No Atheists in Foxholes

We’ve all heard the phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes.” I’ve observed over the years that I tend to think I know everything when things are going well in my life. It’s only when times get tough that I realize I didn’t know so much after all. I have a lot fewer answers for things when life is beating me over the head. People naturally seek out God during times of trouble, and they tend to forget Him when things are good.

Something else that happens when we’re on top of the world: we have lots of friends. If you have a lot of money, power, notoriety, whatever — there’s no shortage of friends around. When the bottom falls out and you’re living in your car, a friend is hard to find.

I want to keep perspective on these truths in my life, and:

  • Stay close to God always, regardless of whether or not I need something from Him
  • Be a friend to those around me regardless of their status in life
  • Remember who my real friends are: those who stuck with me through good times and bad.

Ezekiel 38 & 39: Wooden weapons? Armageddon?

If the prophecy given in Ezekiel 38 & 39 hasn’t yet been fulfilled, what’s the deal with wooden weapons being burned for seven years?  Will primitive weapons be used during the battle of Armageddon?  Does this passage refer to Armageddon at all?

I believe the correct answer is: “I don’t know.” There are truths in scripture that God wants to be very clear, and which a child can comprehend. There are also many passages which are unclear. This prophecy is an enigma, and any conjecture on the details of its fulfillment is just that.

One thing I’ve noticed about prophecy in scripture is that it often has multiple applications. A prophecy can be fulfilled more than once, in different historical settings. I think both scriptural and secular history would have certainly recorded the fulfillment of an event so cataclysmic as the one prophesied in this particular passage. Still, I can’t visualize spears and bucklers being used in a large scale post-nuclear-era war.

I also can’t visualize the fulfillment of another prophecy from Revelation 14:20, which describes blood as high as a horse’s bridle, flowing a distance which is said to be roughly the full length of Palestine.

However, whether or not our feeble minds can comprehend these things has zero bearing on their fulfillment. It would be nice to know the answers, but I think we’re not intended to know the answers for now. If these prophecies were crucial to our salvation, or our ability to follow God’s commands, they would be abundantly clear. 

I think God uses these images in prophecy to describe the extent of His judgment and hatred of sin, not to give us reason to bicker with our brothers and sisters in Christ over their exact interpretations.  

My goal is this: to be careful to apply the clear commands of scripture to my own life, and accept the fact that some content in scripture is not for us to understand for now.