There is a military presence in Israel that we do not experience in America. Modern warfare and international threat are a part of an Israeli’s daily routine. They go about their errands and travels without distraction from the weaponry and what those trappings of war could mean in a day that has the potential to erupt into violence.
On my tour I have subtly glanced at the presence of soldiers who were around. When a man in fighting fatigues is in my vicinity and he is heavily armed for an altercation, I take notice. Yet, there is something unique about Israel and its presence for battle.
You can look exclusively at the weaponry or you can look into the faces of the soldiers. The guns and ammunition tell you that these soldiers are ready to fight. They are colleagues who will fight together and for each other.
Yet, their collegiality supersedes their armament. There is calm in their countenance. A joy is pervasive among these young combatants.
They are not nervous about carrying weapons into a crowded square, packed with people from all around the world. Locals mix in with pilgrims are part of the gathering that these sentinels are to guard from harm. A successful sense of calm and security come with the presence of these warriors.
Each one carries his armament like he is comfortable with them. That confidence comes from splendid training and experience. Preparation like that gives us visitors a peace that frees us to enjoy our visit.
At the same time that sense of peace is held in check. The very presence of the military reveals that the threat to peace is ever-present. Contrasting political views vie for dominance.
Some want only peace and have proven their willingness to coexist. Others are not so gracious. That tension is the basis for placing these soldiers in our presence.
The spiritual world is the same. We are surrounded by the trappings of spiritual conflict. There is an invisible yet clear presence of an enemy who is constantly attempting to derail those in pursuit of righteousness.
We have been given the equipment to battle successfully against the wiles of the Devil. They are listed for us as pieces of armor. Each item is effective but we need to practice, train and utilize them until we are comfortable with them.
Our battle calls for truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Word and prayer. These are for our protection. Are we comfortable with each and all? Being prepared for war is wisdom.
photo credit: brucefong photography