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A Soldier Named Simon

A Soldier Named Simon

By Steve Harbaugh

There was a man named Simon who had resisted joining the King’s army, stubbornly avoiding the invitations over the years, always choosing his own way.  After many years of hearing about the King and the honor and joy of serving in the King’s army, he finally accepted the invitation and decided to become a soldier.  He eagerly read the soldier’s training manual and listened intently during the training sessions. The King and Simon became dear friends and Simon pledged his life in service to his King.  He spent nearly a thousand hours in deep study and practice, honing his skills as a swordsman – something for which he received many praises from his fellow soldiers.  He was promoted through the ranks and was exceptionally proud of his position and skills in swordsmanship and combat.  Simon was a soldier.

Life as a soldier on the front lines, Simon would soon discover, was full of danger.  Constant attacks from the enemy, ambushes of incredible speed and intensity, and traps set for unsuspecting and gullible travelers.  But Simon was a trained soldier and he was wary of the traps and had been taught by the King and his commanders to sense the dangers and potential ambushes.  During times of battle with the enemy, Simon proficiently utilized his fighting skills and relied upon his training and his battle armor, especially his shield and sword.  The enemy’s archers could not penetrate his shield and at hand to hand combat Simon’s sword was used swiftly and confidently to defeat his enemy.   Simon was not just a soldier but was a good soldier.

After several years at the border, Simon requested that his unit be assigned to a much less hostile area, for he and his men were tired of fighting and needed some rest.  They greatly enjoyed the lighter duty, joking that they were on vacation.  One particular day, a very beautiful day of sunshine and blue skies, Simon decided to dress lighter, for they had not had any trouble or danger for several weeks.  The heavy breastplate was left on the floor in his sleeping quarters, as was the cumbersome belt.  Simon enjoyed that particular day, as he felt cooler and lighter without the heavy armor.  Several days passed and Simon began to feel confident in his lighter style of dress, as did the men under his command.  The next morning was exceptionally hot and Simon decided that he would he and his men would perform their duties without the burdens of the heavy battle armor, shield, and the large heavy sword.  They would merely carry their short swords, for they were victorious soldiers of the King, skilled at martial arts and fighting of any kind.  Simon and his men were exuberant, laughing and goofing around, playing foolish games, and generally acting in ways unbecoming of a soldier.  They deserved this vacation – they had earned it!  That night they put on a feast, with succulent meats, breads, and wines, and they invited much of the town to join them in their celebration. It was a time of great relaxation and merriment.

As the full moon was shining down and the party raged on, Simon heard a horn blow.  He looked up to see the sky fill with fire, as the enemy had launched a barrage of flaming arrows into the town.  Thousands upon thousands of arrows fell down on Simon and his men and the townspeople.  Screams of terror and cries of anguish filled the air along with the flaming arrows.  Simon and his men instinctively reached for their shields, but of course, the shields were lying on the floors of their sleeping quarters.  With no shield or breastplate to protect them, the arrows easily pierced the bodies of the soldiers, including Simon.  Then came the enemy foot soldiers, with spears and long broadswords, charging into the town square.  With mere daggers on their sides, Simon and his men were no match for the sword- wielding enemy.  It was a massacre.  Simon and twenty others were able to flee the town into the heavily wooded areas to the north, limping and bleeding their way up the steep paths.   They could hear the enemy cheering and laughing, calling out “Victory, victory is ours!”  Simon and his few remaining men cowered in the thickets of the woods until morning until they saw a large garrison of the King’s troops ride into the town.  The enemy forces could be seen retreating over the southern hills, knowing that they were greatly out-powered by the King’s massive army.

As Simon and his men came slowly back into town carrying several soldiers on make-shift stretchers, the King could be seen standing in the town square.  He appeared to be waiting, with a vast army circling him, knees bowed.  The King called out, “Simon, where is your armor?”   Simon bowed his head and then looked up and replied, “Dear King, we left our shields and swords in the sleeping quarters, for this was a peaceful town.  I am sorry, my King.  I have lost the battle and failed You”.   The King’s eyes filled with tears as He saw the pain and suffering in Simon’s face and in the men with him.  The King walked up to the group, embracing them.  He removed the arrows from their bodies and, placing His hands on their wounds, healed them instantly, leaving only the scars where the arrows and swords had pierced their bodies.

Lastly, He came to Simon, who had fallen to his knees, his head bowed low, with five arrows sticking from his chest and back and a huge gash on his right arm.  Tears were streaming from Simon’s eyes, as he sobbed heavily, blood dripping from his battered mouth.   “My King, forgive me!  I am not worthy to be called your soldier”, Simon cried out.  The King placed his hands on Simon, removing the arrows and healing the wounds.  He made Simon stand up and He placed his hand under Simon’s chin, lifting his face and looking into the tear-filled eyes of His friend.  “My son, you are forgiven.  You are a friend of the King.”  The King then hugged Simon and said “Simon, a soldier cannot go into battle without his armor!  How can you fight?  How can you be victorious?”  The King waved his hand, summoned His assistants, who then carried over a large gold-covered chest.  The King said, “Simon, I am giving you My armor.”  The King proceeded to place the beautiful, pure gold armor on Simon, beginning with the breastplate.  “Simon, my name is written on this, and I give it to you.”  The King then placed the large, beautifully engraved belt around Simon’s waist and on his head He set a beautiful helmet, saying “A perfect fit, made for you.  This signifies that you are My son, My friend”.  He then placed new sandals on Simon’s feet and tied them securely.  “A soldier must be able to move, he must be ready at all times”.   He then handed the large shield to Simon, making sure his grip was true.  “Simon, my son, with this shield I give you, you can have faith that will extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy – but you must hold it up when under attack!”  And the King lastly handed Simon a beautiful sword, covered entirely with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek writing.  “Simon, My sword I give you.  I have written My Word upon it and it will never fail you.  This sword is your weapon, Simon.  A soldier must know how to use his weapon.  Read it, study it, know it, and use it to defeat your enemy. That is why I give it to you.”

The King stepped back and looked at Simon.  “Simon, with this armor you will be able to win the battles against our enemy.  But Simon, you must wear it – it does no good lying on your floor, as you have discovered.  Remember that always.  There will be many more battles in your life and you must be prepared, for the enemy knows your weakness and he knows when you are vulnerable.  Put on this armor daily and you will be able to stand.   And know that I am with you always until the end of the age. For I will never leave you nor forsake you – I am the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. ”

Simon nodded his head, smiled, and replied “Jesus, You are my King.  I will daily strive to be a good and faithful servant and will put on the full armor of God, so that I may stand firm by Your side.”

Inspired by Ephesians 6:10-18, The Holy Bible (NIV)

The Armor of God

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


One Response

  1. Great stuff Dave! Thanks for sharing!

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