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  • Writer's pictureSteve Peterson

Lessons From War In Israel Peace vs. Sword


The current war with Israel and the Palestinian state is one we all can learn from in the context of biblical truth. Whether you are pro-Israel or pro-Palestine is not the point, as many would like you to believe. I do not care what your political opinion is with regard to this current world event. What is important is what God says in His word and how this applies to our own lives.


The Lord has repeatedly used the people of Israel in their exodus from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan (country of Israel today) as an example of how we are to combat sin and the consequences of sin. The Lord instructed the people of Israel to completely annilate the inhabitants of the land of Canaan as stated in Deuteronomy 20:16-18. “....you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaannite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they may not teach you to do according to all their destestable things (sacrificing children, etc.) which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God”. The Lord specifically told the Israelites to kill anything that breathes (includes men, women, children, and animals.). Why did He say this? So the evil practices and false gods of these people would not become a snare to them.


Today many political leaders and others are demanding peace in lieu of war. Many will say this because they want to appear merciful and compassionate, or just plain hate Israel. But what does God's word say? Matthew 10:34 says, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” The context of this verse shows that we are to value the truth of God's word above family, your own life, your reputation, your job, etc. In short, there is a great cost to those who strive to be obedient to God's word. God's word demands obedience. If you are unwilling to submit to His authority and statutes, or just give “lip service,” then you will most certainly perish in hell, and your quality of life on earth will be compromised as well.


In essence, the power of sin in our lives has both temporal and eternal consequences. It is like a cancer that slowly contaminates our whole body if we do not take the necessary steps to kill it before it kills us. As Matthew 18:9 states, “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell”. We are to fight against sin in our own lives with this type of attitude. We are to mortify sin in our lives at all cost, so that we may not be found wanting in the end, and ultimately perish in everlasting torment and fire.


As stated in 1 Corinthians 10:6-11, the sins of the Israelites are to be examples for us, so that we would not crave the same evil things as they craved. What were the sins of the Israelite's during their exodus out of Egypt before entering the promised land (country of Israel)? The Israelites were guilty of making a golden calf to worship, they acted immorally and played the harlot, they tested the Lord regarding not having the food and drink they desired to satisfy the god of their belly, and they continuously grumbled and complained to the Lord.


The consequences of these sins against the Lord was that God killed many thousands of Israelites. The entire generation of Israeli adults was killed by the Lord (save for only two, Joshua and Caleb) and did not enter the promised land, but perished eternally. We are not any different today, if we do not begin to earnestly seek and strive to be obedient to God's word, we will surely experience the same death the Israeli people did during their exodus out of Egypt to the promised land.


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