“Let the high praise of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands” Psalm 149:6
I love this picture. Shouldn’t our lives look like this? Going forth each day, with high praise of God in our throats and two-edged swords in our hands. Such a demonstration of faith and praise to the God of Heaven and determination to walk in His strength.
First I want to take a moment to clarify: I’m not thinking of literal swords here or a physical fight that we wage. The psalm this verse comes from starts talking about nations and kings and princes, and I don’t believe that’s where God wants our focus to be this morning. I don’t think He wants us to be looking outward, going out to claim vengeance and wage war on those around us. I think the fight He wants us to wage is more important.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God…and take the…sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:12-13, 17-18). As those who have placed their faith in Christ, trusting in the power of the cross to save us, the strength of God to daily empower us, and the Spirit of God to faithfully renew us and make us like Christ, the sword we wield is the Word of God. We go forward into the world with Truth held high. Fighting to defeat the lies and deceit that our true enemy surrounds us with, fighting to expose truth to a world that doesn’t even realize it’s believing a lie.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It is the Word of God that will win battles for us. Because the Spirit of God moves in the words of Scripture and the hearts of those who hear, including ourselves. The Spirit of God empowers His Word and makes it come alive. And when this Word moves, it is more effective and more piercing than anything physical we could devise.
It’s the Word of God, the power of God, the salvation of God through Jesus Christ that is going to conquer our spiritual enemy and make any real, lasting change in people’s lives and in our world. So let us walk in His strength, treasuring His Word in our hearts, trusting Him to go before us and to surround us as the mountains surround Jerusalem. God has won the victory here. It’s so easy to feel defeated in a world of such darkness and depravity. We may even feel defeated in our own hearts because we see our guilt and weakness. But when Jesus died on that cross and God raised Him from the dead, God won the day. “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:15).
Ironic as it may seem, this is what our lives are to look like as we go forth, chosen ones of God Most High, with our two-edged sword: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…anger, wrath, malice, slander…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:5, 7, 12-14). Living a life of victory in Christ means we fight the temptation and seduction of the world. That which characterizes those who don’t know our great God is not to characterize us. We put away (put to death) immorality, anger, pride, impatience, and everything else that dishonors our Lord. We do not walk in self-righteousness, but in humility and love.
Look at the fight Paul describes in Colossians 2:1-3: “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” He is fighting for the sake of the believers, that their hearts would be encouraged and strengthened, that they would be knit together in love, and that they would grow to the fullest extent in their understanding and knowledge of Christ. And we know that he fought also for those who had not yet come to believe. “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Paul has the two-edged sword of the Spirit by his side, fighting the good fight for the sake of the elect and for the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So let us meet this day in the strength of the Lord, with the high praise of God in our throats and the two-edged Sword of the Spirit in our hands.