Shall the Sword Devour For Ever?

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2 Samuel 2:26 “Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?”

Saul had died, and the kingdom was divided. Part of the kingdom followed David, and the other part followed Saul’s son. The civil war between the two lasted for seven years. For seven years, people who once used to be friends were now at war with each other. For seven years, young men lost their lives because they allowed the battle to continue. Those who lost their lives were someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s husband, someone’s dad, or someone’s friend. Nobody won as long as the sword continued to devour lives.

However, Abner had had enough. He called to Saul and said, “Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end?” Abner knew this foolishness needed to stop. These people were not fighting the heathen Philistines, but they were fighting their brethren. Abner was saying, “Enough is enough. It is time to stop letting the sword devour our own.”

The sword that has claimed more lives and testimonies in Christianity is the sword of the tongue. The tongue is a sword that can spout off in a moment, but it can never take back the damage it caused in that moment. Many people hear about another brother who has fallen in sin, and instead of mourning the loss of a comrade in our spiritual battle, they let their tongue become a sword to devour more lives. Sadly, many people have wielded the sword of gossip through social media or through calling others with their so-called “concern” about an issue. I ask you as Abner asked Saul, “Shall the sword devour for ever?”

My friend, we have already lost enough lives to the sword of sin; let’s not add to the casualty list by wielding the sword of our tongue. The more you spread the news of the fallen, the more you wield the vicious sword of the tongue. The more you fight other believers in Christ, the more your tongue slays people that should not be slain. The more you gossip and talk about someone, whether true or not, the more you add to the casualty list of the believer. Sadly, Satan doesn't have to fight because believers slay enough with their tongue of gossip that he doesn't have to do anything.

Moreover, all it takes for the sword to stop devouring is for one person to stop wielding their sword. All you have to do to stop this wickedness is not to talk about what has happened. We have enough to talk about with the Gospel of Christ that we shouldn’t have enough time to talk about other believers and what they have done. The answer to stopping the sword of the tongue from devouring more lives is to pick up the Sword of the Word of God and go tell the lost how to be saved. If you want to use your mouth for something, use it to tell others about Christ.

Furthermore, instead of wielding the sword of your tongue, employ the power of prayer so the lives of the fallen can be restored. My friend, the fallen believer is still your brother in Christ, and instead of kicking them when they are down, why don't you pray for God to restore them. I am not talking about covering sin, but prayer will help more than using the sword of the tongue to slay more believers. Nobody wins when the sword of the tongue is wielded. My question to you is this, shall the sword devour forever. I hope not!

Dr. Allen Domelle


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