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

  • 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
  • Corporate Spirituality

    Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship Solitude, community and ministry are three areas requiring balance and integration in the Christian walk. The Read More
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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
  • Deliver us from Evil

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man!

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
  • The Mirror of Eternity

    Morning Dedication Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • The Cleansing of the Temple by RC Sproul +

    http://www.ligonier.org/account/dashboard/sermon/151/download/ In this incident of Jesus cleansing the temple, Dr. Sproul points out that the activities being performed were legitimate, Read More
  • The Prodigals by Kevin DeYoung +

    During the Gospel Coalition conference in 2013, Kevin DeYoung gave a thoughtful, spirit-led sermon on Luke 15. He was able Read More
  • Centered on one or the other by Ray Ortlund +

    ". . . a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" Luke 7:34 What does it mean for a church to be gospel-centered? That's Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Prayer by Alex Kirk, Chatham Community Church +

    What role does prayer play in our lives? What is prayer, anyway? Alex Kirk, pastor of Chatham Community Church, gives Read More
  • How to be Mary in a Martha world by Jim Abrahamson, Chatham Community Church +

    Jim Abrahamson spoke at Chatham Community Church on an essential of the Christian walk Who/what is our savior? What is Read More
  • Christ the King Sunday by Art Going (Holy Trinity Chatham) +

    A thoughtful discussion of how we function as colonizers for Christ the King.  Read More
  • MY STUPID MOUTH by Steve Tamayo of Chatham Community Church +

    Tremendous sermon on the liabilities of our tongue, both in what we say and don't say. Read More
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