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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Beginning and Ending with the Blade
By Myrna Noyes


Sparking as if with high-voltage celestial electricity, the terrible blade arced in unremitting rhythm from one side to the other. This first sword brandished upon our earth was not grasped by the hand of one of us with whom this world has been populated. It was wielded by a created being, yes; but by a human being, no. Cherubim, not Homo sapien. The luminous figure with its fiery weapon had been charged with the sorrowful but necessary task of guarding against mortal man's re-entrance into God's glorious Garden.

Many flashing swords followed this one upon our home sphere, but these were man-made and human-held. Some were used for righteous purposes, but many more for unrighteous. I think of David and the taunting, too-confident Philistine. We know that David used a sling and five smooth stones to topple the giant who came well-armed against him bearing "sword and spear and javelin," but then we see the victorious boy cutting off the already dead Goliath's head with his own sword. Why this gruesome end to a wonderful victory given by God?

There is also the sad story of Saul. After being privately anointed by the prophet Samuel to be Israel's first king, the humble young man almost missed his own public coronation due to his feelings of inadequacy. As time passed, however, poisonous pride and a slew of sins turned his heart from God, and he met his tragic end on a bloody battlefield as his army was going down in defeat. Being critically wounded and not wanting to be tortured and mocked by his enemies, he chose rather to expire immediately by impaling himself upon his own sword.

As for our Savior and Lord, swords figured at both the beginning and the end of His earthly life. On the eighth day of his infancy, as Jesus was being consecrated before God in the temple at Jerusalem, the devout Simeon came up to Mary and Joseph. Cradling the Blessed Baby in his aged arms, Simeon first praised God for the child and then pronounced a blessing upon the little family. The pleased parents "marveled at what was said" about their son, but I wonder what their thoughts were after the delighted praise turned disturbingly prophetic. Simeon addressed Mary, saying: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul, too." Here was Mary's first hint, not a totally subtle one either, as to how her son's life might end. (Later, in His instructions to the Twelve on sending them out to minister, Jesus said that the message of His kingdom would cause divisions, even among close family members. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword," He warned.)

In truth, the last hours of Jesus' life here were filled with swords. When He was arrested in Gethsemane's garden, He was surrounded by a "large crowd armed with swords and clubs." Immediately after that, Jesus' disciples asked, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" Evidently without waiting for an answer, Peter unsheathed his and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. Jesus' healed the ear and then commanded Peter , "Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." Soon after, on Golgotha's Cross, Simeon's earlier prophecy was fulfilled when a soldier pierced the side of Jesus' already dead body with a spear.

Post-Resurrection, the beloved Apostle John, banished to the lonely Isle of Patmos, had an amazing vision of the majestic, glorified Christ having "a sharp double-edged sword" coming from out of His mouth. In another end-time, apocalyptic vision, John describes the One mounted on a white horse, "whose rider is called Faithful and True," who wears "a robe dipped in blood" and whose name is "the Word of God," as having "a sharp sword" coming out of His mouth "with which to strike down the nations."

So our human existence on this planet both began and will end with swords. The first one mentioned barred us from the personal Presence of God because of the entrance of sin, but the final one will cause the door to close forever on earth's sin and open again to our face to face fellowship with God.

Scriptures referenced in order: Luke 2:25-35, Matthew 26:47-56, John 18:10,11 & 19:34, Matthew 10:34, Revelation 1:16 & 19:15

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This article has been read 341 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/13
Wow you did a stunning job with this. You helped open my eyes to see these verses in a different way than I ever have before. Outstanding.
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Well written and thought provoking entry.Great job!

God bless~
Bonnie Bowden 03/15/13
Your writing was very enlightening. I had no idea that swords played such a prominent part in the Bible.

Well done!
Christina Banks 03/18/13
I enjoyed this study of swords throughout the Bible. You wove it all together masterfully. Your entry was very enjoyable to read and it makes me want to go back and read certain passages of scripture again. Well done.
Joseph Veseli03/18/13
This is a great display of masterful writing. I'm so thankful that I am not on the cutting end of that final blade!

Thanks for sharing this with us!!!
Judith Gayle Smith03/18/13
No amount of polish could further enhance this well written piece, that you threw together in about two hours. It moves and flows and methinks I know Who inspired you to write this. Sometimes my best pieces are what I call "vomited" out. Not a great term for it, but it is how I feel when I cannot stop writing something and then find that I had learned quite a bit from it. Maybe I should replace "vomit" with - prayerfully, inspired?
Alicia Renkema03/19/13
I love all of the many opportunities for word-studies within the word of God. Thank you for this one. I can hardly wait to see our Lord on His horse with that sword coming out of His mouth as He comes in all His glory to put all things right. Thank you for showing us that God will indeed have the last say with His sword of truth carried by TRUTH Himself. You really brought the topic alive and the Bible alive with all of your marvelous descriptions.
Ellen Carr 03/19/13
You have tackled this topic very creatively and brought out some interesting biblical occurrences of the sword. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
Congratulations on ranking 6th in Masters and 18 overall!