The beating of swords into plowshares is a beautiful metaphor that many people have taken comfort in. It’s great. The idea that our weapons will no longer be needed, that our instruments of war will be repurposed to the service of peace, is wonderful. It’s no wonder that many cling to this promise.
It isn’t just that we won’t have to fight any more. It’s that we won’t have to defend anymore. How many fantasy novels include the big reveal that the peaceful farmer has a secret sword stashed away. Usually he dies and his son has to take up the sword, but that sword means something, and it’s been kept tucked away, hidden but held onto, because someday it might be needed again. The legendary warrior found his peace, his love, his small town life, and walked away from danger, but he keeps the sword, because you never know when you might need it.
Well, we won’t need it. At all, ever again. The swords won’t be hidden away just in case, they’ll be completely destroyed, remade. The tool of destruction will become the tool of cultivation. It’s just… perfect. It’s complete. It’s simple but profound.
Just remember that his promise comes after judgment upon the unfaithful. Judges who accept bribes, priests and prophets that minister for financial gain. I think we’d do well to look around and ask whether the voices we’re following are really serving justice, are really serving God, or whether they’ve chosen their messages, their audiences, because of what they can get out of it. Maybe you would never dream of doing such a thing yourself. Most of us wouldn’t. But who are you following? Who are you listening to?