“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9 ESV
There is this strange notion that Christianity is about passively letting evil have its way in this world. That we Christians have no business resisting evil. Some even believe that defending yourself or your loved ones is unthinkable. I don’t think the Bible teaches such things. I am convinced that the Bible teaches that sometimes throwing a punch is the most peaceful thing you can do.
Case in point in the book of Nehemiah you see the walls of the temple being rebuilt. While Nehemiah and the rest of the men of the city are making progress they are threatened by outside forces. Threatening to destroy their progress,peace and their lives.
Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”
Nehemiah 4:1-3 ESV
Nehemiah when he heard the threats did not cower in fear. He prayed to the Lord and he and the rest of the men stood guard with sword in one hand and trowel in the other. They prepare themselves to fight to defend the peace of their city from the enemy. They were prepared to make peace by fighting.
So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Nehemiah 4:13-14 ESV
The fact that Nehemiah was willing, ready and able to face conflict head-on was the very reason they were able to rebuild the walls in peace. Being a peacemaker is not about avoiding conflict. It’s about being willing to face conflict for the sake of peace. Sometimes the most peaceful thing you can do is to throw a punch.
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