It is amazing how many sites are in our internet world. I find new and interesting sites faster than even Evelyn Wood can read them. I followed a sidebar 9/11 tribute, which is now on my site, to Cap’n Bob & the Damsel. Curious title and a good site. On that site, is where I found this quote attributed to Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and his accompanying namesake code.
“If you beat your sword into a plowshare, you will probably end up plowing for someone who kept their sword.” — Samuel F.B. Morse
It stirred up fear when I think of the sword of Islam. It reminded me of workers party, peace movements, socialism and communism. I was struck at how a 150 year old quote could be so appropriate for our time. I was struck with the truth of this quote. We exist today as a free nation because we can defend ourselves. If we suddenly beat our swords in plow shares, we would quickly become a nation ruled by the sword of others.
Today is Sunday so I thought I would explore the biblical roots of this quote. I’ve heard this reference before. (and yes, I know that the bible is for more than just Sunday)
In the book of Isaiah, we are directed to a time after Christ return when wicked have been judged and the world will be in peace.
In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
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.
What I find interesting is that we are instructed to beat on our swords after Christ has returned; In a time when the world is at peace because he is the sword and he has defeated evil. I haven’t read the news this morning to see if Christ has returned. But he said we would know, so I am pretty sure that we are not living in the time described by Isaiah.
I think Isaiah’s words are most often referenced, but the Bible also references swords and plow shares in another place, the Book of Joel. In that prophetic book, the people of Judah were given these instructions:
Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
Beat your plowshares into swords
and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
‘I am strong!’
Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, O LORD!
This is getting long and the kids are hungry so I’ll get right to my conclusion. For today we should keep our swords and use them to keep people safe and free as best we can. And keep track of your beating hammer because you’ll need it when Christ returns.