Thursday, May 8, 2008

Studying God's View of Warfare

The different ways God deals with enemy armies

2 Kings 6 The king Aram got tired of the prophet Elisha knowing what he spoke secretly, and tried to capture Elisha. The king of Aram sent his army to surround Dothan and when Elisha’s attendant got up early and saw an army with horses and chariots circling the city, he cried out to Elisha, “alas, my master! What shall we do?” So Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, THE MOUNTAIN WAS FULL OF HORSES AND CHARIOTS OF FIRE ALL AROUND ELISHA. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city, follow me and I will bring you to the man you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria. And it came about when they had come into Smaria, that Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “Shall I kill them?? Shall I kill them?” Elisaha answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them, and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

Now wouldn’t you like to see this depicted in a movie?? And throw in the floating ax in the special effects that comes in the story just one section before this narrative.

Another army came and besieged Samaria and caused a famine, and they had started eating their children, and the king got mad and sent a messenger to behead Elisha, but Elisha knew he was coming, and forewarned and then proclaimed what was going to happen. His followers probably thought he was talking in parables. Lets skip to 2 Kings 7:3 and meet four leprous men. Outcasts, unclean, living separately, we find them at the entrance of the gate of the city. They said to one another: “Why do we sit here until we die?” “If we say, ‘we will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we shall die there, and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we shall live, and if they kill us, we shall but die.” And they arose at twilight to go to the camp and when they came to the outskirts of the camp, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Therefore, they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives. So when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them, and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and hid them. Verse 9: Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent, if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore, let us go and tell the king’s household.” When the lepers came to the gatekeepers of the city, and told of the empty camp, the king did not believe it. The king’s servants had to convince him to send a band to investigate. Then the people were able to go out and plunder the camp. Other prophecies came true that day. But I will let you read it for yourself. 2 Kings 7

Deut. 20: When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you…Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Another chapter for soldiers—for very specific examples are given on how to deal with situations.

Joshua 24:6,7 Israel is never to forget how God dwelt with the army of chariots of Pharoah.

1 Samuel 13 tells the story of King Saul and consequences of not obeying God’s instructions.

1 comment:

Bob said...

The unseen spiritual warfare has always been much more real (and much more violent).