Text: Deuteronomy 20:10-20 (KJV)
10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.
19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life) to employ them in the siege:
20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.
Key Verse: “And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.” – (Deuteronomy 20:11)
War was (and still is), a means of subduing nations by mightier ones. To possess the Promised Land, Israel must have to fight and dispossess the original seven nations occupying them – the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites and Girgashites. They were to be utterly destroyed.
In our text however, they were further instructed by Moses as regards the modalities of declaring war against nations “which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations” (Deuteronomy 20:15). They were first to proclaim peace to such cities, and if they accepted the peace, then the inhabitants were to become tributaries to Israel. But if they opted to make war, then they were to “smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword, But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle” would they take as spoils.
Life is filled with battles and every believer is reminded that “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). It is therefore foolhardy for any Christian not to take the battle against sin, Satan, and the flesh with all the seriousness it demands. Our battle is not against flesh and blood as in the Old Testament time, but against strategic, wicked and relentless spirits of darkness whose unflinching determination is to destroy the Christian and his testimony. The believer must then resist them and remain steadfast in the faith, by righteous living, dependence on the Holy Spirit, studying and meditating on the Scriptures, persevering in prayers and maintain strong resolve never to look back or give up.
Christ has won the battle for us at Calvary and we have His promise: “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Thought For The Day: Be battle ready, put on the whole armour of God, and you will overcome.
The Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 36-38
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.
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