“When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but war against you, then you shall besiege it.” (
Utopians promote delusion. They want a world that cannot coexist with the wicked heart of man. Until all sin is removed—Satan and his followers cast into the lake of fire—with all that remains being God, the glorified saints and holy angels, sin will have to be restrained by law and military force must be prepared to defend the nation. God was establishing this principle in ancient
government. Israel America
is not a theocracy, and not meant to function in all ways as . It is error also, however, to go the opposite
way and refuse to see abiding principles for government’s role in a fallen
There was a list of those who would be exempt from battle (
Deut.20:5-9). In those days of hand to hand combat, a
divided mind would bring deadly results.
Concentration on the task at hand and consecration to fighting the foe
It is interesting how these principles illustrate the nature of spiritual warfare also. The Christian soldier is to recognize that Satan is not a foe to be taken lightly. Facing his supernatural strength in our own impotence will bring defeat every time. On the other hand, cowering in fear, when the resources of God are available is equally foolish. What is the answer? “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (
1 John 5:4b). As ’s armies
were assured of victory when relying on God, so the enemies of our soul will be
overcome as we trust in the Lord.
Furthermore, Paul stresses that winning spiritual battles demands
concentration. Listen to this: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself
with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a
soldier.” ( Israel 2 Tim.2:4). There can be no distracted attention and no
divided allegiance in this deadly battle against evil. We cannot consort with the enemy if we are to
be good soldiers of Christ.
Our commanders set the rules of engagement on the field of battle. The Lord of Hosts—our Commander—has established these for soldiers of the cross.