War or Peace? Part 2

 

Recap of Part 1

Part 1 was to lay the ground work and show God’s expectations for us now.

Satan is the author and precipitator of war

Man has his part (James 4) Wants what is not his and fights and wars to obtain it and that is murder.

New Testament: peacemaker is called a son of God; turn the other cheek; do not hate; be reconciled; bless those that curse you

Follow Christ’s example : do good and suffer patiently

If you live by the sword, then you will die by the sword

We are Christian soldiers that do not fight against flesh and blood but we are to focus our fight on the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness

The One that became Jesus Christ was also the God of the Old Testament;

People’s views of Old Testament is that He was a harsh and exacting God and in New Testament He is meek and humble.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  How do we reconcile this? It cannot be OK to murder in the Old Testament times but not in the New Testament times.

We will go over principles that should govern how we evaluate the wars and fighting in the Old Testament.

Too many wars and conflicts to go over one by one.  We will go over once again near where we ended last time

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

King Jehoshaphat asked help from the LORD….do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?

God Would Fight for Them

It is God who saves

Psalms 106:7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.
Psalms 106:8 Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, That He might make His mighty power known.
Psalms 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; So He led them through the depths, As through the wilderness.
Psalms 106:10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
Psalms 106:11 The waters covered their enemies; There was not one of them left.
Psalms 106:12 Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.
Psalms 106:13 They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel, [they did their own thing] Psalms 106:14 But lusted [James 4:2] exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
Psalms 106:15 And He gave them their request, But sent leanness into their soul.

He tells them how He will do it

Exodus 23:22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
Exodus 23:23 For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.

Exodus 23:27 “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.
Exodus 23:28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.
Exodus 23:29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.
Exodus 23:30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.

SO WHAT Happened? Why did ancient Israel fight and kill?

Israel lost faith quickly in God

Exodus 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
Exodus 17:4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”
Exodus 17:5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go.
Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Exodus 17:7 So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?

They lost faith in God to protect and provide for them. They had just been told “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today”

God performed a great miracle for them and saved them from the death (Red Sea)

They had been baptized by walking under the cloud and through the walls of water. What is to come next? They/we are to walk in faith and belief. They were to trust in God.
Now notice what THEY decided to do next. We do not see any indication that God told them to do it.

Exodus 17:8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
Exodus 17:9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”
Exodus 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Now understand that Moses made this decision, but the people CHOSE to follow. This was the turning point! It was the Israelites decision to fight, not God’s. WHY did God allow this?

Free Moral Agency

Deuteronomy 30:1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,
Deuteronomy 30:2 and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deuteronomy 30:3 that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you.
Deuteronomy 30:4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.
Deuteronomy 30:5 Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Deuteronomy 30:7 “Also the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
Deuteronomy 30:8 And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.
Deuteronomy 30:9 The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,
Deuteronomy 30:10 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
Deuteronomy 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Deuteronomy 30:13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
Deuteronomy 30:16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
Deuteronomy 30:17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,
Deuteronomy 30:18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
God set war or peace before them, His way of doing things or Satan’s. They chose poorly

Deuteronomy 30:20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

It was a matter of character … or the lack thereof

God cannot create character by fiat. It must be built over time by making the right and Godly choices. Israel did NOT do that and God was not going to compel them to do it. It had to be THEIR choice – but it was not in their heart to be that way.

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

It was in their heart to war like the other nations around them.

Like the example of Saul as King (think of the Israelites decision to make war)

1 Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,
1 Samuel 8:5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
1 Samuel 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1 Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
1 Samuel 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.
1 Samuel 8:9 Now therefore, heed their voice [because of free moral agency]. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
1 Samuel 8:10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king.
1 Samuel 8:11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.
1 Samuel 8:12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
1 Samuel 8:13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
1 Samuel 8:14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.
1 Samuel 8:15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.
1 Samuel 8:16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
1 Samuel 8:17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.
1 Samuel 8:18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
1 Samuel 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us,
1 Samuel 8:20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
1 Samuel 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the LORD.
1 Samuel 8:22 So the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”

God’s Purpose Must Stand

Ephesians 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
Ephesians 1:10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
Isaiah 14:25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders.
Isaiah 14:26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”

Proverbs 19:21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

God has made promises that He must keep…in spite of what ANYONE does. So if anyone of us sins will that derail the plan of God? If anyone of us decides that we do not want to be a part of God’s way will that derail the plan of God? If anyone of us tries to thwart the plan of God will it derail the plan of God? If a nation decides build nuclear weapons, kill all the Jews, ban Christianity, or any other ungodly act will the plan of God be derailed? Of course not!

God knew that He would have to work with whatever we as humans threw at Him. There is no difference with the Israelites. Since THEY chose to be ungodly and fight and murder others that is what God HAD to work with – IT IS NOT WHAT GOD WANTED!!!

Israel was going to do what Israel wanted to do – that which was in there heart to do. God then used that to accomplish His plan.

God Has the Prerogative of Life and Death (We Do NOT)

Example of Lazarus

Job 1:21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

We have to ask if God was in the picture

This is why God put a priest in charge later

We can’t assume that everything in the bible is a good example

Why Did King David Fight?

David was a ‘man after God’s own heart’ NOT because of his wars.

Even though those around him glorified him as “a mighty man of valor, a man of war” and bragged about the tens of thousands that he had killed. We must be careful not to do the same. Everything in the bible is profitable, but not everything in the Bible is a good example. Here the people continued to look to a man.

What did God think of his exploits? God punished him for them

David Not Allowed to Build a Temple

1 Chronicles 22:6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel.
1 Chronicles 22:7 And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the LORD my God;
1 Chronicles 22:8 but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. [this is the reason; wars were and are wrong] 1 Chronicles 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. [This is what He always wanted to do for Israel] 1 Chronicles 22:10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
1 Chronicles 22:11 Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you.
1 Chronicles 22:12 Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. [a key factor in getting the protection; won’t go into that aspect of it today] 1 Chronicles 22:13 Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.

1 Chronicles 28:2 Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it.
1 Chronicles 28:3 But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’ [Not how much he had shed, but the fact that he had shed it]

David Numbers His Army

Satan influenced David to number his army, those who drew the sword

We now read the remarkable reaction of David, in verse 10: “And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.'”

God had told David already why he could not build the temple, and David still did this. God gave him the option of three punishments and the one that he chose caused 70,000 to be killed.

God Does Not Sin or Make Others Sin

You are near a wooded park area and a gang of 10 men with bats is coming at you and you have a sword and a revolver with 6 shots in it. Which do you pray to God to use? The sword won’t run out of bullets, but the gun might be enough of a deterrent for those that think they might be able to defeat a sword.

There is a problem with this. You only gave God one choice – one choice that mattered that is.

What is God’s answer to your prayer? Well if you ask the wrong question with the wrong heart you may not get the best answer

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

So when David and the Israelites asked whether they should fight a certain foe or a specific battle – they were asking the wrong question and did not get the best answer. David above others should have recognized and known this, since he had God’s holy spirit, but we can’t judge him too harshly since many within the Church today also think it is ok to fight in war or put yourself in a position to kill others.

David and all of Israel should have been asking how will you protect us God?

In many of the examples in the Bible, God allowed them to do what was already in their heart, as long as it was in accordance with His plans.

Why did he give them laws of war in Deuteronomy 20

Again…do we now know the answer to this question?

They were going to do it anyway

So God gave them some principles that most would not have a problem with any way:

If God is with you, don’t be afraid

Even when they fought it was not because of their might that they prevailed, but because of God’s plan

If there were reasons not to go, don’t go
Don’t mess up the ecology
Offer them peace

Corollaries

Our kingdom and citizenship is not of this world as an Ambassador we don’t fight, vote or do jury duty.  The judicial system has begun to put these together and will not allow anyone who has voted to be a conscientious objector.

Obey God rather than man Acts 5:29; 1 Peter 2:13-14

A Peaceful World Tomorrow

Isaiah 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Jesus Christ will bring an END to ALL wars.

Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”