Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spiritual Warfare

"If the wars of the Old Testament were not the symbol of spiritual battles, I think that the historical books of the Jews would never have been transmitted to Christ's disciples, he who came to teach us peace. The Apostles would never have transmitted them as a reading to be done in the assemblies. What use would such descriptions of wars have to those who listen Jesus tell them 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you' , or for those to whom Paul orders: 'do not look for revenge' and 'Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?'.

Paul knows well enough that we are not supposed to do war anymore – not in a physical way – but that we are supposed to fight a great battle in our soul, against our spiritual enemies. As a commander in chief, he gives out his orders to Christ's soldiers: 'Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil'. And so that we may find in the acts of our ancestors the models of spiritual wars, he wished that we were read in assembly the story of their achievements. Since we are spiritual - we who learn that 'the law is spiritual' - we then may approach this reading by 'describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms'. In this way we may consider, through these nations that have visibly attacked Israel, what is the power of these nations of spiritual enemies, of these 'evil spirits in the heavens', who start wars against the Church of the Lord, the new Israel."


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