SWORD: a weapon with a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard, used for thrusting or striking and now typically worn as part of ceremonial dress.
“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”- J.R.R. Tolkien
In the battle of Good and Evil, the sword plays a dominant role in both its symbolism and daily life. It is a fighting weapon used for both offensive and defensive attacks.
The swords used by the company in Tolkien’s fantasy bore magical properties to combat evil. They would glow to alert the bearer of forbidding trouble. They were used as defensive weapons in combat. They became objects of legend who bore mystical names such as Sting, the sword of Biblo and Frodo Baggins or Orcrist, the sword of Thorin Oakenshield. Even Gandalf’s sword bore a trepidatious name-Glamdring translated as Foe-hammer or the Hobbits called it the “Beater.”
The apostle Paul, living at a time of Roman military dominance, appealed heavily to the use of armor to describe the daily requirements for successful living as a Christian by putting on the whole armor of God which the sword plays a most pivotal role. The sword in biblical terms is referring to the word of God. It too has the power to repel evil and to know the intentions of evil or of good. It is a weapon that keeps or guards the hearts of the bearer against the enemy and even the deceptions of their own heart. It allows the bearer to stand against the devious schemes of the Evil one.
In Hebrews 4:12 the scriptures confirms this by saying, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Rather than taking up a physical weapon, Paul is admonishing the reader to become familiar with the words of God by learning and reading it’s sayings. For only by faith and truthfulness can we over come the world, the flesh and the evil one.
To win spiritual victories, one must pick up and bear the sword of the spirit.