Guest post: by Todd Sepulveda
Everyday starts with the potential for trouble and/or good. Whether you are out on a homestead, working a 9-5 or taking care of the kids at home, there is plenty to keep you busy and active. If you’re like me, every once in a while I get a little bit of quiet time and my vivid imagination kicks in. I sometimes think about times that are not so pleasant. One situation that I thought about recently was if there will ever come a time when my family needs to fight to save their lives. In a fight or die situation, could my family fight adequately enough…are they prepared to “pull the trigger?”
This article could go many different ways. Many people will have recommendations, thoughts, condemnation, etc… I just want to approach it from a Bible story that came to mind when I started thinking about this scenario and let you make up your own mind on the rest of the topic. While I was thinking about this scenario, the story of Esther came to mind.
Esther opens up with King Xerxes upset at his queen, Vashti. She is sent away and the King embarks on a search for a new queen. Eventually, he chooses Esther. In the meantime, an evil guy by the name of Haman became the Prime Minister. Haman hated the Jews because Esther’s uncle Mordecai wouldn’t bow to him in respect. Haman wasn’t satisfied to just take out Mordecai for being disrespectful; he wanted to exterminate all the Jews. So he approached King Xerxes,
“There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire. Their laws are different from those of any other nation, and they refuse to obey even the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live. If it pleases Your Majesty, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will give 375 tons of silver to the government administrators so they can put it into the royal treasury.” The king agreed, confirming his decision by removing his signet ring from his finger and giving it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite—the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king told Haman, “but go ahead and do as you like with these people.” On April 17* Haman called in the king’s secretaries and dictated letters to the princes, the governors of the respective provinces, and the local officials of each province in their own scripts and languages. These letters were signed in the name of King Xerxes, sealed with his ring, and sent by messengers into all the provinces of the empire. The letters decreed that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen nearly a year later on March 7. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them. A copy of this decree was to be issued in every province and made known to all the people, so that they would be ready to do their duty on the appointed day. At the king’s command, the decree went out by the swiftest messengers, and it was proclaimed in the fortress of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa fell into confusion. Esther 3:8-15 (NLT)
When Esther, Mordecai and all the Jews heard the news, they were devastated. Talk about your TEOTWAWKI situation! But Mordecai was a man of faith and believed that Esther had become Queen for “such a time as this.”
To make a long story short, Esther reveals to the king that she is a Jew. Because the law of the Medes-Persians could not be changed, there was another law that was passed that the Jews could defend themselves on the March 7 date.
Here is where my vivid imagination kicks in. There was no guarantee that non-Jews were not going to attack the Jews. As March 7 approached, what must have gone through the minds of those fathers/husbands and parents, knowing that on a certain day they could all lose their lives?
Were fathers training their children to take up swords, knives or whatever else was available to defend themselves? Were they loving or forceful in their training? Did moms cry themselves to sleep at night? What was the dinner talk like on March 6th?
I have three sons. They all have different interests and passions. They all know my reasons for preparing and can even share some of the reasons for it. To break them in, I started jokingly talking about the zombie apocalypse. But now they know that is just a metaphor. However, even though they see the need for the preparedness mindset/lifestyle, they are still kids and want to do kid stuff. My middle son seems to take to the idea of guns and knives and such a little more than the other two. He started a “knife collection” with money that he has saved and has gone to the gun show with me before. At the gun show, he could pick out all the different battle rifles because he plays the Modern Warfare games online. He shoots the pellet gun outside (we live in a suburban neighborhood and take precautions) and practices proper gun safety with the air rifle.
I was proud that the other two were willingly to shoot the other weapons recently. Hopefully, I plan on enrolling them in the Appleseed project here real soon.
But in the back of my mind, I always think about if they could “pull the trigger” in a time of need. We value life so much here in the US. My inclination is that when the family is in danger they will. But just like soldiers in the military, this needs to be practiced and conditioned.
I wrestle with this idea. Does this cause a child to lose their innocence? I know that children of all ages have had to take up arms throughout all of time. However, the topic is a sobering one.
Please understand that I don’t dwell on this topic. The words written here are based on one moment of time when my imagination was given the time to run a little, but I believe that there will be many out there who have had thoughts along the same lines.
Note – As I was writing this, Matthew 6 came to mind. Matthew 6:34 (NLT) says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” This Scripture and the preceding verses don’t mean that we shouldn’t prepare, or that we shouldn’t think about this topic. It does mean that we shouldn’t be so worried or anxious that we sit in a corner afraid of what might happen, it shouldn’t cause you to just give up. So I’m not advocating that you allow your imagination to run so wild that it causes you to hold up in your room and not come out afraid of what might happen. That wouldn’t be healthy.
Raising a family to be compassionate, kind and live the servant life is a worthy calling. But attaching discernment and the tools to act, if necessary, are just as important. What do you think?
Todd Sepulveda is the editor/webmaster of The Prepper Website – http://www.prepperwebsite.com. He is also an assistant principal in the public school system and a bi-vocational home church pastor.