Warfare Spirituality

This 1980’s song and video by Bob Dylan is as most Dylan songs, something of an enigma. With its references to the bird of love and death, to the man in the fiery furnace (without any name), the title character who could represent new life, or at least new possibilities, the poem seems to reference the end of times. Whatever its underlying meaning, Jokerman is a powerful, evocative distillation of the chaos of our world at any given time in the last several thousand years.

Jokerman

Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing.
Distant ships sailing into the mist,
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing.
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.



So swiftly the sun sets in the sky,
You rise up and say goodbye to no one.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don’t show one.
Shedding off one more layer of skin,
Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.



You’re a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds,
Manipulator of crowds, you’re a dream twister.
You’re going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care? Ain’t nobody there would want to marry your sister.
Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame,
You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name.



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.



Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy,
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers.
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed,
Michelangelo indeed could’ve carved out your features.
Resting in the fields, far from the turbulent space,
Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face.



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.



Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame,
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain.
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks,
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain,
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin,
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in.



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.



It’s a shadowy world, skies are slippery grey,
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet.
He’ll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat,
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot.
Oh, Jokerman, you know what he wants,
Oh, Jokerman, you don’t show any response.



Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

WarfareAudio & Video

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Reflections to Consider

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Warfare Publications

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Publications

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Warfare Music

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Music

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Warfare Reflection

  • Warfare Spirituality

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
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Audio & Video

  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
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Favorites

  • A Model for Coming to God-adapted from Sylvia Gunter +

    Sylvia Gunter uses Psalm 35 to show how David asked God to contend, fight, rescue, defend, vindicate Read More
  • Soaring by Surrendering +

    How do birds soar? Read More
  • Forgiveness Leads to Thriving: John 21 +

    How we deal with our daily sins determines whether others see Jesus in us. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
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