The holy wars, recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible, were generally conflicts that were initiated by God in an effort to make His glory known to the nations of the world. God used the Israelites to utterly destroy many heathen nations in a show of power and sovereignty. The Lord chose a race; a people that would be separated from the world and walk in His ways as a demonstration of His glory. God also used war as a means of punishment against Israel, and as God's chosen people continued to turn to idolatry and away from their powerful and Almighty God, the glory of battle began to fade and the terror of oppressing nations took over. Moving into the New Testament and in the time of Christ, warfare had taken it's tole. The Jews had suffered for years under the oppression of mighty powers and most families had seen more horror and loss than can be imagined. Jesus arrived with a new message; a message of peace and love and his message found longing ears that then craved the peace He promised. The peace and prosperity that the prophets once foretold of had seemed so far away, but with the Gospel of the Messiah at hand, a life without death and destruction seemed a possibility.
After the Lord destroyed the army of Egypt by drowning the soldiers of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang a song of praise to the Lord for He, the Lord, had triumphed in a glorious fashion. All the world would hear of the miraculous accounts of the release of the oppressed Israelites and all the world would now tremble as these people walked with their Mighty God. In the song of praise, Moses and Israel sang that the Lord was a man of war. "The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name" (Exodus 15:3). And later, after a battle with Amalek, the Lord told Moses to write down the victory for a memorial, and to continually remind Joshua that with God, the armies of Israel would prevail against the nations that stood in their way. And, this is exactly what happened as Joshua conducted holy wars throughout the promised land. "Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses" (Joshua 11:18-20).
But, the people of Israel, eventually forgot the mighty deeds of the Lord and hearts began to long for the things of the world around them. They began to worship the idols and gods of other countries and looked to the counsel of the heathen and the abominable. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; behold, I will bring up on this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words" (Jeremiah 29:15). Devastation and ruin reigned upon God's chosen people as the once mighty people of holy wars became captives of other countries. But, amidst all of the prophecies of impending war, doom, and judgement, the prophets spoke of another day when God's ultimate plan would prevail, and war would be no more. The prophets promised not only destruction, but a time of peace when the mighty and the meek would live side by side in perfect harmony. For more information on other important issues, visit our Bible resources.
When Jesus entered into the body of a human and walked on earth, the Jews were oppressed and living under a Roman government. As the Son of God, Christ certainly could have put an end to the oppressive government that reigned over the Jews. But, Christ had a different message. The Messiah's message was one of peace and humility, demonstrating God's mercy and forgiveness. Christ told the disciples to love their enemies and to turn the other cheek. The message moved from victory in holy wars to victory in weakness, again demonstrating that it is God who is the strength and the source of all power.
God has demonstrated the plan for the future of His people through the conflict of war and battle. The Lord was the Mighty Conqueror of the early Old Testament, the Righteous Judge in the years before Christ, and is now the enduring Father who demonstrates patients and grace to us today. However, the Bible tells us that the God of war will rise again, in a mighty battle of the last days against Satan's armies. As holy wars have been played out over the thousands of years of mankind, we can look back and see that God has had a message in every action in every age. As He alone defeated the enemies of Israel when they entered into the promised land, so He will defeat the forces that want to claim His territory as their own. War, though tragic, is used by God to bring about the good and perfect plan that He has for those who cry Abba Father!
King David In The BibleThe Kings of Israel are listed in the book of 1 Chronicles. There are also listed all the genealogies of Israel. Saul, the first ruler in Israel, was of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul was a ruler who became extremely jealous, because David was favored by God. Therefore Saul pursued him at every chance in order to slay him. However, Saul was never successful, although there were many close calls. Each time Saul came close to slaying him, a cry would go out to God and a way of escape would be provided. Saul's reign ended by being overcome by the Philistines. In order not to be taken captive and abused by the enemies, Saul and the armor bearers fell on their swords and died. Since David was a strong leader of Israel even during the reign of Saul, the tribes set him as ruler over them, which they could not have done without God's blessings. God told David earlier that he would shepherd Israel and rule over them. Therefore this prophecy came true.
King David in the Bible was a sheep herder prior to becoming ruler in Israel. The ruler was described as having a ruddy or red complexion. Second Samuel describes King David in the Bible as good-looking and having beautiful eyes. Samuel was commanded by God to anoint the lad to be king over Israel. Samuel knew the future ruler was in the house of Jesse. So, Samuel went to Jesse, asking that Jesse's sons be brought before him. Upon reviewing them, Samuel declared that none of them were the anointed. At the time, the future ruler was tending sheep away from what was happening. Samuel asked Jesse if there were any more sons in the family, at which time David was brought before the prophet. Then, Samuel anointed David. However, he would not become ruler for quite some time. The lad would serve in the army under Saul and win many victories in battle, becoming well-known to the people of Israel for this time of military service. For these reasons, Saul would become jealous and begin pursuit of the future ruler.
David was one of the greatest kings of all the kings of Israel ever to reign. It is through the lineage of David that Jesus was born. The Bible follows his lineage up to the time of Christ. In fact, the Bible is the entire genealogical history of Jesus which includes the beginning of the creation of the world, and tells of man's relationship to God. David had many sons from his wives and concubines. One of the most famous concubines was Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was a soldier in Israel's army. When David saw Bathsheba, he took her to bed, and sent her husband to the front where the battle was the most fearsome. There Uriah died, and God later judged David for this sin by allowing the child he had by Bathsheba to die. However, the second son born by Bathsheba would be used of God to build the temple. This child's name was Solomon. Because of sinning with Bathsheba, God said a son would be the one to build this temple, even though it was David's desire to do this. God decide the temple would be built by Solomon.
The books in the Bible that discuss the reigns of the kings of Israel are histories of the kings born in David's lineage. There were not only evil rulers, but rulers who were righteous. The historical books tell of the reigns of the kings of Israel alongside those of the kings of Judah. Each time the history of a ruler of Israel is given, the same period of time would be re-told about the reign of a ruler in Judah. For the most part, the rulers were disobedient, and the histories end with the captivity of Israel by the Assyrians into Babylon.
King David in the Bible was the first king to overtake Jerusalem, which was first inhabited by the Jebusites in the land of Jebbus. It would be this site, in Jerusalem, where son Solomon would build the temple. Throughout all the years that the lineage of David would reign, God would use enemies from the surrounding lands to discipline them when ever they disobeyed Him. This is a repeating pattern throughout the scriptures. God uses the circumstances His people are in, in order to bring them back into an acceptable relationship to Himself. In fact, all of the history of mankind, beginning with the fall of Adam and Eve, is all about God bringing man back into line in order to have a loving relationship with Himself. The center of affection is His creation, man. Mankind is the apple of God's eye. Therefore, it should not surprise the student of the Bible that God wants to have a personal relationship with anyone. God loves man so much that He sent His only son to die on the cross for everyone's sin. One could even say that the histories of the Kings of Israel are a narrative of a loving Father who disciplines those whom He loves.
No matter where one reads in the scriptures about King David in the Bible, a picture of love is presented in many different forms. Each form includes some form of redemption from the sins committed by the people, and also includes God's response of acceptance and love when they are back in the fold once again. Isn't it wonderful that God loves us so much!