Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Sword-making, image from Japan Accents
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
— Joel 3:10
Joel is calling people to war, in God's name. If this book was written after the books of Isaiah and Micah (circa 735 BC) it is a deft flip of the two verses frequently quoted by harbingers of peace:
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.1
And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.2
If, on the other hand the book of Joel was written before Isaiah and Micah then these two prophets recrafted Joel's call to war with a call to peace. Happily it is the call to peace using this metaphor which is the one remembered through the ages. Taken together these different approaches to raw material remind us that all our resources can be used in different ways, according to both need and desire. Ultimately it is our decision what we use our resources for, both those that are innate, and those we learn. We are capable of both great harm and great good. And every day we get to make that choice.
1 Isaiah 2:4 (read reflection 199, Vision)
2 Micah 4:3