SLING or SLINGSHOT?
This title might seem like a to-may-to/to-mah-to sort of thing to some people. But really, it’s not.
Have you ever been intrigued by a photo in a newspaper? Drawn to it enough to cut it out and save it? It happened to me quite recently.
I was fascinated by a photo in USA Today (Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 3A). The photo had been taken in the middle east. The caption said the man was whirling a “slingshot” and to me it looked as long as he was tall.
Perhaps I was drawn to the photo because I had grown up with the story of a shepherd boy named David. With his sling he killed a giant named Goliath (1 Samuel 17). I had always imagined a sling as being much shorter.
In the newspaper photo it looked like the man was ambidextrous. His right hand was whirling a sling, but his left hand also held something long. A closer study of the photo made me think his left hand was on a crutch.
But still, there it was---photo proof that in modern times the sling, an ancient weapon, is still in use. The skillful person who uses it is called a “slinger.”
Slings and Slingers
A primitive sling, used for throwing round stones, consists of a piece of leather with a cord on each end. The ends of the cords are held in one hand while the arm is swung in rapid motion. Letting go of one of the cords causes the stone to fly through the air with lethal force.
Ancient armies used slings because of their deadly long-range capability. Expert slingers were needed, and the most valuable among them could sling with either hand.
Slingshots are different. They are hand-held and Y-shaped. Less powerful, they can be made of wood or metal with rubber bands attached at the top points. You might have played with one of these as a child. On a larger, more ancient scale, catapults used slingshot technology.
War No More
Wars have been fought in every century and weaponry has always changed with the times. In spite of that, hopes for peace seem to always remain. I’ve heard choirs express that thought in an old spiritual: Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.
Both Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 speak of a time in the last days when nations will not train for war. Swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Talk about major recycling! Read about it for yourself.
No more war? Even slings may become obsolete.