Swords into Plowshares

Star Wars

Eneas De Troya via Compfight

Kelley Nikondeha over at SheLoves wrote a penetrating essay on the work of peace and the prophet’s dreams of replacing the work of war into the work of feeding people. Peace isn’t passive. It’s hard work.

From Kelley’s essay:

Beating swords into plowshares is hard work–hammering, melting, reworking and shaping new tools. Transformation of this magnitude comes with sweat and sustained labor. Moving beyond hostility and hatred produces calloused hands, sore muscles and bone-deep exhaustion. Welders, after all, forge the lasting peace, a signal that maybe we need the work ethic of a tradesman for the task at hand.

But this ancient song is about more than bringing peace. Remember, we see God sorting things out between nations, negotiating the peace. It might be that their response, beating the swords and spears into something more useful, points to how we sustain that peace.

Related Reading

What is the Kingdom of God (Part 1)

We all know what the Kingdom of God is, right? But this is precisely the problem. Since we are all to a large extent products of our culture, what seems obviously true and right to us will be at least influenced, if not determined, by what seems obviously true and right to our culture. This,…

A Guide to the Book of Revelation

Marc Nozell via Compfight Kurt Willems posted this excellent guide for reading the Book of Revelation as it was intended to be read. As Kurt points out, this is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted book of the Bible. If you were weaned on A Thief in the Night or the Left Behind series of books,…

Is the New Testament Ambiguous About Non-Violence?

One could argue, with some legitimacy, that the portrait of God in the NT is not unambiguously non-violent, the revelation of God on Calvary notwithstanding. It can’t be denied that there are violent-appearing images of God in certain teachings of Jesus and certain NT authors, especially when it comes to their eschatological teachings. In addition,…

God’s Way of War

As Judah was facing impending doom, the Lord told Hosea that he would save them “not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God” (Hos 1:7). So too, through the Psalmist the Lord encourages his people by saying:                  …

The Kingdom Stance Toward Enemies

Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, when a group of temple guards showed up to arrest him. Peter immediately drew his sword and started swinging it, cutting off a guard’s ear. From the world’s point of view, this violence was justified. Peter was simply defending himself and his master. Yet Jesus rebuked him,…

Blessed are the Peacemakers

We recently watched a show on Frontline (PBS) called The Interrupters. This two hour long documentary follows several “Interrupters” as they attempt to peacefully resolve conflict in their oftentimes violent neighborhoods in Chicago. The group of Interrupters is a mix of the young and the not-so-young, women and men, single and married. They represent multiple…