The Lord's Battles

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Numbers 31-32

The idea that God commanded the children of Israel to slay their enemies, men, women and children, is highly offensive to many people, and understandably so. It has caused some people to reject the Bible and others to reject parts of the Bible such as this. The problem needs to be faced honestly.

If Israel was to be a blessing to the whole world, she needed to be a holy people. The nations around her were terribly ungodly; their worship of idols led to many immoral activities, things which were abominable. If Israel lived among them, many would yield to these temptations. Therefore the temptations had to be removed, even if it took drastic action. Only a people pure enough to be an instrument in God’s hand could bring great blessings. In fact, Israel failed to destroy the enemy; she yielded to their temptations, and therefore never did carry out her mission of blessing. Her rebellion made her unusable, although out of her God brought Christ to produce the needed salvation. There are some things more important than life itself, and God who is Lord of life and death can choose to take life in His own hands.

We live in a different age. But God’s goal is still to have a holy people who will be a blessing to the whole world. We are called to serve, not by destroying, but by giving of ourselves unselfishly.

PRAYERFather, help us to put the cause of Your kingdom ahead of our personal interests. In Jesus’ name. Amen.