How many times does the word “sword” appear in the Bible? You might be surprised to learn that in the ESV version of the Bible that it appears 408 times.
God has a thing with swords and it would appear with fighting and battles.
In Old Testament times we hear repeatedly, the message that God’s people are involved in battles for their very lives and existence. Often they were bloody battles. God was there with his people fighting against evil, false teaching and indeed for a right to actually live or exist.
It seems strange to us today.
To our modern world and sensitivities, this would seem almost like an “anti-God” message. The problem is that the people who think like that simply don’t know God very well. We need a correction on our vision and understanding of God and his message and mission. Some have become accustomed to a whitewashed version of God that replaces the real God that exists with a politically correct message that teaches incorrect theology.
The CCLS theme for the year suggests a battle that we are to fight. Make no mistake that it is a real battle that has been raging and intensifying for many years. Today, we are rarely required to actually draw a “real” sword for God.
We should look at God’s word to understand the meaning here. God’s word always interprets itself.
Ephesians 6:16-17: “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Paul’s letter to the Christians of Ephesus was written at a time of great peril for Christians. In fact it would get much worse before it got any better, with many Christians and Paul himself dying for Christ and the cross.
Was Paul talking about taking up a real sword? No. We again need to turn to the Bible to understand Paul’s words.
In the Book of Revelations Chapter 1:16, it describes the scene when Jesus will return (someday in the future). It says,
“In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.”
Here we understand that Jesus words are like a double edged sword. They cut and they cut two ways. We have to be careful with them, just like with a real sword.
The Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 4:12,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
So, the picture becomes clearer…. Jesus words, the Bible is the sword we carry into battle. That battle is coming. It’s for real.
But know that you are the redeemed children of God! You have been saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
So, use Jesus’ words with amazing grace and care.
Know that when you are out in this world facing challenges, temptation, evil and other bad stuff, Jesus words go with you. They have amazing power, grace and meaning. They are our greatest weapon, protection and hope.
At Christ Community Lutheran School, we have chosen this verse “Fight the Good Fight of the Faith” as our Theme for the 2013-14 school year. We did that because this battle is becoming more drawn and real every day and we want our children to be prepared.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Matthew 28: 20b