“Be very strong: be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” ---Joshua 23:6
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
One of the greatest debates raging today concerns privately held weapons in the United States. Americans in every quarter are wrestling with the Constitutional right to "bear arms." This right was enacted very purposefully in our Constitution as a societal protection against despots and tyrannical governments. As Founding Father, James Madison, pointed out above, bearing arms is an issue of trust --- the people trust themselves with weapons as a guard rather than a government mistrusting them! Another of Madison's generation, George Mason, said, "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." When people lack the ability to defend themselves, they are prey to anyone --- government, gang, robber, or tyrant --- who would rob them of what they have or exercise effective control over them.
This is doubly true in the spiritual realm, also! Living our faith is described in Ephesians as "spiritual warfare." From Israel's prophets in the Old Testament to our Lord Jesus in the New Testament, the Word of God is described consistently in the language of weaponry. The Word of God is "a fire" in Jeremiah 23:29. It is "the power (dynamite) of God" in Romans 1:16. It is the "sword of the Spirit" in Ephesians 6:17, and Hebrews 4:12 says it is "sharper than any double-edged sword." All of these passages and more illustrate graphically its power and use.
For God's people of faith, the Word of God is an absolutely essential offensive and defensive weapon. We defend ourselves against attack by reading it, by meditating on and internalizing it, and by quoting it as Jesus did in His great temptations in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). We use it offensively by sharing it in personal conversations, lessons, and in preaching. Hebrews 4:12 even says that it "judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." What a blessing it is that God has entrusted this Word to us!
Therefore, if we neglect God’s Word, or fail to read it, or do not study it, or we disbelieve it, then we've become thoroughly spiritually disarmed! Disarmament in this sense only leads to eventual defeat! Just as nations and kingdoms have learned in the difficult crucible of experience, the world is a dangerous place, indeed! To be disarmed is to be placed at the mercy of those who would rule you, rob you, or mistreat you.
So, in the week ahead as you fight the good fight, do not neglect your most valuable weapon, God's Word. Like the finest swords of another era, it will not fail us! Feed yourself on the Word and make it an inseparable part of your daily life. Make its precepts your foundation and its commandments your rules for living. Let its life invigorate you, and let its words be your comfort. It will steer you straight and take you to the destination that is eternal and blessed. May the light of God’s Word give you light for each day’s path this week and for ever.
“Almighty God, Thou hast deigned to show Thyself so intimately to us and also daily deignest to confirm us in Thy truth. Grant we may turn aside neither to the right nor to the left, but depend wholly on Thy Word and so cleave to Thee that no errors of the world may lead us astray. May we stand firm in that faith which we have learned from Thy law, from the prophets and the Gospel (wherein Thou has more clearly shown Thyself through Christ), that we may finally enjoy Thy full and perfect glory, being transfigured into it, at last attaining that inheritance acquired for us by the blood of Thine only begotten Son. Amen." ---John Calvin