“Holy men of God spake as they were moved…” (2 Peter 2:21)
Once upon a time, long ago, in a land where evil giants did the bidding of petty tyrants and false prophets stole the hearts of men with frightening tales of angry gods who must be appeased with bloody battles and bloodier rituals, there lived a young musician who played in the court of the King.
The lad was a once and future shepherd who understood the power of words. His name is David. He is now famous the world over because he felled a giant, united a Kingdom, and lifted up his people out of tyranny. But his most enduring legacy, long after the castles and fortresses have turned to dust, that still lives on are the songs that he wrote. He was a warrior and a poet. He knew how to wield both the pen and the sword.
Because the words that he wrote are the very words of God in the sacred psalms there is a sword in his pen. “The word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12 As a Captain and a King, David had to learn how and when to wield the sword in Battle. What battles are worth fighting? Not just in terms of whether or not they can be won, but also in terms of at what cost.
As Christians in a world that is filled with so much anger, hatred, feuding, and brokenness, one of the hardest things to know is when to wield the Word of God as a sword of battle, or when to carry it as “balm of Gilead” to heal the wounded hearts from the battles raging all around us. It is so easy to take the sword into the meanstreets of the Social Media melee, and start swinging. Or pick a fight with a class-mate or co-worker and call it “taking a stand”.
But, in the final analysis, does that kind of Battle, won or lost, help us win the war? Truth is a powerful weapon. But light doesn’t have to beat back darkness. Darkness flees from it. “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”. (James 1:20) The Good Samaritan, didn’t draw his sword and run after the robbers. He pulled out his first aid kit and tended the wounded.
There is a time to stand and fight against an evil giant. There are hills worth fighting for and even dying on. But there are also issues that come up that we have more important things to worry about than winning those particular arguments. The only thing more important than knowing how to wield a sword, is knowing when.