Friday, March 07, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Joshua 8:1-8(NASB)
1 Now the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2 "You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it." 3 So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4 He commanded them, saying, "See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5 "Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them. 6 "They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, 'They are fleeing before us as at the first.' So we will flee before them. 7 "And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8 "Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you."
This isn't a part of God that is easy for a lot of people to swallow, especially for the left side of the aisle. God has a kick-butt and take names side that's in full view in the Old Testament. It shows up on occasion in the New Testament, like with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, but it takes its full ethnic-cleansing form in the OT. God's not anti-war if the war is done for the right reasons. However, the warriors had best be on God's good side; if you skip back a chapter in Joshua, you'll see a cocky Israel lose badly to the Aiites due to internal sin. I'm not even going to think of what spiritual contraband He'd find in the US. However, God's not opposed to a just war, and his standards in the OT weren't as tight as today's. That being said, we're not getting too many "thus sayeth the LORD" statements on modern wars, thus our wisdom isn't near what Israel had in the OT. We need to be thinking hard and praying even harder before going to war and not falling into our standard camps of political debate.

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