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From weapons to firewood

September 15 // 1 Corinthians 8:20-21

Scripture
Ezekiel 39:9-10 (TNIV) 9 "'Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. 10 They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD."
Observation
God takes the weapons of an entire army and gives it to the Israelites not to arm them, but to use as firewood. It shows how creative the ways of God really are, but more importantly, it shows how He can turn the evil devices of our enemies into useful tools for us. Not only does the Lord sustain His chosen people, but He sustains them for seven years! The weapons themselves are not evil. What makes them destructive is the intent of the one who holds them. Someone recently illustrated this to me in a very interesting way. He said: "An object is defined more by its use than its form." If you took a pen out of your pocket and started stabbing me with it, the pen would most certainly be a weapon, and yet, if you pulled out a knife and sliced an apple to share with me, the knife would be considered a utensil.
Application
Quite often, I see people try to disprove teachings from the Bible or show how science is incompatible with the existence of God, or use "logic" to try and dissuade others from a life of faith. On the surface, many of these arguments are quite compelling and seem to be founded in solid logic and sound thought. This also scares many Christians, especially those who are young in their faith, or have only been exposed to a single, narrow viewpoint. I have seen people reject their faith entirely because they allowed a "conflicting" viewpoint to sway them to the point of disbelief. So far, however, I have not encountered a weapon that has been able to withstand the power of God and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Sometimes the flaws in peoples' reasoning and arguments are obvious. Other times, it requires some thought and prayer. Objections and arguments often stack one on another and thus rely on each other for strength. Many times, when someone has a list of objections and arguments, destroying even one item from the list is enough to make the rest fall like a house of cards. Throughout history, many, many people have set out to "disprove the Bible once and for all." None have ever succeeded and many of those who have tried have ended up as believers in the very thing they set out to destroy. Such is the power of God's word.
Prayer
Heavenly Father, I pray that you grant me wisdom. Give me the discernment to differentiate between utensils and weapons. Allow me to look at the "weapons" of others and see them as "fuel" for my faith. Let me not only see through the shallow arguments of those who would try to dissuade me from believing in You, but use those same arguments as bricks with which to build up my faith and the faith of younger Christians around me.
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This journal entry was posted by Atley. She is currently married with no children and has attended New Hope for the past year.

Devotions for September 15

Ezekiel 38,39
Psalms 145
Revelation 20

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