on," we must take hold and keep hold of it, other. wise it is of no avail.

III. WE HAVE ALL A LESSON OF HUMILITY AND PATIENCE TO LEARN IN CONNECTION WITH THIS WARFARE. Young converts are apt to think they have gained the victory when they are only commencing the conflict. They are in danger from a mistaken idea of the liveliness of their religious feelings, from an imperfect knowledge of the deceitfulness of their own hearts, and from a limited perception of where their great strength lies. We must learn to depend less and less on ourselves and more and more on Christ.

(David MacEwan, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.

WEB: The king of Israel answered, "Tell him, 'Don't let him who puts on his armor brag like he who takes it off.'"

Putting on the Armour
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