War

Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust.

Psalm 144:1-2

War.  A terrible concept.  Hell visits Earth in battle.  Men kill.  Men die.

What is the Psalmist saying though here?  He isn’t exalting God for keeping him out of war, but for preparing him for it.

In that day, wars were fought up close and personal with sword, spear, ax, and club.  They were fought at throwing range with slings and javelins.  They were fought at slightly longer ranges with bows.

Wars were dirty business, just as they are today.  They required athleticism, just as they do today.  They required mental discipline, just as they do today.  They required a stout heart, a steady hand, and a discerning judgment, just as they do today.  Those truths are eternal and they hold true whether we are speaking about physical human war or spiritual war, like those we fight continually day-to-day just living on this Earth.

I know that I have been particularly laser-like in my focus on the current push for greater gun regulation.  I also know that it is a temporal issue, not an eternal one, but I also know that the Psalmist (whom I presume is David, the man after God’s own heart) wrote this Psalm.  I firmly believe that scripture speaks on multiple levels and while it is able to be interpreted that we also must not ignore the plain speech.

I hope that the next time you read scripture, you are shown not only the hidden deeper meaning to it, but also the bold plainly written one right in front of you.

If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Luke 22:36, NIV

He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Luke 22:36, KJV

Let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.

Luke 22:36, ESV

He that hath none, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.

Luke 22:36, 1599 Geneva Bible

et qui non habet, vendat tunicam suam et emat gladium. (roughly translated: and who does not have, sell your tunic and buy sword.)

Luke 22:36, Vulgate

 

Lord, make me fast and accurate.
Let my aim be true and my hand faster
Than those who would seek to destroy me.
Grant me victory over my foes and those that
Wish to do harm to me and mine.
Let not my last thought be if I only had my gun.
Lord, if today is truly the day that you call me home,
Let me die praising your name and in a pile of empty brass.

 

 

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