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Siege The Day


Are You in The Spirit or In The Flesh? by Flickr User BeggartoBeggar, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works

Are You in The Spirit or In The Flesh? by Flickr User BeggartoBeggar, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’ve often wondered how a world that started out knowing the truth about God–who He is, what He is, what He does, etc., could end up in the state of chaos (and especially religious chaos) we’ve seen repeated time and time again throughout history. Did Adam fail to teach his children all he learned of God before the fall? Did Cain blame God and falsely teach that his marks and troubles were God’s fault, or did Cain feel unworthy to seek Yahveh Almighty, so he created some kind of a false deity just to have a god in his life? Or is it all brought about just by our desire to appease the flesh and its desires? Maybe it only takes a few great, great grandkids to be the last ones in the game of Telephone to twist the message around so far that the truth is no longer visible.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 20:10 through Deuteronomy 21:9, we complete another week and another portion. Shabbat Shalom to all. The passage begins with instructions to Israel about how to advance on a distant town to attack it, and the first thing God tells Israel to do is to offer terms for peace.

My note: There’s a big difference in offering peace just for the sake of calling it peace and offering “terms for peace,” so it can be the real thing. God tells us we are to be peace-MAKERS and not necessarily peace-KEEPERS. Now, just as back then, true peace can only be made when all parties involved come to an agreement, and it can only be kept when all parties keep their promises. (Don’t even get me started on how supposed peace agreements with Israel are rarely done in the favor of Israel–or how many of them were first violated by the enemies of Israel.)

Now, back to our reading: When a town agrees to the terms and opens its gates to Israel, the terms will include them working for Israel. But, when a town will not agree to the terms, God calls it an act of war and tells Israel to put the town under siege. At that point, God’s promise is to hand the town over to Israel, and their part is to put every male to the sword. The women, children, livestock, and all the spoils of the town will then be booty for Israel to live from.

For the nearby towns, the ones that are included in the inheritance God is giving to Israel, God says they are to completely destroy all the people to avoid them converting any Israelites to doctrines of false gods. God tells them that they should destroy the people with their abominable practices, but they should not destroy the trees because they are not humans. They can use the trees to build siege-works in longer periods of war, but they can only use the ones that do not bear fruit.

At the chapter change, we learn how God says to deal with an unsolved murder. In God’s eyes, a murder without proof of a perpetrator still carries guilt with it. God gives the priests a method of sacrifice and washing that will absolve Israel of the crime. It’s a promise from God that if they do as He instructs, they will be doing what is right in God’s eyes, and they will cleanse the guilt of murder from the community.

I know that reading some of these acts of war to give Israel her inheritance may sound a bit harsh, but we have to remember to consider perspective. We think from our own perspectives and how it might feel to be these people. But we live in sinful flesh, and it is fleshly decisions that got those who serve false gods in the positions they were in, and in the places they’re in now. We need to see things from God’s perspective. He is tired of seeing people worship themselves and their own personal comforts in the names of whatever they happen to be worshipping at the time. He gets extremely upset when he sees these people sacrifice their children to these false gods for the sake of appeasing them and keeping their own creature comforts.

Our world right now is under attack by the enemy of our souls who has no problem with putting us under siege by convincing us to sacrifice morals, ethics, and Godliness for the sake of what he calls peace. Our eyes are under siege with sex scenes and now even same-sex scenes. Our ears are under siege with foul language that often includes derogatory statements against Our Creator and God who loves us and saves us. Our freedom is under siege by those who want the servants of God to allow them license to kill, steal, and destroy while they take away even our rights to pray or bless others.

The enemy knows his time is short, so he is trying to “siege the day” against any and all who are made in the image of God. That means even those who don’t serve God are under attack because their image is like His, so they are fighting God for no reason. They cannot become evil enough to appease one who only cares about himself, but because he is “the father of lies,” he tries to convince them they can win his favor. They can’t, and they won’t. On the other hand, as long as they are in God’s image, His desire is to see them carrying that image in truth and holiness. It is not God’s desire for any to perish, but He wants all to come to His saving grace.

Believers, our job is simple but not easy. We need to lay the enemy under siege. We need to raise up a standard that uplifts The Savior above all our desires, comforts, needs, hurts, and ways of the flesh. We’re not told to rebuke the enemy to make him flee from us, we’re told to resist the enemy to make him flee. Our resistance is built of walls and gates. Our walls are God’s salvation. Our gates are praise. That’s why we’re told that before we resist, we must submit ourselves to God. We’re promised that The One within us is greater than he that is in the world. Let us praise Him in holiness and purity; not for what He does but for who He is. Let us praise Him in humility by being obedient to His word and by glorifying Him in our words and deeds. Let us praise Him in spirit and in truth, in and through all times and all things, from now until the end of eternity. HalleluYah!

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August 22, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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