Spears of Hatred vs. Harps of Peace

Many years ago I studied in Spain and had the privilege to visit the famous Prado Museum, in Madrid. There was a painting there that fascinated me. It portrayed a scene in King Saul’s palace. Seated on the carpeted floor was young David, his fingers gliding over the strings of his much-loved harp. Sitting on an elevated seat was King Saul gazing down into the innocent face of the shepherd boy. For the time being Saul’s agitated mind was soothed by the melody of David’s harp. Yet the jealous king held in his hand a spear of death, ready to hurl at any moment.

The contrast jumped off the canvas at me in startling fashion. In the hand of young David was his lovely harp. In Saul’s large, strong hand was his spear. The lesson of the picture was obvious. While the gifted harpist played his instrument Saul’s anger was appeased and his deadly spear was at rest. The scripture tells us in I Samuel that as David strummed his harp, and sang his Psalms, the evil spirit departed from the unhappy king.

Are there not times when we all need the ministry of the minstrel? Times when the harp conquers the spear, melody triumphs over murder, peace over war, good over evil?

We are told that we will reap what we sew. That is true whether it be with harps or with spears. The writer of I Peter tells us, “Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing” (I Peter 3:9). In other words, meet the spear with a harp. How assuring is that beatitude of Jesus, “Blessed are you when others shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad” (Matthew 5:11-12). Take up your harp and meet reviling with rejoicing.

There will always be those who are “speary” in nature…always with their dagger drawn. It is hard to play on the harp when we deal with such persons, yet this is the only way to deal with them with integrity. God helps us to be kind to the unkind, loving toward those who are hard to love, and gracious to the ungracious. So, hang up your spear, pick up your harp and play the beautiful music of peace.

Peace to you all,

Tim Hobbs, Pastor

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