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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
June 1, 2002

God brings wars to an end all over the world.
He breaks the arrows, shatters the spears, and burns the shields.

Psalm 46:9 (CEV*)

Some people trust the power of chariots or horses, but we trust you, Lord God.
Psalm 20:7 (CEV*)

I have put these two texts together because it seems to me that the first expresses the will of God and the second our response to it. God allows us humans to choose our response, and the consequences will follow. God loves the world and wants the best for us, but we need to respond in order for it to happen.

The Old Testament contains visions of a coming world at peace - a world in which even all the animals live peacefully with each other (see Isaiah 11:6-9). The New Testament is the story of the Prince of Peace. Many expected the Messiah to come as a mighty warrior smiting the enemies of Israel. However, he instead came out of humble circumstances and exemplified servant leadership. A disciple attempted to defend him by the sword, But Jesus told him, "Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting." (Matthew 26:52, CEV*)

So I believe the psalmist in the first scripture reference above is telling us what God would do and will do if we are faithful. It is God's fervent desire that we live in peace with one another.

The second scripture reference tells us how we should respond to God. We must resist the temptation to rely on military might to achieve even the noblest of ends, no matter how logical the argument for war seems to be on human terms. Instead we must put our trust solely in God, and hold fast to God in every circumstance.

May we each live " the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars..." (George Fox, 1651).

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:00:25 EST