I opened my Amplified Bible to II Timothy 4: 1 – 2a and read:
“I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and in the light of His coming and His kingdom: Herald and preach the Word!”
I knew about 2 Corinthians 5: 20, where Christians are referred to as ambassadors for Christ. I knew that either an ambassador or a herald could be an official representative for a king, but wondered how they might differ. I was curious to learn how I could “herald the Word.”
To represent a king as a herald in the Middle Ages meant more than what we would expect of an ambassador today. The herald was the only servant allowed to wear the king’s shield of arms. His clothing looked like he was wearing the king’s banner. The herald completely took the king’s identity in this way. It was even considered treason if a fellow countryman harmed a herald while he was wearing this tabard. The herald represented the king so completely that he was considered “the voice of the crown.”
During war, the herald would take a message from the king into the enemy’s camp. The herald could not be harmed while he was there. The rules of war protected all heralds from harm. The following two verses relate to this image (I could have found more):
• “On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.” ~ Mark 13: 9b (NIV)
• “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” ~ Psalm 91: 4b – 5 (NIV)
In the next post, we will look into the herald’s message.
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The photo of modern-day heralds is from Wikimedia Commons.
God’s Herald by Sus Schmitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.