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What are you doing with your sword?
While I understand that
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder;
it is more than exquisite beauty, extravagant design or even the intricate craftsmanship that made the Napoleon Bonaparte sword the 2nd most expensive sword in the world. The supporting story that the golden studded handle was held in the hand of the French emperor and used on the battlefield was a major factor that brought the $6.5 million selling price.
The Bible gives us a list of notable swords,
the primary tool of defense;
swords that brought freedom and deliverance; swords held in the hands of triumphant warriors-
the sword of:
As valuable as the sword was, we see a time in Israel’s history where the people didn’t have swords or spears.
1 Samuel 13:16-19 NIV
16Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.
19Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” 20So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles f sharpened. 21The price was two-thirds of a shekel for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.
22So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
How do you win wars with an army that has no weapons?
Well God did it by raising up a man, one man, with one of only two swords in the whole land. A man of courage, and faith…a man that would seek God’s will, a man named Jonathan-King Saul’s son. You should read this amazing story of Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14.
Stop believing the lie that because you are just one person that there’s nothing you can do. Too often we do nothing because we feel that our little doesn’t make a difference anyway. That is simply not true.
Sword of Goliath
Probably the most famous of the above mentioned swords is Goliath’s sword.
It is fascinating that this sword is famous for what Goliath didn’t do, instead of what he did do with it.
4Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! 5He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. 6He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. 7The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.
David answered Goliath’s accusation
1 Samuel 17: 45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
Continuing in 1 Samuel 17
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.
Did you see that?
Goliath wasn’t even holding his sword; it was still in its sheath. David pulled it out and cut off the giant’s head. Saul’s scared, chicken hearted army were rallied when they saw the head of their defeated enemy in David’s hand.
Fuel your courage with someone else’s victory.
What if that army had whined, “Why doesn’t anything like that happen to me?” No! Instead, they understood they were part of one army! David’s victory was their victory. It catapulted the whole army from chicken hearted, knee knocking fear that caused them to cower and hide into a courageous pursuit of their enemy.
Saul appointed David as commander over his army. David was a very successful leader and loved by the people. I believe it was in this role that David learned to use a sword quite skillfully.
After a successful battle David and his army were welcomed home with something like a ticker tape parade where the women sung a triumphant song as the soldier paraded past. “Saul had slain his thousands. David has slain his ten thousands.” Their sweet tribute was bitter in Saul’s ears. King Saul’s jealousy festered into a ravenous plot to murder David.
Saul was jealous.
After yet another jealous rage where King Saul threw his spear at David, David escaped. He ran to the High Priest Ahimelech. And this is why I believe David was skillful with a sword, He asked Ahimelech for a sword or a spear.
1 Samuel 21:9 “I only have the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah,” the priest replied. “It is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. Take that if you want it, for there is nothing else here.”
Wrapped in a cloth in a safe place…that’s what you do with something valuable; you tuck it in a safe place so nothing happens to it.
But look at what David says.
“There is nothing like it!” David replied. “Give it to me!”
Ahimelech retrieves the sword from it’s hiding place and hands it, still wrapped, to David. David unwraps the sword crafted for a giant as he remembers the moment he held this very same sword in his hand for the very first time. He remembers the exhilaration that flooded him; the fight-God’s fight. The victory-God’s victory. The defeat- the enemy’s defeat. He had never gone back home; his life would never be the same; but He served a God that would never change–
Would He…Could He?
Could God be faithful
again…now in this situation- in this difficult situation as he ran to save his life. His actions seem to prove that He believed God would be faithful even in the darkest situation; because he ran to the high priest.
I saved the best sword for last.
The sword of Bonaparte may be the 2nd most expensive sword, but I want to be sure you know the most valuable sword is the “Sword of the Spirit.”
Paul reminds us that God has not left believers defenseless.
We’ve been given both defensive and offensive weaponry so we can stand against the devil’s strategy.
Ephesians 6:17 NIV Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The sword of the Spirit.
It is the Sword of Spirit that fought through Jonathan. It was the Sword of the Spirit that defeated Goliath. And it is the Sword of the Spirit that God has provided for you to win the battle that you are facing right now.
You know that?
Of course you do!
There are dozens, maybe even hundreds of books, maybe thousands of sermons that have been preached on the subject…yet the landscape is strewn with defeated believers!
Is it God’s plan for believer’s
to be defeated by addictive habits and enslaved by sin?
Have God’s weapons failed us?
You know the answer to that question; you know with your heart that God has a different plan than that for His church!
God’s Words says in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “King James Bible
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
If our weapons are so strong, then why are we so weak?
I see 3 reasons in the stories I’ve listed above.
1. No blacksmith.
2. Fear stopped them.
3. A stored sword.
1. No blacksmith.
A blacksmith forges a blade.
When you read the Scriptures causally, without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you’ll never forge it into promises that you can grip with your heart and speak with your mouth. When you look at 2 Corinthians 10:4 the word used “word” is rhema. It means the spoken word of God.
Become a student of God’s Word. Take Scripture personally. Let it become a whisper, a promise, a strategy for your life. But, not a student that collects, like world famous sword collectors, instead use it skillfully by declaring and speaking God’s Word into your situation.
2. Saul’s army was afraid.
So they cowered, shook, dreaded, stared, grumbled, but never raised their weapon against the enemy until David came on the scene.
Again and again we see God works through partnerships! God wants you to step out and use your sword. Whatever lie has you cowering in a foxhole, get up, use your sword and declare God’s Word.
3. A stored sword.
No one can win your battle for you! You may have the greatest sword, a Goliath sword…none like it…tucked into a safe place…even in a holy place, completely useless.
When David came on the scene and defeated the giant, the army rallied from their fear and used their swords.
I want to remind you that a Savior from the lineage of David has come on the scene- Jesus. He defeated the enemy…death, hell and the grave on the cross. And, because He defeated the enemy, you can too! But you can’t do it hiding. You have to use your sword…speak God’s Word…specifically designed by God into your situation. Pray it. Declare it. Sing it. There is power in God’s Word. Inside your Bible it is living seed, but dormant. When you take that seed and believe it and declare it, persistently and diligently, listening for God’s strategy. God brings the victory.
So you know exactly what I’ve been patiently waiting to ask you…