I’ll be honest; sometimes a John Woo film is a guilty pleasure because it’s pure entertainment: no intellectualism or sophistication but corny lines, odd-ball characters, grand vistas and action moves in defiance of gravity and logic. In ‘Broken Arrow’, John Travolta sinks his acting teeth into what for him and the audience is a fun role. As his character says, ‘battle is a highly fluid situation…’Which is to say that things don’t always happen the way you plan in combat because there are way too many variables and moving parts.
Sometimes we don’t actively think about it but as Christians we are involved in battle. When I say war, it means opposition without being violent, which sounds strange for a war. In his epistle to the Ephesians Paul writes that we are not at war against people but against spiritual forces. And they are in opposition to us.
The church is opposed by the world, the devil as well as our own flesh. That’s a lot of opposition but we are called to stay in the fight. Psalm 149:4 says that ‘the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.’ We are loved by him and as Christians, he is on our side and takes delight in us. It’s his ‘army’ and he gives his people the victory.
His ‘faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.’ The word used for ‘faithful people’ is hasidim, or saints and is based on the posture God has for us. Hesed means God’s own steadfast love and as those who receive and give that love in return, we are hasidim.
When we immerse ourselves in praise for Him, it’s not an escape from the reality of spiritual combat, it is hope and encouragement for ourselves and each other. It’s a two-edged sword, whether swinging back-hand or forehand, we cut down ideas that are in opposition to him.
‘May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands.’