Can You Use Your Weapon?
Flavius Josephus lived during the zenith of Rome's military glory. Having been made a Roman citizen by Vespasian, he travelled with the Roman legions during the middle of the first century. Josephus was truly impressed with military discipline. He claims soldiers always carried their weapons with them, even in time of peace. Furthermore, practice in the proper use of their weapons never ceased. "Every soldier is every day exercised, and that with great diligence, as if it were in time of war, which is the reason why they bear the fatigues of battle so easily" (Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book III, Chap. 5, 1).
If only Christians could become as familiar with our weapon, God's word! If we would "search the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11) we would never fear the day of battle. Hebrews 4:12 says “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Possessing the most powerful weapon in the world isn’t enough if you don’t use it.
Have you ever wondered what caused a military power like Rome to meet its downfall? Nearly all historians agree that Rome brought about her own demise. Edward Gibbon says "the relaxation of discipline, and the disuse of exercise rendered the soldiers less able, and less willing, to support the fatigues of service" (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3, p. 271). Soldiers were able to convince their officers that the weapons were too heavy. The Roman sword and shield which had subdued the world was cast aside. "The cavalry of the Goths, the Huns, and the Alani, had felt the benefits, and adopted the use, of defensive armor -- they easily overwhelmed the unarmored and trembling legions…" (271), their “indolence may be considered as the immediate cause of the downfall of the empire." Indolence can be defined as laziness and apathy.
May we be like the Roman legions of the first century who knew their weapons and used them daily. May we spend time in His Word daily and apply it to our lives!
Posted on Tue, October 13, 2009
by John Daniels