The Believer's Place In The Combat
by Matthew Coover
If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. (Leveticus 26:3-6)
Why then is there so much battling over carnal issues? Why is there so much fighting, killing, and hate? Why then do we have war? Once again, Yahweh has the answer in His inspired word, the scriptures.
And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgements, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant... then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. (Leveticus 26:15,24,25)
It is clear that Yahweh uses war as a judgement! We sin and war follows as a consequence of our sin.
And the anger of Yahweh was hot against Israel... and he sold them unto their enemies round about... (Judges 2:14) He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtly with his servants. (Psalm 105:25) Yahweh directs the actions and everyone, including our enemies. He can just as easily turn their hearts against as he can turn them toward us when we follow in obedience to his law. Ezekiel prophesied against Jerusalem saying, Thus sayeth Yahweh, I will raise up thy lovers against thee... and they shall judge thee according to their judgements... and thy remnant shall fall by the sword. (Ezekiel 23:22,24,25)
Human nature is so quick to jump to false conclusions. Right now America as a whole is blaming Afghanistan for the recent tragedies. The newspapers are advertising "Wanted: Osama Ben-Laden - Dead or Dead" We think we know who did it. We think we don't even need a trial. But do we really know as much as we think we do? Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be afraid? shall their be evil in a city and Yahweh hath not done it? (Amos 3:6)
I have overthrown some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Yahweh. (Amos 4:11).
Yahweh uses war to chasten His people. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city, for Yahweh did vex them all with adversity. (2 Chronicles 15:5,6)
Yahweh's people will lose the war if their hearts are not right with him. Do you remember the story of Achan? (Joshua 7 and 8) The same holds true for us today. If we still have unconfessed sin in those hidden corners of our hearts, Yahweh will search it out and we will lose the war.
Did you ever notice that throughout the scriptures we see the same story repeated time and time again. This is because our hearts and minds are so hardened in our own way of thinking that we cannot really see Yahweh's way of thinking until we hand ours over to Him. This is what happened with Israel. There was war because of their disobedience. The war was removed when they returned to Yahweh. (2 Chronicles 15:15-19) But wait a second... they haven't learned their lesson yet. They revert back to their own stiff-necked ways (chap. 16:1-6) and Yahweh put's them right back in the situation they just came out of (vs. 7-9). Does this sound anything like the present day world we see around us? Is there a possibility that the reason mankind is in the state he's in is the same reason that it was back in the time of the Kings and Chronicles?
In 2 Chronicles 11:1-4 Solomon's son who is now King, Rehoboam, has just got done bragging that his little finger is thicker than his Daddy's waist. As you might remember, this is in spite the advice his elders have just given him.... that's right... not to do what he's just done. But... now that he's done it, it's done. And now that it's done, Rehoboam is going to reap the consequences for his foolishness. Yahweh sends this Jeroboam guy to take the kingdom right out from under Rehoboam's nose, and he succeeds. Rehoboam gets all fired up right away and is ready to go out and snatch it back, but Yahweh says, "Wait a minute, this is my doing. You were foolish and now's the time of reaping. Go back home". Thankfully Rehoboam humbles himself and listens and returns home.
Thus we will read throughout much of the scriptures... sin and it's consequences, which in many cases is war.
Interestingly enough, we find that Yahweh hates war, even though he uses it as a punishment so many times. Really it's not any wonder. Punishment is not fun for the one who is inflicting it or the recipient. Yahweh also hates those that delight in war. Does this sound anything like these war buffs we see all around today? Well look out because they'll be scattered. (Psa. 68:30)
King David was a man after Yahweh's own heart and he was for peace. "For peace?" you might say. "Then why did he do all that fighting?" Well that's what I thought to... before I read Psalms 120:6,7. We read, My soul has long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. It sounds like believers today. Is it any wonder why David was kept busy? Times may have changed, but some things stay the same.
Yahweh also gives instruction for when war is to be made and when it is better to remain in peace. Proverbs 24:6 tells us to make war only by wise counsel, for in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Whose counsel is better than Yahweh's? In Luke 14:31-33 Yahshua (Jesus) also speaks of not going to war if we do not have the proper defense. On an even more serious note, we are told in Yahweh's revelation to John that He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed by the sword... (Rev. 13:10)
The fact that Yahweh hates war is stressed by Luke 21:20-22. In this verse Yahshua tells us, And when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
The days of vengeance... whose duty is it to inflict this vengeance? Is it our's? By no means. Vengeance is Yahweh's; we are to let HIM repay. Yahweh shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:14) Yahweh, your Elohim (God) which goeth before you, he shall fight for you according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes. (Deuteronomy 1:30)
If vengeance is Yahweh's, then what is our duty in this world of strife?
We are to pray for peace. (1 Timothy 2:1-3) I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for those that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all righteousness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of Yahweh, our savior.
We are to obtain the wisdom of Yahweh which is peaceable. (James 3:13,17) Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom... But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
We are to sow the fruit of righteousness in peace. (James 3:18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
We are to live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
We... a people of peace? Why? Because this is our duty as sons of Elohim. We may however be comforted by the fact that Yahweh shall cause all wars to cease... in His time. David says in Psalms 46:9, He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Likewise the prophets, Isaiah and Micah, prophesied the same. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3)
Yahshua tells us that we shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, but we must not be alarmed, because Yahweh will cause them to cease in his time. (Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7, Luke 21:9)
So... are we commanded to participate in the prophesied sequence of events? In reality, the answer is none other than "YES!". Our warfare for Elohim is mentioned all throughout scripture as well. However, ours' is a warfare in which we are more than conquerors... a warfare which ends in everlasting peace.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Yahweh to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Yahweh, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Messiah; and having a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck... (1 Timothy 1:18,19)
Submit yourselves therefore to Yahweh (God). Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
It is called "the good fight of faith" against Satan and his forces. (Genesis 3:15, Ephesians 6:12, 1 Timothy 6:12)
Our weapons are not of this world either. They are spiritual weapons, and they do a much better job than any which man may invent. Instead of killing our enemy, and in the process immediately robbing them of a chance for repentance, these weapons bring the enemy (which are spiritually dead) to new life and hope in Yahshua HaMoshiach. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in Yahweh, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Elohim, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of Yahweh, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore having your loins gift about with truth, and having the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of Yahweh Elohim." (Ephesians 6:10-17)
When at last this lifelong battle for truth is ended, there are rewards in store for those who have overcome.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
For whatsoever is born of Yahweh overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Yahshua is the son of Yahweh. (1 John 5:4,5)