“Simeon and Levi are brothers—-their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel. The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nation is his.” (Genesis 49:5–7, 10)
Persons dedicated to to anger, war and violence do not receive blessings. Improper human attitudes are the basic cause of war.
Jesus was a descendant of Judah (Luke 3:33). The triumphant Christ is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is clear that from the beginning of Creation, there were those who apparently felt “called” not to God but to the battlefields; that they enjoyed killing and causing harm to other people and even animals. There are still people like that, that exist and enjoy war, while most combatants pray for peace and fight the wars as a last resort and not the first resort. No one truly wins wars, there are losses on all sides and enough hurt to go around multiple times. Abba, we look forward to the day when we can all put down arms and live together in harmony and peace. We pray this day for just that idea, and know we will find it one day, if not on this earth, then in the kingdom. It is in Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Nails didn’t hold Jesus on the cross; His love for you did.”
“So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lore gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” (Joshua21:43-45)
Peace, no war, is the climax of Joshua. Erst from war, not continued involvement in fighting is God’s continuing will for His people. His people can enjoy peace because God fulfills His promises.
“Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered! Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” (Isaiah8:9-10)
God’s purpose and presence represents the decisive factor in history’s wars. God’s presence thwarts human political strategy and determines history.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“’Am I leading a rebellion,’ said Jesus, ‘that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Everyday I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” (Mark 14:48–49)
Jesus and the Father chose to bring in and illustrate the Kingdom by the ways of peace and not war. God had shown many times in Israel’s history He has the power and resources to win war and rule over all human powers. In Christ he chose to call people to accept freely the lift of peace as peacemakers.