In Peter Jackson’s apocryphal The Hobbit trilogy of films, which were almost based off of Tolkien’s single, short children’s book by the same name, we see Bilbo Baggins negotiating for his life with the wily, dangerous dragon Smaug.
Bilbo is able to escape the Lonely Mountain with the object he was sent to steal from Smaug, but the result was a very angry, rampaging dragon who flew directly to Lake Town to wreak his fiery havoc.
As Lake Town burns, the people fleeing and shrieking in terror, Smaug rains down more fire from above, virtually invincible to all human defensive weapons… except for one. There is an iron black arrow, which, if fired directly into Smaug’s heart through a missing armor scale on his chest, will kill the dragon immediately.
As it happens, one man is able to aim and fire the black arrow perfectly, bringing down the dragon and killing him, saving Lake Town.
At no time did the man who shot the arrow, being one Bard the Bowman, stop to ask Smaug if he believed in black arrows.
“P.. pardon me Mr. Angry Dragon, could you please refrain from your fire breathing wrath for a moment, and allow me to present the case for the power of this here arrow I hold in my hands?”
Bard shot the arrow, and Bard destroyed the dragon.
And such it is with the Bible. It is the black arrow that slays the dragons of human unbelief and satanic schemes.
Our job is not to sit down with the dragon to show him the sharpness of the point on our arrow. We don’t seek to demonstrate complex mathematical formulas proving the inflexibility of the molecular iron crystal, or the force of a flying arrow when encountering a dragon’s skin.
No, we fire the arrow by a trained and true aim, knowing how to use it, and it does its own work upon connection.
And this is the difference between treating the Bible as the power of God unto salvation versus treating the sinner’s mind and will as the power of God unto salvation.
Sinners do not decide that the weight of evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is sufficient to place one’s faith in His gospel. Sinners do not have faith. Faith is a miraculous gift that God gives to one who is under the preaching and proclamation of His Word!
Preach the Word! It’s not just another textbook waiting for an expert’s explanation before it can be made powerful–no, it is powerful, awaiting the working of the Holy Spirit to make it effectual in a sinner’s heart.
Preach the Word! Don’t wait for a sinner to give you the nod, the wink, or the friendly signal that they are ready to hear the evidence for the Bible. We must believe that the arrow will slay the dragon, and fire it. The results are up to God.
Preach the Word! We do not lay aside the black arrow and pick up the butter knife of human reasoning and arguments over the probability of a resurrection. No, No, No!!!
Remember, no one is the judge over God and His Word. Every man and woman must come before the judgment seat of Christ, not the other way around.
Now, go and listen to my most recent episode of the Citizen of New Jerusalem podcast, where I respond to Craig Parton, who argued that carefully convincing dragons on the sharpness of our arrow is the best way to slaying them.
Thanks for reading,