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Iron chariots

God performed miracles when he brought the Israelites into the promised land.  He stopped the flow of the Jordan River so they could enter the land.

So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

Joshua 3:14-17

He made the walls of Jericho fall down.

So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.

Joshua 6:20

He even caused the sun to stand still. Read the rest of this entry

The Great War

For a long time after World War I the war was referred to by many as the Great War, meaning that it involved more nations and people than had any other war up to that time.  When an even greater war began in 1939 people stopped using this term and began calling it World War I and calling the new war World War II.  But there is another war going on right now which really does deserve to be called the Great War and most of the world is completely unaware of it.  Here is how it began.

You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Ezekiel 28:15-16

This is addressed to the king of Tyre, but it obviously doesn’t refer to the human ruler but to Satan, who was the real ruler. Read the rest of this entry

Victory, defeat, and deception

When Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land they began their conquest with a victory over the city of Jericho.  If you aren’t familiar with the story you can read it here .

The next city they attacked was Ai.  The outcome was different.

Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai.

And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”

So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
Joshua 7:2-5 

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Don’t be afraid

When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 20:1

When the Israelites invaded Canaan they faced enemies who were stronger than they were.  They won only because God helped them.

Israel was a nation and like any other nation it sometimes waged wars with other nations.  The church isn’t a nation but is a body of people from all nations who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.  Because we aren’t a nation we don’t have an army and we don’t engage in physical wars but we are involved in warfare of a different kind.

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Choose your battles wisely

In the past Christianity has had a strong influence on American culture.  That influence has grown much weaker and that fact is reflected in our laws.

Because humans are created in God’s image human life should be protected.  Today abortion is legal and there is a movement to legalize suicide by the terminally ill.

God established marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman.  Almost all states have no fault divorce laws which make it easy to end a marriage and many of them allow marriage between two members of the same sex.

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A blessing or a curse?

There is an Irish blessing, “May you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.”

The apostle Paul was someone whom God blessed very much.  Do you suppose he was in Heaven half an hour before the Devil realized he was dead?

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Know who your enemy is

There is a war going on between God and Satan.  When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a soldier in God’s army and a participant in that war.  In order to wage war effectively we must know who our enemy is.

When we look at what is going on in the world we see many who are doing and advocating things that violate God’s commands.  Some believe that women should have the absolute right to kill their unborn children.  Others believe there is nothing wrong with homosexual activity and that the government should allow marriages between two people of the same sex.  Militant Muslims use force to impose their beliefs on others.

These people are not the ones we are fighting.

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Beating the air

It is possible to expend a lot of energy without accomplishing anything useful.  Paul warned against such useless efforts in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Read the rest of this entry

Gideon’s army

After Gideon raised an army to battle the Midianites the first thing God did was reduce the size of it so they wouldn’t think that they had won a victory by their own power. The first step in this reduction was to send home all those who are afraid. This eliminated 22,000 of the soldiers and left only 10,000.

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