Tag Archives: war

Exodus 17 – Life

So now, the people go from the wilderness of Sin where there was no food, to Rephidim where there is no water.  So what do the people do?  No big surprise, they complain and quarrel with Moses about the lack of water.  How tiresome!  Then again, water is life.  If you had to go without water for an extended time period wouldn’t you be complaining too.  Then when you consider that they were in a dry wilderness, and you have every reason to be upset.

But, by now i would expect that the people would understand the correct way of handling the problem.  Bring it to Moses and to God, and wait for the miraculous provision.  What do they do instead?  They complain and quarrel.  What does God do?  He provides miraculously, of course!  That was a silly question.

In the meantime, all this racket, complaining, and water coming from rocks in desolate places has stirred up the natives like taking a broom to a beehive.  All of a sudden, the Israelites are face to face with angry Amalekites.  If you remember, Amalek was the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s older brother.  So this was family that was attacking them.  It is also the first time that the Israelite people would come face to face with war.  So Moses sends out Joshua to lead the battle, and he stands on the rock with his brother Aaron and with Hur.  Together they hold up Moses hands, and as long as Moses hands are raised, the Israelites defeat this people experienced in the ways of war.  So yet again, YHWH provides life for the people of Israel.

Moses builds an alter / memorial to the LORD there and calls it, YHWH-Nissi, or the LORD my Banner.  Is He your banner today?

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Exodus 2 – The Battle

Every time i read this i see the parallels throughout history; Pharaoh has the Israelite babies killed because the Israelites are becoming too numerous and they might hinder his prosperity.  When the people of Israel entered the promised land and did not remove all of the inhabitants the worship of Molech continued.  As a result, the Israelites began sacrificing their firstborn child to Molech so that they would be blessed with prosperity.  King Herod had all of the newborns from the town of Bethlehem killed because one of them was to be a king which would affect him and his prosperity.  Today it is acceptable for people the world over to kill off our own baby if it’s life is going to be an inconvenience to its mother.  …if it’s life might hinder the mother’s chance for “prosperity”.

There are other instances of this in history as well.  It really makes me wonder; are we fighting new battles, or are they the same old battles with the same old enemy just expressed in a new way?  Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

When we are fighting for the lives of our children, who is the battle really against?  Is it against those people who would take the lives of our children for a profit?  Is it against those who would choose to end their child’s lives because their child is an inconvenience to their own life?  Or is the battle much more than that?  Are we battling against flesh and blood, or are we battling against spiritual forces that have been waging this war for millennia?  Is this a war about “choice” or is it much deeper than that?  If it is a deeper level battle, then what?

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Genesis 21 – Promises

What is it about promises?  We make them.  We take them.  We keep them.  We break them.  How much do they really mean?  What are they really worth?

For instance, God made a promise towards Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son.  He fulfilled it, and at the time that He said that He would as well.  Sarah finally received the fulfillment of God’s promise with the birth of Isaac.  Hagar also had received, and receives again a promise that Ishmael would become a great nation.  In this chapter God provides for her and Ishmael, taking a step towards the fulfillment of His promise towards them.

At the same time, other promises are, and are not made.  Abimelech, seeing that God blesses everything that Abraham does comes to Abraham seeking a promise.  He reminds Abraham of his kindness to him in regards to the incident with Sarah.  Abimelech had been righteous in his actions and dealings, so God had prevented him from sinning by sleeping with Sarah and he acted righteously towards Abraham.  So, knowing that God blesses all that Abraham does, he comes to Abraham seeking a promise that Abraham and his descendants will never deal falsely with Abimelech and his descendants.  Together, Abraham and Abimelech make a covenant with each other that neither would deal falsely with the other.  So the promise is made.  At the end of the chapter, we see just who Abimelech is.  He is a Philistine king.

We know, especially from Judges and Kings, that this promise is not kept.  The Philistines are the primary antagonists to the Israelites in Judges and Kings.  They attempt to make the Israelite people their slaves.  They even steal the Arc of the Covenant.  Their promise has no lasting value.

What’s more, is the promise that they didn’t make.  They made a promise with Abraham, whom God was blessing, but they never pursued a promise with the God of Abraham.  They were more focused on the things of the world that they ignored the very source of Abraham’s blessings.  They never pursued the true God.  That was a promise lost.

In looking at the promises and fulfillments; I suppose that the value of a promise is very much dependent upon who is making what promise, to whom, and why?  What promises have we made, and to whom?  Are we fulfilling our promises?

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Genesis 14 – Abram

So who is Abram, and what makes him so special?  This chapter, while mostly not about Abram, gives us a great picture of who he is and what makes him so different.

The majority of this chapter is all about politics.  Five kings came up in battle against four.  One king Chedorlaomor had subjugated numerous other nations for 12 years, these other nations ended up rebelling, a bunch of other stuff happened, and there was a battle.  Five kings came up in battle against four.  In the end, the kings and armies of Sodom and Gomorrah fled.  When that happened, the enemies of these kings came and took spoils of war.  As part of those spoils, they kidnapped Lot, his family and things, and a bunch of other people and goods.

Needless to say, Abram was not too pleased with this turn of events, so he set out to resolve the issue.  So he took 318 men born in his house and pursued the victors.  He got back Lot and all that was his, as well as the other spoils taken from Sodom and Gomorrah.

I found it interesting that through much of this chapter, Abram does what he can to avoid the politics of the day.  He remains neutral in any way he can.  He does not take part in the fight.  In fact, it appears that he avoids it.  He is not interested in getting involved in petty disputes.  However, when it hits home (Lot is taken) then he turns around, takes a group of men (much smaller than the armies he is pursuing), attacks and drives off the victors.  Then, not only does he not desire reward from those he helps, but he refuses to take anything apart from the food that his people ate (after he pays tithe to the King of Salem, priest of the Most High God no less).  Why?  Because he does not want the other kings to be able to turn around and say, “Look, I made Abram rich.”  He is not interested in politics and trading favors.  He is interested in what is just, righteous, and holy.  Are we more interested in what is right, or what we can get out of a deal?

Also of note in this chapter:  We see El-Elyon (God Most High) and YHWH El-Elyon (YHWH God Most High) used what appears to be for the first time in this chapter.  We see the Melchizadek king of Salem referred to as the priest of El-Elyon, and Abram tells the king of Sodom that he has sworn to YHWH (the LORD) El-Elyon, possessor of heaven and earth that he would not take even a thread from the spoils.

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