Psalm 140:7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

MEMORY VERSE: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. —I Peter 1:13

CENTRAL THOUGHT: “The hope of conquering every adversary and surmounting every difficulty, through the blood of the Lamb, is as a helmet that protects the head; an impenetrable one, that the blow of the battle-axe cannot cleave. The hope of continual safety and protection, built on the promises of God, to which the upright follower of Christ feels he has a Divine right, protects the understanding from being darkened, and the judgment from being confused by any temptations of Satan, or subtle arguments of the sophistical ungodly. He who carries Christ in his heart cannot be cheated out of the hope of his heaven” (Clarke’s Commentary).


Psalm 140:7 “Covered”: overshadowed; screened.

Isaiah 59:17 “Helmet”: from a root meaning high; rounded, as an arch; turban. “Salvation”: salvation from God, primarily from external evils; often with an added spiritual idea (Brown-Driver-Briggs).

Ephesians 6:17 “Helmet”: encirclement of the head. “The glorious truth that we are saved…will keep us from intellectual surrender and rationalistic doubt” (Pulpit Commentary).

I Thessalonians 5:8 “Hope”: anticipate; welcome; expectation of what is sure. “Salvation”: from a word that means to save or rescue; deliverance. “Hope of salvation is of great use to a Christian many ways: it is a cordial to comfort him, a spur to quicken him, a staff to support him, a bridle to restrain him, and so also a helmet to defend him: and therefore no wonder that the apostle calls true hope a lively hope” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

I Peter 1:13 “Hope to the end”: “perfectly, with a full, unwavering, constant hope” (Pulpit Commentary).


David’s prayer in Psalm 140 was written when he was fleeing from Saul and had encountered Doeg, an Edomite, Saul’s servant and chief herdsman, at the tabernacle at Nob. Ahimelech, the priest, had given David some of the hallowed bread to sustain him and his men; he had also given him the sword of Goliath at David’s hurried request for a weapon. The sad part of this was that David had explained his presence there deceptively, so that the priest did not know he was fleeing from Saul. Doeg reported David’s presence to the king, who falsely accused the priest of conspiracy and had Doeg kill eighty-five priests, along with the men, women, children, babies and livestock in the entire city of Nob. What a tragic loss as a result of a king mad with envy against a fugitive future king desperate to save his life! David no doubt mourned his part in putting the priests in jeopardy, while recognizing his real safety was from God. The part of verse seven that adds understanding to our study today is, “Thou hast covered my head…” As we have noted before about the armor of God, when we “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” we are putting on a helmet, shield, breastplate and all. He is salvation!

We are citing again the verse from Isaiah about the Messiah. He put on a breastplate of righteousness and a helmet of salvation; a metaphor which portrays His righteous justice against sin and his righteous purpose to accomplish salvation for mankind.

Paul’s epistle to the Thessalonians echoes his message about the panoply to the Ephesians. There is a small difference in wording, but when you compare and combine the terms in these two books, the result is a more full and well-rounded understanding. The context of both I Thessalonians 5:8 and I Peter 1:13 gives us the idea not only of salvation as justification from sins through Christ, but that of future deliverance and eternal salvation to be revealed at His second coming.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Psalm 140 was written after what discouraging time in David’s life?
  2. Express how David was protected by God in his times of battle and physical danger.
  3. Share the meaning of the wearing of the breastplate and helmet by the Messiah.
  4. What are the term differences between Ephesians 6:17 and I Thessalonians 5:8, and how do they combine to give a complete meaning?
  5. How does the “hope” expressed in I Thessalonians 5:8 and I Peter 3:13 provide protection to the Christian soldier?


As the girdle of truth stabilizes the emotions and affections of a person, in the same way the helmet protects the rationale, the intellect, the mind. God kept David from giving way to despair; he covered his head in the times of battle. The salvation or deliverance God gives today—as Paul puts it in II Corinthians 1:10, He “delivered us [past tense] from so great a death, and doth deliver [present tense], in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us [future tense]”—and what we expect Him to do for us in the days ahead gives us such hope and keeps us from losing our grip on sanity. It protects us from satan’s insidious attacks on our minds.

I remember hearing, as a child, a recorded message by Bro. Louis Williams, on the importance of knowing you are saved. “If you say, ‘I think I’m saved’, you just give the devil a stick to crack your head with!” It’s so important to seek God with all your heart until you know you have touched Him and He has saved you from your sins. It’s equally important to seek Him for the infilling of His Spirit, and tarry there until He has quenched your heart’s deep thirst. The unquestioned knowledge that He is your Savior will keep your heart and your mind when doubts assail and you can’t see or feel His presence.

I’m so thankful for the added expression in I Thessalonians: “the hope of salvation.” Where would we be without hope? The “expectation of what is sure.” The certainty that when we pray, God is hearing. That our trials will have an end. Hope sweetly sings in times of trouble: “It is better farther on.”

Farther on, but how much farther? Count the milestones one by one. No, no counting—only trusting! It is better farther on.”

Angela Gellenbeck


by Darren Gellenbeck, KY

In the fall of 2017, I was having some real trouble being under bondage to the devil for one thing or another. Being an overly conscientious person, I have struggled much with things like this and this time was one of the worst. I was under so much bondage that I didn’t even think I could turn around in a gas station parking lot without stopping to buy something from them! I reasoned that it was costing them money by putting wear on their pavement.

I knew I was doing things I had never heard of other balanced Christians doing, but I still had these “feelings” that I was not being honest or that I would not be pleasing God if I didn’t follow them. Trying to decide whether it was the Lord or not, and being afraid of displeasing Him, I would lose much peace in my mind over it, and many times end up giving into the feeling after long deliberation.

One thing that stands out to me is that even though I often did those things, it rarely brought true peace to me. It usually left me dissatisfied and still wondering if I should have done it or not.

I asked for counsel several times and took many notes, but though I received good counsel, it didn’t give me all I needed to overcome it.

One day as I was driving, I was clearly impressed with this thought: Until I understood better how to discern the voice of the Lord, I should ignore the thoughts if I couldn’t clearly tell who they came from. It made so much sense, I committed to trying it for a short time. It worked so well that I kept using that principle, and still use it sometimes.

That was definitely the turning point in my struggle with being in bondage. I am so thankful that Jesus came to set us free, not to give us more bondage. I would much rather be in servitude to God than to any of the enemy’s vices.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

—Darren Gellenbeck, KY

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