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“Several whole categories of vigorous grown men who might otherwise have been considered as warriors in Joshua’s army were specifically to be excluded from frontlines. Those who had just built a new house were to go back. Also those who had planted a new vineyard and those who were engaged to a woman but not yet married. Some reasoning is given on to say that those who are ‘fearful and fainthearted’ should also return (see Deut. 20:8).
“Significantly, in my opinion, no indication of rebuke or disappointment is recorded. Apparently their rightful place was at home, not at war.
“This same law of warfare was applied later to Gideon. Gideon started with 32,000 potential warriors. Of these, 22,000 were fearful or fainthearted and they were encouraged to go home. Then God called only 300 out of 10,000 who would otherwise have been eligible. They were not biggest, strongest, youngest, fastest runners, most experienced, best sword fighters or even bravest. In His own way, God sovereignty called 300 to go and He called 9,700 not to go.
“This is way Body of Christ is intended to operate. God gifts and calls only a few to be public evangelists and to preach gospel to crowds from platforms. God calls only a few to leave their homes and families and to move in as missionaries to a foreign country and a foreign culture. They need rest of us who do not go on platforms or to other countries to back them up in every way. And we need them. The eye cannot say to hand ‘I have no need of you’” (see I Corinthians 12:21).
To end this topic let me say this. Hate is not of God, ever. Even in Old Testament times when Israelites went to battle against her enemies, Israel was to offer terms of peace first before invading by military might. Israel was never allowed by God to ambush or sneak attack her enemies. God was showing mercy to wicked even in giving Israel rules of engagement. Hate is from devil. Hate, small or large, is evil. Hate never wins out. Hate is not a tool for a Christian to use against any person. The Bible tells us to treat others as we want others to treat us.
While paragraph above speaks to conventional warfare, this closing paragraph highlights a spiritual technique to be used against hate. Some men hate more than others because their hearts are not right before God. Hate plays into hands of devils and multiplies and intensifies as evil. This kind of hate must be addressed by spiritual warfare, especially spiritual mapping (mapping a locality to discover which demons control area). Once demon of racism, arrogance or any other demon of hell is identified, all warfare in prayer and Word authority should be directed specifically against that demon hierarchy which has been named. When demons of hell are bound by power of Holy Spirit, change comes. Hates decreases and love increases. Church bells begin to ring out once again. The Kingdom of God is being brought near.
So, where do we go from here? This is where we go from here---to prayer closets to pray.
Keep faith. Stay course in pray and speaking Word of God. Jesus is coming real soon.
Pastors a church in Broken Arrow, OK. Writes daily devotions for his congregation.