War is Result of Sin
Gen. James Green
W HEN GOD utterly destroys the enemy, He does it because of sinfulness: “Not for thy (Israel) righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their (Canaanites) land: but for the WICKEDNESS of these nations....” (Deut. 9:5)
There were times when God drove the enemies out, not utterly destroying them; there were times when He utterly destroyed them (our subject). Here in Deut. 9:5, the issue is not comparative righteousness. He drives out the enemies because of their wicked civilization. He does what He does because He is God! The big picture is that the Canaanite civilization was compared to God’s righteousness, not Israel’s. He did it also because He purposed to fulfill the plan promised to Israel’s fathers.
The whole of the “Holy War” must be viewed in this frame of reference. He offers both redemption and extinction.
The Dead Sea scrolls have the document, “The War Between the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness” (Hebrew University in Jerusalem). It indicates that during the wars of the third and second centuries B.C., the Jews had revived the old institution of “Holy War.” The ideology of the institution has furnished the context in which Deut. views the possession of the land by Israel. They, the Jews, believe (and many pro-Jew/Zionists) that what God had given, He could not take back. Others believe that conditions attached to the gift were not met. I believe the second (see our magazine, “God’s Chosen People Forever?”)
The “conditions” attached to ancient Israel are also attached to New Israel (the Universal Ekklesia). We find such phrases as “To walk in His ways;” “that it may be well with thee;” “That thou mayest prolong thy days in the land;” “That the Lord may bless thee,” etc. There is NO promise that is non-conditional. If land and covenant are violated, then a CURSE may be expected—instead of blessing.
To Obey or Not to Obey
WE’RE ONLY fooling ourselves if we think we can live like Hell and still go to Heaven! Yet this is exactly the mind-set of today’s Churchites.
What will get us into Heaven is not our religious works, but holy salvation (ongoing salvation!) And shema (Strong’s H8088) of Deut 6:4,5.
As a holy separated people unto God, Israel (and Christians) must make EVERY EFFORT to keep evil/defilement from their/our midst, otherwise purity of life will utterly be destroyed by itself.
Some of the (harsh) penalties may seem severe (as Deut 20:17), but behind them is God’s love. Keeping mere outward laws is only half the requirement; WE MUST KEEP OUR HEARTS AND MINDS CLEAN AS WELL...as we reach inner integrity (Hebrew “tamim” [Strong’s H8549], English “perfection”), having complete trust and peace (Hebrew “shalom” [Strong’s H7965] “peace”).
New Atheists are Hypocrites
PROF. PAUL COPAN points out on page 18 of Is God a Moral Monster? “...philosopher William Lane Craig, he wrote an essay titled, ‘Dawkins’ Delusion,’ which responds to Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. Craig does his best to piece together Dawkins’ argument against God’s existence, which is really embarrassingly weak. At the end of his essay, Craig writes: ‘Several years ago, my atheist colleague Quentin Smith unceremoniously crowned Stephen Hawking’s argument against God in A Brief History of Time, as ‘the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western Thought”’ (1993, p. 322). Craig goes on with his essay: “With the advent of ‘The God Delusion,’ the time has come, I think, to relieve Hawking of this weighty crown and to recognize Richard Dawkins’ accession to the throne” (2009, p.5). If you’re not familiar with Dawkins, look him up. He is a real MOCKER of God...Who, he says, DOES NOT EXIST!!
There are many New Atheists that blaspheme the name of God/Jesus using XXX rated language. But back to my thought about them being hypocrites: they refuse to own up to gross atrocities committed “IN THE NAME OF ATHEISM” such infamous persons as Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Stalin (and other such persons who were atheists). But these hypocrites are quick to point out all BARBAROUS ACTS committed in Jesus’s name, however, these “Christians” were mainly Roman Catholics, not Bible-believing believers.
You see, the Bible does not hide the sins of men: it shows their good side, bad side, and ugly side. It reports about brutality/inhumanity. People of God, at times, did God’s destructive work (war etc.); other times they did it themselves without God’s command or blessing. If we believe the Bible to be true, why are we shocked at all this? Why can’t atheists acknowledge that the non-Christian commits the same crimes/sins as the professing believer?
According to these God-hating individuals (who are supposed to deny the existence of God), religion poisons everything, and atheism poisons nothing! One of their gripes is the (brutal) killing of the Canaanites, which is what this article is about.
THE LIBERALS (Church/State) would have God to do nothing about the SIN issue whatsoever. Yet, being the hypocrites that they are, they scream bloody murder when their “rights” are violated or something “bad” is enacted upon THEM, their families or their possessions...they DEMAND JUSTICE! But they have this gripe that God—who formed laws in the very beginning—should be kind, loving, and turn His face away from the abominations of the Canaanites (and any other persons—then and now. But with the exception: punish/kill Christians, they deserve it!)
THE LAW OF MOSES (which was the law of God) does seem severe, harsh, and unloving to most. Some liberals disapprove of even modest punishment. There are many Western nations (and Nordic countries) that are so lenient that their nation/countries are falling apart because of “political correctness.”
In this writing, I am not calling for the death penalty upon all law-breakers, I’m merely showing you that the reason God ordered the Canaanite nations to be UTTERLY DESTROYED, was because of the CONDITION that they were in. By putting this “harsh”/”unloving” legislation in perspective, it will ease our pain a bit.
Even though Israel had a more superior “law” system than that of those of the ancient Near East Law Codes, this did not excuse them from punishment (one can research the laws of Ur-Nammu (2100 BC, during the 3rd Dynasty of Ur); laws of Lipit-Ishtar [1925 BC], who ruled the Sumerian City of Isin; the [Akkadian] laws of Eshrunna [1800BC], a city 100 miles North of Babylon; the Babylonian laws of Hammurabi [1750 BC]; and the Hillite laws [1650-1200 BC] of Asia Minor [Turkey]. See “Biblical Law and its Relevance” by Jim Sprinkle, 2004).
Some scholars point out that various sayings and maxims in Proverbs sound a lot like adaptations (or borrowings) from the Egyptian Instructions of Amenemope. Actually the Bible contains saying from pagan sources that authors of the Bible quoted. Critics like to accuse the Bible of “stealing” from pagan sources. But what about the stealing that goes on among them? Duh! Nevertheless, “these human endeavors, writing styles, literary genres, and personalities,” says Copan, “are part of the Spirit-inspired enscripturation process” (ibid. p. 89). I’ve said this for years. Just because we find quotes (Paul quoted pagans, Jesus too) outside doesn’t mean that ALL Scriptures isn’t inspired. (When 2 Tim. 3:16 was written, there was no New Testament, only the Old Testament.)
Who borrowed from who? Various parallels/ similarities exist between ancient Near East (NE) Laws and the Mosaic Law (See the Covenant code of Ex. 20:21-23:33). To be sure, over time, some laws were improved (see for example the softening of legislation from the Old Hittite laws [1650-1500 BC] to the New Hittite Laws [1500-1180 BC]). These critics only dwell on the old, not the new (with improvements). And I need to emphasize (again) that some Mosaic laws, like adultery, were expanded by Jesus = looking upon a woman to lust after her was the same (in His sight) as doing the act. When He said this, the punishment for adultery was DEATH by stoning (see Lev. 20:10; Matt. 5:28).
All one has to do is to observe what Jesus taught about “ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy,’” (Matt 5:43). Here Jesus quotes Lev. 19:18.
He puts forth the improved law of retaliation (Matt. 5:38, 39. I have two DVDs on “Resist Not Evil [v.39], what it meant, and what it means today for the Christian [remember, Jesus was getting at the heart]). He was not speaking against the administration of justice toward those who are evil (Rom 13:1-4). The vss. that follow (43-48) indicate that Jesus is referring to loving one’s enemies (v. 44; Lk. 6:27). We are not to react to the evil done toward us in a spirit of retaliation (like America going to war for being insulted etc.), but we’re to act in a way that shows godly values. And, I must say, even this is not set into concrete ways. There are times when the Holy Spirit must execute punishment, and we are in that time as I write (see our New Year’s Word for 2017).
Some laws are permanent for ALL peoples for ALL time, i.e.—universal standard for ALL nations. Homosexuality is one of these forbidden abominations (see our GAY WAY series). Another universal law is that of marriage: one man/one woman. Yet this nation has added same-sex marriage to this. This also is an abomination. Keeping the Sabbath was part of the Old law; today, we are not obligated to do so (see our magazine on this subject for proof that Jesus—who is the true Sabbath—did away with this Jewish ordinance/law).
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