"A Changed Contest"
May 1, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:20
Second in command during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, was Captain Abner Doubleday, who set off the first cannon shot. The same man is credited with inventing the game of baseball, a much more peaceful pursuit. Baseballs replaced cannonballs.
In ancient times swords and spears were used in warfare. The prophets Isaiah and Micah foretold the conversion of these weapons into tools for peaceful pursuits: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3).
The truth of the matter is that since these words were written nations have developed much deadlier weapons of war. Yet the words of the prophets are truthful. God’s Word is never spoken in vain. The message of God’s great love for the world is a positive influence within and among the nations. Who can say how much worse worldly hostilities would be if no Gospel had ever been proclaimed?
The Gospel begins with God’s peace in Jesus Christ. The spiritual warfare between a righteous God and a sinful, disobedient human race has ended. In Christ, who atoned for sin, God and sinners are reconciled. All who accept this forgiveness are changed persons. They now strive to serve God and work for peace in the world. Think of Saul the Pharisee, who once used the sword to kill Christians. After his conversion to Saint Paul the apostle, he used the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, to bring people to Christ. He and many others are the fulfillment of the prophecy: “They will beat their swords into plowshares.”
Abner Doubleday has taught us to use bats for hitting baseballs, not as clubs for killing people. The world will be a better place when more such changes occur.
PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, bless the preaching of the Gospel in the world so that peace – peace with God and peace with fellow human beings – may prevail. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)