“That’s Not a Screwdriver”
Have you ever been tempted to use a tool for the wrong purpose? Over the years I’ve had to tell myself that a knife is not a screwdriver; a screwdriver is not a chisel, or my hand is not a hammer. It always pays to take the extra time to get the proper tool for the job.
Hand tools aren’t mentioned much in the Bible. Swords (tools of war) are mentioned about 200 times though. In the Old Testament swords were literal swords. Most of the time in the New Testament the word “sword” refers to either the Holy Spirit or God’s Word. This can save a lot of confusion when we are trying to understand certain passages.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart- Hebrews 4:12. The writer of Hebrews compared the word of God to a two-edged sword. When Jesus used the word “sword”, he was usually referring to the Holy Spirit. God’s word and the Holy Spirit work together as an instrument of war against the forces of this world.
But using God’s word wrongly can get us into trouble.
In the 1870’s Charles Taze Russell from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania founded the Bible Student movement. Pastor Russell began selling publications and in 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society. He claimed that Christ returned invisibly in 1874 and then predicted that He would take over Earth’s affairs in 1914. When W.W.1 broke out he claimed that it was the beginning of Armageddon. Today, the Jehovah’s Witnesses still adhere to these teachings.
Charles Russell made a lot of money with his books and publications. His predictions of the return of Christ captured the fancy of many. But he ignored scripture passages such as 1 Timothy 6:3–5 which states: If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
So you see that we must be very careful not to make the Bible say only what we want it to say. I tend to do this. I find a passage that fits my present spiritual bent and then I run with it. But when I do this I’m using the right tool for the wrong purpose. God’s inspired word is meant to pierce the soul and spirit, not fit into our own personal agendas.
Let’s not use a knife for a screwdriver… or a sword for a prop.