A LESSON FROM BRONZE AGE COMBAT
How did Bronze Age warriors use their swords? That was the subject of a recent LiveScience.com article. UK researchers of the Bronze Age Combat Project (BACP) recruited the assistance of experts from universities and museums to study the “battle damage” patterns on ancient swords. They also made bronze replicas of these weapons. Then they enlisted the help of hobbyist volunteers who train in medieval European combat to fight with these replicas.
Historians have long suspected that swords from the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC) might have been mostly ornamental. Bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, was so much softer than iron and steel and very susceptible to damage.
The BACP team discovered that the ancient warriors would have avoided “blade on blade” and “blade on armor” contact to minimize damage to their swords. The bronze sword’s primary purpose would have been for thrusting and stabbing, rather than for clubbing. The warrior would have probably led with the shield to knock his opponent off balance and expose an unprotected part of his opponent’s body. He might do this repeatedly until he could thrust his sword most effectively without scarring its blade. A warrior would have used his sword more sparingly than previously thought. He’d have waited instead for an opening to make the kill.
I couldn’t help thinking of those times when Christian believers are most vulnerable to temptation and satanic attack. The Gospels reveal that Satan didn’t attack Jesus until He was most vulnerable. It wasn’t until after the aura of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Him had passed and He was really feeling the effects of fasting (Matthew 4:1-3). The great prophet Elijah fell into his deepest depression when he was tired and hungry. Peter denied the Lord after being up most of the night. And Job came closest to sinning against the Lord after he was knocked off his feet by the calamities and sickness that befell him. Satan hits us when we’re down and an opening in our armor is exposed. That’s when he stabs us with his most poisonous lies and deceit.
But the Christian believer’s sword, the word of God, is harder than steel and sharper than any blade (Hebrews 4:12). There’s absolutely no reason to use it hesitatingly. Our sword is not ornamental – only for show. It’s meant for fighting. And if we’d only fight back with the sword of the Spirit we’d send Satan fleeing – as Jesus did (Matthew 4:4-11; Luke 4:4-13; Ephesians 6:17; James 4:7).
Don’t use the sword of God’s Spirit sparingly. It won’t be nicked by the softer blade of Satan’s lies. It will cut right through them.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please teach me the value of Your holy word and train me to effectively use it in my spiritual battles. Help me to grow out of my passivity to become a seasoned warrior in overcoming the tyranny of my moods and temptations. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.livescience.com/bronze-age-sword-reenactments.html)