One of the most beautiful pictures of the mighty work of God is in Isaiah 2:4. “In the end times,” Isaiah writes, “God will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares…” Somehow, as God draws His world into His Kingdom, we will get a handle on peace and will not lay down our swords, but, instead, we will beat them into instruments of peace.
But I like my swords.
I like them a lot. When I am attacked, I want to, with complete justification, defend myself. When I am betrayed, I reach for my sword. When I feel weak, I touch the handle rising above the scabbard.
Swords are handy instruments.
We use them when we are attacked, or betrayed or feel like we are weak. We use them on enemies who attack us, friends who betray us, or anyone who makes us feel weak.
I was having coffee with a friend of mine and we were talking about the stuff that happened at Singing Hills. He was angry at how I was treated. I am angry at how I was treated. We talked about the players. We talked about the high handed nature of their betrayal. All of a sudden I realized how skilled I am with a sword.
I tossed it down.
We continued talking. Before long, I had found another sword and was swinging it wildly. Not like a mad man, like a very sane one. I was one who knew who he was and knew who had betrayed him. I was one who knew the enemy and knew what to do.
But these are not the times to live by the sword. These are not the times for victory via violence, for these are end times. These are times when Messiah has come and with Him has come this way of peace among His followers.
Swords are to be beat into plowshares. All of them.
Beating swords into plowshares is hard work. It is much more difficult than using swords for what they were intended.
Being a man of peace means that every time I draw my sword, I step up to an anvil and begin pounding.
It means the denying of myself Jesus demands happens with every sword. It means the cross I bear is a cross of peace. It means the ones who betrayed me, the ones who hurt me deeply, the ones who hurt my family–those get to live. And more than that, they get to plow with my swords.
I have swords to beat.