Itching to Fight
When New York mobsters decided to retaliate against rival gang members in all-out war, they would “go to the mattresses,” i.e., they left home and lived in secret locations to launch their attacks, hoping to avoid detection by their enemies. In Old Testament times, angry civilians who were ready to become warriors would “go to the tents.”
The nation of Israel had north/south tensions as bad or worse than America in the 19th century. Even during the reign of such a great king as David, regional hatreds simmered and the people were just itching to fight. Only a spark was needed. “A troublemaker named Sheba . . . sounded the trumpet and shouted, ‘We have no share in David, no part in Jesse’s son! Every man to his tent, O Israel!’ So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba” (2 Samuel 20:1,2).
Do you have a temper? Do old hatreds simmer inside your chest? Do you like to fight? Does the adrenaline rush of “going off” on somebody give you a buzz? Realize that you are working for Satan and his agenda whenever you start or further a fight.
Jesus came to earth as the Prince of peace. He ended the conflict between God and his creatures, and he pronounced his divine blessing on all peacemakers. True strength is demonstrated in self-control and restraint. Anyone can go to the mattresses.
We all have doubts and uncertainties about many things, and with those comes a tension between trusting God and also taking personal responsibility. It’s from wanting a childlike faith but needing to be a grown-up Christian.
We can trust God and take responsibility for our choices and actions at the same time. In this book, the author encourages you to think deeply about what it means to trust God and at the same time use the gifts and blessings that he has given you to act according to his will.
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