DAY 281 OF 365 IN 2021
IT TAKES MORE THAN STRENGTH
Luke 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed [armed to the teeth], guards his estate, his possessions [property] are secure[ safe, sound and undisturbed].
Language remains fascinating – I am always surprised by how a minor tweak or placement can affect the meaning of a sentence entirely. Today, we realise how the use of two commas highlight to us a dimension we might otherwise gloss over and pay no specific attention to.
We can break down today’s text from the Gospel of Luke into small fragments, each separated by commas:
When a strong man,
Guards his estate,
His possessions are secure.
It is intriguing to see why scripture is very particular about the use of pauses, but it is for our emphasis and our learning, a challenge that even more is required. Any person who thinks ‘they are strong’, can place themselves in position to defend their turf. That however, is no guarantee that their territory will be safe and secure because it takes more than a strong man.
In addition to brute strength, scripture is unequivocal about the complementation of strength: that is “being fully armed’. It is only when strength is wielded in tandem with a full array of weapons that a strong man stands any chance of successful territorial defence.
As far as weapons go, the Christian has been given many with which they can do warfare: prayer, praise, worship, the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus… the list goes on. Thus, one does not step forward to do battles unarmed carrying nothing but the tag of ‘strength’. In such a situation, rather than your intention to protect, you are more likely to get your property looted.
It takes a fully armed strong man, to defend their territory successfully.