Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Follow God's plan for warfare and peace

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Sometimes it's hard to know what Jesus wants you to do. But it's worth following his lead, even if you get it wrong sometimes.

Monday Luke 22:35-38, 47-51 (NIV)
[Jesus] said to them, "When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "No, not a thing." He said to them, "But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled." They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." He replied, "It is enough."

. . . While [Jesus] was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?" When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, "Lord, should we strike with the sword?" Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him.

What do you think Jesus meant when he told his disciples that they should buy swords?

When Jesus said “No more of this,” do you think he meant the ban to apply to just that night, or throughout all time, or something else?

Tuesday Psalm 144:1-2 (NRSV)
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

The psalmist believed God trained his hands for war.
What has God trained your hands for?

Wednesday 2 Corinthians 10: (NRSV)
Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

What are the weapons that you fight with?

Do you “wage war as the world does”? Or some other way?

Have you taken every thought captive?

Thursday 1 Samuel 17:38-45 (NRSV)
Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armour on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

When David volunteered to fight Goliath, the king tried to outfit him in the conventions of the day. He gave him armor for fighting a regular battle. But how could David succeed against a giant if he used a regular strategy?

Fortunately, David quickly abandoned King Saul’s plan. He knew his only hope of success was to use his own strengths and the skills he had developed, not the traditional expectations of others.

What are your strengths? What are your skills?

Do you stick with those, or do you conform to the expectations of others?

God’s plans for warfare and peace often require tremendous faith, because they don’t look like they will work. Three examples:

Joshua got his army to march around Jericho seven days in a row. That was God’s plan for how to capture the city. See Joshua 1:1-5.

Gideon fought a vast army with 300 men (after sending 30,000 soldiers home). See Judges 7:1-22.

Jesus died on the cross so people could be saved from sin, death and the power of the devil. See Luke 22:41-23:49.

What have you done that has taken faith to believe it would work?

What are have you done this week because of Jesus?
What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?
What do you need help with