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Saturday, October 26, 2013

God’s Workmanship-The Sword of 'Ulfberht'

     There was a sword created by the Viking culture during the ninth century. According to modern experts, the technology did not exist for the “Ulfberht” sword until the Industrial Revolution. It was a marvel of strength, functionality and beauty because of the process that it underwent, and because of the skill of its designer. But even more astounding is how closely it resembles the plan that God uses to perfect His servants.

      First, the raw ore must be taken from the earth. Heat is applied that renders the iron pliable to the Craftsman’s design. During this stage impurities arise and are eliminated. But the Master Artisan adds another element.

     Just as our Father adds the blood of Jesus to change our spiritual DNA, carbon is mixed with the molten metal. The carbon atoms change the iron into steel. Many blacksmiths would settle for the material yielded thus far. But this will not suffice for the brutal warfare that we, as His warriors, must encounter.  The metal is next superheated. In a specially designed kiln, the material is transformed into what is appropriately labeled crucible steel. The resulting ingot in no way resembles a “sword”, for the blacksmith and His assistant must slowly and lovingly pound the steel into its proper shape.

      Great care must be taken during this phase, because the metal wants to become something other than the vision of the Master. The Blacksmith and Assistant hammer away, minute by minute, hour by hour, pressing the steel into a form that begins to reveal its desired shape.

     Now, the future weapon must be heated again, sculpted and rough edges discarded. The craftsman is able to see the outline of His desire. Then he lays down his prize and begins unapologetically to chisel away at the very heart-the base- of His creation. It would appear to be counterproductive to the sword’s purpose.
     The Master then inlays the word  ”ULFBERHT” into the blade. Again it is heated, again tried by fire, and finally it is polished. As the sword is quenched  the final time it emerges a weapon of immense power: stronger than any of its contemporaries, flexible that it may withstand the rigors of battle, and a work of art that all who see it recognize the brilliance -not of the sword- but of its Maker.

Author-Todd Isaacs
 
 

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