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Z-Peniel-Parts 1-7 (War & Peace) - Poem by Daniel Partlow
1. The Unique Message of Christian Love for the Enemy
The armies are amassing – but the Lord withholds his breath.
The prince of peace defends, but will we finally accept the lesson of his suffering and death?
The horsemen are called out - their mounts are ready and freshly shod.
Jacob, we grab and grapple with each other as you once did with Esau and the ‘Face of God’.
'The fate of the soldier caste is to fight Arjuna, for their death is pre-ordained.
On the battlefield at Kurukshetra, the false god Krishna once explained.
The Sikh Guru instructs his forces that when words do not avail
'Draw the sword and with flash of steel, thy enemy impale.'
'War is ordained by Allah so kill the unbelievers wherever you may find them.'
The Ayatollahs marshal their forces and in murderous lies they bind them.
Oh Ishmael, you champion archer, what is the value of all the arms and quarrels in your quiver?
When will you seek the true quarry whose blood doth eternal soul deliver?
And, though some Buddhists eschews violence – neither love will they show.
'He who loves 50 has just as many a woe.'
But the Baptist commands the soldier differently – 'You shall harm no one.'
And in many ways this law of peace is confirmed by God's only Son.
For how can an enemy be attacked and killed,
When we are all to love him with Holy Spirit filled?
How can enemy blood be spilled when Christ doth decree,
“Whatever you do, even unto the least, you do even unto me? ”
2. God Defends His People
Violence is not the solution - a repeated Bible theme.
For Gideon won a bloodless attack, relying only on God's holy queme.
When Sennacherib approached Jerusalem, King Hezekiah prayed.
And the Lord sent the angel of death upon the Assyrian horde arrayed.
'They shall not enter this city or even hit it with an arrow.'
So the reaper of the Lord sent all 185,000 to the harrow.
'On war alone the wicked man is bent.
But against him a merciless messenger will be sent.'
The argument was made that to forsake national defense.
Judeo-Christian society would be overthrown and heathens would rule hence.
Well heathens rule o’er the world in many ways, but does anyone even notice.
Are we, in our sin, any freer than those under sharia or even lotus.
Oh, the war is coming and there is no escaping.
But what course of action should the child of the one true God be taking?
3. The Responsibility of Love and Mercy
”Blessed are the peacemakers, he knows you by your love.
You indeed are children of the one true God above.”
“Blessed are you who mercy sow, compassion, forgiveness you invest,
At harvest reap you mercy, and know that you’ve been blessed.”
If we truly love each other, we cannot pursue a selfish, apathetic, isolationist path.
For the Christian is to share all the light and mercies that he hath.
'If you remain indifferent in the time of adversity, your strength will depart.
Withdraw not, and rescue those dragged unto death: love them with all thy heart.'
If you support or join peaceful missions risking the furnace or lion’s den
Have faith that God will save you from the condemnation of unrighteous men.
Remember “Do Unto Others…” Is this not the best way to persuade?
Putting our efforts into missions of education, truth, love, and humanitarian aid.
Oh we may have had some success, carrying Teddy’s big stick.
But is not a carrot given in Jesus name, a better way to make the message stick.
Yes, there are some in the world who may only respond to graft or compulsion.
But can we change a heart when the body is induced to violent convulsion?
Can the means be justified by the end, when the end precludes the means?
Can righteousness and peace prevail when on the sword it leans?
Let our hearts be our diplomats, our envoy’s, and our Marshall corps.
And turn our vast capabilities to helping those whom others may ignore.
So with all the might and means we have to create brilliant ‘shock and awe’
Let us be a role model with charity and truth, and unfailing adherence to God’s holy law.
4. Mercy, Trust, and What is Just
In bygone days the soldier met his pressed fate gallantly and bravely.
But in a democracy each voter must weigh his solemn charge more gravely.
Now the soldier is a public servant, acting as the governments direct,
Which in turn serves “of, by, and for” the people – as the populous elect.
So wherever the people's will is to any extent policy shaping,
This is an issue, an onus, none of us should be forsaking.
Whether we write a blog, cast a vote, manifest, or idly shoot the breeze,
Our words and deeds have an impact of some varying degrees.
But, whether it's love, politics, fear, or realism which guides our decrees,
We often overlook Christ and choose whatever we please.
It all comes down to simple faith in God and trust.
And meting mercy instead of only what is just.
For isn't that his message to the adulteress' prosecutors.
We are to be forgiving and merciful, not judgment executors.
Or to the indebted servant whose creditor forgave,
But then refused like mercy, showed himself to be the knave.
'For he who lives by rocket, gun, hand grenade, or sword
Shall likewise die by it, ' thus sayeth the Lord.
What might we find hidden behind the old 'justice' façade.
Should we not plant our own rationalized walls with holy truth petard?
For seventeen hundred years we have succumbed to fear and pride.
And rationalized away a lesson for which our savior died.
Yes, Augustine and Aquinas described correctly when the act of war is just.
But James taught we needn't any sword when in God we truly trust.
“You have war because you lack what you want.”
The cravings of a lost soul invite the war-craven haunt.
“You lack what you want because you don't ask God.”
Calling instead the inglorious names of Waring and Icabod.
5. God Defends His People (Reprise)
“Fear not and stand your ground” all followers of the God of Moses.
“You will see the victory of the Lord today” – His wrath shall carry it.
His angel shall go before you – a pillar as red as a crown of roses.
Though Pharaohs may come out with innumerable war chariot,
The enemy has not the strength of the Lord and is weaker than he supposes.
For the Lord will consume him in the depths and entangle him in reedy lariat.
When God is for you, whoever stands against – his own sarcophagus he closes.
Let us not presume that we need to fight ourselves, as did both Peter and Judas Iscariot.
6. The Triumph of God Even in Human ‘Defeat’
Though there will be many wars and terrible rumors thereof.
We should show our neighbor, even the enemy, only brotherly love.
And even if the societies in which we live are someday over run
Let that not cause us to forsake all our blessings for the gun.
He says 'If you refuse to be chastened by me and defy me even more,
Then I too will smite you, seven times harder than before.'
'You are not to prepare a defense, for I myself shall guide you by the wrist.
I will give you wisdom that all your adversaries will be powerless to refute or resist.'
Let us engage the world for Christ forsaking even armed guard.
And remember that for every strike upon our cheek, we reap a great reward.
When the men of Sodom planned their unclean assault,
God saved the house of Lot and turned the attackers into salt.
The truth of God conquers even in military defeat.
Though in exile, Daniel won Nebuchadnezzar's head councilor's seat.
Though enslaved, and taken away to serve a foreign nation
Joseph saved his people, and his captors too from mass starvation.
There are many examples of war by the old patriarchs and kings
But only when explicitly endorsed by Him, the bell of victory rings.
And even in victory the blessing can be lost, as David found.
When planning the Lord's temple, his bloody hands were bound.
'Oh David you gave the enemies of God great cause to blaspheme'
Let all people learn from this peace, love, and lawful esteem.
7. Conclusion – A Call to Christ and Peace
'Oh Cain, the reddened Earth cries out, soaked in your brothers blood.'
How many of them have you left in desert sands and war-trench mud?
Oh Jacob, learn the lesson from your battles - for your thigh is still aching.
Receive the Peniel blessing now, for the dawn of peace is breaking.
'Tend well the vines of peace.' Let its good fruit and tendrils
Reach the hearts and lips of all, even presidents and generals
And learn 'the beginning of strife is the dripping of a crack in the dam.'
So desist before it ruptures – and seal your hearts with the blood of paschal lamb.
Leave the uncertain wilderness of war uncharted and unexplored
For all security, all justice, and all vengeance are mine - thus sayeth the Lord.
For a mighty fortress is our God, never failing or deserting
And all shall be healed in Him of war and pain and hurting.
'Violence shall no more be heard in the land', as we obey His loving orders.
'Lord, No wasting or destruction shall be within thy peoples borders.'
'But we shall call thy walls, thy gates, thy rod and staff 'salvation'.
As you defend your people from evil trials and tribulation.'
'You are a shield for those who call, You alone are God, a mighty rock.
You rescued me from stubborn people, all enemy violence did you block.'
'Let us beat our sword into a plough and our spear into a hook'
'Then the nations shall not know war', only Christ's shepherd crook
For the sword he has endowed is one which cleaves only lies.
Let us wield it skillfully, and willfully join His peaceful battle cries.
So onward Christian soldiers! March out as to war.
But armed with only truth and love of fellow man, for now and evermore.
Come Ishmael, Come Judah, and Arjuna, Come Gautama now and Lao.
Call upon your one true Christ, Jesus, to end the fighting and the row.
And as Jacob relented all his proud and self-made ways.
He saw the Face of God revealed in all His glorious rays.
(Let this message of pacifism honor the memory and commitment of all who have defended the truth and freedom with their lives./Based on Judges 7, Genesis 4,32, Isaiah 26,37,60, Exodus 15, Psalms 23, Isaiah 2, Joel 3, Micah 4, Daniel 3, Matthew 5,24,26)
Comments about Z-Peniel-Parts 1-7 (War & Peace) by Daniel Partlow
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