HOLY WAR TRILOGY
Gen. Jim Green
E ver since the disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve, one thing has MARKED and MARRED humanity: WAR! The Old Testament cannot be truly understood without reference to violent and bloody conflict. From Cain murdering his brother, Abel, to the conquest of Canaan, to David’s rule and beyond, the pages of the Bible are literally filled with stories and accounts of bloodshed.
God’s redemptive plan to establish His Kingdom in the earth was to be carried out through the formation of the nation that was called Israel. Spiritual Israel of the New Testament era was to be used in like manner, yet not with physical warfare.
The conquest of Canaan was intimately connected to the LORD’s plan since the land had been promised to Israel, through Abraham, as a possession IF Israel remained true to their God (Gen. 17:8). This “everlasting possession” was conditional.
Gen. 15:18, “On the same day the LORD made a covenant (promise/pledge) with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. . .’”
Gen. 17:4, “As for me, behold, my covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations”.
Gen. 17:7, “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting, solemn pledge to be a God to you and to your posterity after you”.
The Hebrew word for “covenant” is “berith,” and the Greek word is “diatheko”. Both mean: “will, purpose, disposition” (see any reputable lexicon).
This covenant was conditional. God would honor it “IF” Abraham and his descendants kept God’s will, purpose, disposition. First, Abram had to leave his own country (Gen. 12:1-4); second, Abram had to walk uprightly before God (Gen. 17:1-4); third, Abram had to keep God’s covenant, and the people after him also (Gen. 17:9-14). Abram, or Abraham, and his family were placed under this covenant condition; fourth, we find him greatly tested in Gen. 22:1,2, 10-12. (Note what God said after the test of obedience (see Gen. 22:16-18).
All this proves that God’s covenant with Abraham was conditional (see Gen. 26:3-5). So, the N.T. covenant is founded upon the Abrahamic covenant. . . .”Thy seed after thee in their generations”.
GET RIGHT! STAY RIGHT!
This was the divine command for ancient/racial Israel, and it is the same for spiritual Israel, the universal Ekklesia. When the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, they received this exhortation:
“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exod. 14:14) The Amplified Bible reads: “. . . .you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Don’t complain, don’t be anxious—TRUST!
Once in the land, Israel found itself at the CENTER of a MAJOR geopolitical conflict. So it is today. We’re told to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ, enduring hardness (2 Tim. 2:3; I Tim. 6:12).
Canaan was a culture of idolatry. God wanted that CULTure utterly destroyed! There was to be NO compromising with those 7 nations that had gods/goddesses that taught sex sins and occult sins (see Lev. 18 and Deut. 18). The worship and practice of those SINS/ABOMINATIONS DAMN whole nations.
Ultimately, WAR is odious, a sad reality resulting from the deep poison common to ALL humans: SIN! The manifestation of SIN—hatred, greed, pride, selfishness, etc.—are WAR’s fuel. The N.T. testifies to all this. Even Jesus declared that there would be WARS and rumors of WAR. Actually, “peace” is uncommon, yet we’re instructed towards peace.
In my “Holy War” series, I show that divine genocide was ordained by God for a particular time, not to be replicated in the same manner.
Knowing war was an inevitable reality for Israel, RULES of engagement were established. Deut. 20:1-20 is the place to find the “war ban,” partial and whole; the whole war ban is found in vv.16-18.
The Israelites were to utterly destroy everything—men, women, children, animals! The partial ban commanded only the fighting men to be utterly destroyed. When attacking a pagan nation/city outside the promised land, Israel was allowed to take the women, children, livestock, and spoil as plunder (v.14).
THE BATTLE OF SIDDIM
The battle of Siddim (aka, War of Kings), is the first specific account of military engagement in the O.T. (Gen. 14:1-24).
So, from this battle all the way to the end of the N.T., we find WAR! We find both losers and victors, heroes and villains. The Bible does not glorify war, but it does record it.
GOG AND MAGOG
There has been SO MUCH speculation about those End Time names connected to war (Rev. 20:7-10) that I won’t even put forth my opinion. Some claim it is PAST; others, yet in the FUTURE. I don’t really care. All I know is that WAR is a universal PLAGUE!
Since the fall, mankind has stood in opposition to the RULE and AUTHORITY of God Almighty on earth. As nations formed and kingdoms emerged, leaders fought both defensive and offensive wars: some in the name of God, others in the names of gods. We find this contrast, i.e, Clash of Two World Orders (God’s vs. Satan) side-by-side. SIN will finally receive its DEATH BLOW.
The entire Bible progressively reveals this clash of 2 World Orders: good/evil, light/darkness, righteousness/unrighteousness, life/death.
Thankfully, the purpose for God making His inexplicable entrance into the world in human flesh—as Jesus Christ—was “to DESTROY the works of the devil” as I John 3:8 reveals, (see also Hebrews 2:14).
Here is another (future?) battle that has been debated for centuries. Again, I don’t care, but I do care that we stay alert, in battle dress (Eph. 6), ready to contend for our faith (Jude 3). I do know that there will be NO pre-tribulation “rapture” (see our trilogy on the subject). NO ESCAPE!
Remember, when we are RIGHT with God, God keeps us covered. He is our protection and comfort in our personal “war zones”.
Let us know your thoughts. Order Our FREE Publications, CDs, DVDs, and tapes.