Who ever heard of defeating a whole army with a stone shot from a sling? Well, if you’ve heard Bible stories, you’ve probably heard of that one, hurled by young David at the giant Goliath, resulting in a rout of the whole Philistine army.
Here are some other unconventional weapons God used in the hands of his people in the Old Testament:
–An oxgoad in the hands of Shamgar that killed 600 Philistines who had been oppressing Israel. (Judges 3:31)
–A tent peg driven by Jael, a woman, into the temple of an enemy general as he slept. (Judges 4:21)
—Ram’s horns, clay jars and torches in the hands of Gideon and his 300 men. The cacophany in the middle of the night threw the huge Midianite army into panic so that many killed one another and the others fled. (Judges 7:16ff)
–A donkey’s jawbone in the hands of Samson that killed 1000 Philistines. (Judges 15:15)
—Songs of praise to God from the mouths of the choir marching in front of Jehoshaphat’s army. When they reached the enemy, they found that God had already responded to their song by causing them to slaughter one another. (2 Chronicles 20:21)
God doesn’t require the latest modern weapons to win the victory. In each of these cases, it was not the strength of the weapons themselves but the faith of God’s people in His infinite power. Yes, that power is still available today. It’s a wonderful thing to wield the weapon of prayer and watch God do amazing things in response.
Within a half hour of reading in the minor prophets (those short books at the end of the Old Testament) I came across these two verses that seem to contradict each other:
“Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears..” (Joel 3:10 NIV)
“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks..” (Micah 4:3, also Isaiah 2:4)
I am told that in that day, people could and actually did convert these tools into weapons and vice versa, depending on whether it was a time of peace or war.
With that insight and looking at the context of these two verses, we see that Joel is warning Israel’s enemies to get ready for the war that God will wage against them.
On the other hand, Micah is describing the state of eternal peace that will be inaugurated when God finally rules all nations and hearts without rival.
God’s arrival can mean disaster or peace, depending on whether we’re on His side or not. Which side are you on? Are you looking forward to His direct intervention in world history or dreading it?
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. (2 Peter 3:9-13 NLT)