“and shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;”
Deuteronomy 20:3 KJV
This was said to the Israelite army; and, although it was meant for the physical aspect of the Israelite army, it can be used in our everyday life, to take down those giants like depression, anxiety, worry, fear, etc. . . Instead, we rely on medical help devoid of Jesus Christ. Now, I am not saying that all medical help is bad. Look at me, and my testimony: (click on) “Running With Christ . . .~ To Challenge You To ‘Go Into All The World’”. It was on June 28, 1989, with my eighteenth birthday just freshly past, when I needed the hands of God upon my life. They certainly were as I spent the rest of that summer and early fall in the hospital. It marked the change in my life to a different journey. A journey I wasn’t expecting.
However, the LORD gives four certain exceptions of Israeli men that were not to go into battle. He gave them to the officers of those to be held back from battle. Remember, they were invading the giants who possessed the Promised Land of Canaan. The exceptions were:
1) “. . . What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it,” 2) “And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it,” 3) “And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her,” 4) “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart”
(Deuteronomy 20:5-8 KJV).
Let’s break this down. First, a man that has built a new house and hath not dedicated it was a big deal for those Israelite men. According to the Jewish Chronicle (click on: thejc.com), it states, “There is a Jewish way to mark moving into a new home, called a chanucat habayit celebration. Moving house is a big undertaking and accomplishing it deserves celebration. Chanucat habayit, literally dedicating the house, is about thanking God for reaching the milestone of a new home and setting the standard for what kind of home you would like to have.” So, if you were a Jew, and you just built a house that remains undedicated, then you wouldn’t go to war. However, with this rule in place, humanity can see some manipulation take place; yet the LORD knows the heart of everyone.
So, to with the second; it seems to Westernized ears that so much value would be given to the home vineyard that if one Jewish man had not tasted the fruit of the vineyard, then he was exempt from war. Yet, in (click on) John 15:1-8, Jesus makes the correlation to Him being the vine and his Father being the husbandman. And it is the husbandman’s duties to prune the vine if He wants to get the most out of the vine.
That’s where you and I come in. As Christians, we are supposed to be an extension of that vine. Jesus is the vine; we are the branches; and the Father is the husbandman. Thus, that brings some clarity that, for an Israeli man who just planted a vineyard and hadn’t tasted of the fruit thereof. The vine is Jesus, and without Jesus an Israeli soldier is doomed against the giants.
Thirdly, the way that the Israeli men could be held back from war is he were engaged to be married to a woman, up to a full year after the marriage. “And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her” (Deuteronomy 20:7). The LORD is the author of marriage, and thus He takes this marriage very seriously.
Lastly, the LORD commanded the officers if they were to find any that were fearful in following the LORD’s command to utterly obliterate the giant men coming from six nations, those Israeli men could stay home. For I am the type of person that would have a hard time with this command from the LORD, since satan would pull his tricks on me for killing people whether it was in the right or not.
At age 10, my desire was strong to be in the U.S. Air Force since I saw the amazing Thunderbirds perform a show at the old U.S. base called Pease Air Force Base. Both my grandfather and my brother were in the U.S. Navy; however, I wanted to be in the U.S. Air Force because of the repeated shows that my parents would take both me and my big brother too. Yet, a couple years went by, and during those couple of years, my health took a downward turn as I needed glasses and received a diagnosis that I was a type 1 diabetic. I knew once I received that call, my future in the U.S. Air Force was now over.
Feeling extremely disappointed, I called out to the LORD. And He finally answered me. I remember one summer-like Sunday night, I was in church where we had a guest missionary preacher. Close to the end of the service, he gave a call for those who wanted to submit themselves to the LORD’s will. I went forward, and I dedicated my life to the service of the LORD. Then I received this incredible David Wilkerson’s book called (click on) The Cross and the Switchblade. In the midst of my training, I remember taking first place at a Northern New England Assembly of God summer camp; it was in front of over 300 teens. Yet, I could have become prideful; however, I used that winning as further confirmation of my calling.
All was going well until the night of May 19th, 1989 in which I was to graduate from a Christian school in early June. What I experienced in the dream, I experienced a little over five weeks later. If one hasn’t read my major personal testimony, it is of that event — (click on) Running With Christ . . . I’m a missionary, of sorts, to the people with disabilities; for that is what my calling is and should be — since I have gone through experiences that will help me relate to people with a variety of disabilities.
However, that is not what this post is about, or is it? Hadn’t I received a daily Word of encouragement from the Holy Bible, I don’t know where I’d be. But one thing is for sure — that I would still be wandering in the search for God’s will in my life with an exception — it would have to go along with my will (which isn’t God’s will).
That’s dangerous — putting an exception in God’s will for your life. When God’s will for your life is exempt due to the reliance one has built, say, on medications, one is in danger of not fulfilling the plan that God has for your life. Yet, for a long time now, our American culture had relied on pharmaceuticals, which, at the core, is the word witch or witchcraft. Pastor Bennett says, “Instead of churches popping up right down the street, we have prescription drug stores.” Let’s get back to the only reliance we should have — The Triune God and churches to worship Him in. That’s your Daily Dose of Encouragement— leaning on God’s Word.
~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~