November 2

Psalm 149:6-9

“Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples…” vss. 6-7

In the psalmist’s apocalyptic vision, those heavenly choirs would do more than sing praises to God. It would be their pleasure to take two-edged swords and execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples as God’s chosen instruments of judgment. That kind of language has long had strong appeal for plenty of people, and particularly people of faith. And folks haven’t waited for the end times to begin doing the slaughtering. Within the last year, all around the world people have taken up arms to destroy and punish those perceived as their enemies. Sometimes it’s genocide, trying to eradicate a particular ethnic group, and sometimes it’s just pure vengeance, an attempt to punish or control another nation. It’s heart-breaking to see how willing we are to use violence to inflict injury. And what’s even worse, some might even use the psalmist’s words as a call to arms and see themselves as doing the work of God. Those who walk in the way of Jesus have an obligation to stand against these thugs and murderers and proclaim the way of peace. All this killing will get us nowhere and is repugnant to our loving God. The kingdom of peace envisioned by Jesus will be ushered in by prayer and acts of love and not by armed militias.

Thought for the Day: Why do people join militias?

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