Fight the Good Fight
Deuteronomy 20:5-8 (NIV)
5The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. 7Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.”
I enjoy watching historical documentaries on the war and learning how each side plans their strategies to win the war. I do get inspired by those before us who have been brave enough to fight for our freedom and risked their lives for their nation. Of course, there are two perspectives and you get the ‘other’ side who will also risk their lives for their agenda, be it suicide bombing or setting up surprise attacks on unsuspecting westerners who dare vendor on their land.
God knows the human element when it comes to war. The Israelites escaped from Egypt and ventured out into the wilderness. God provides guidance on the issue of going to war. Perhaps, they didn’t have much experience and they still needed to be trained on the art of war. Certainly, God had sympathy for those who just built a house or just got married or were just too afraid to battle. God just wanted them to go home and let those who were not afraid and have nothing to lose should go and fight for their nation. We know earlier in Deuteronomy 1:28 that there were twelve men sent out to spy the land. Only one man, Joshua came back to say that the land is full of potential. The other eleven were very fearful and had little faith that God will lead them into the land. That was the beginning of this book and God saw this as rebellion, but it’s interesting that in this passage in Chapter 20, God provides instructions that those who are afraid should just go home. God still says that He will fight the enemies and He will be there for us, but He knows that we are weak and can crumble under the pressure.
In light of this passage, I am learning that if I’m afraid or have something to lose that I should not just go home and stay sheltered from battle. Every day is a Spiritual battle and I know that God does have sympathy if I do feel weak at times, but He is always there for me. Some days, I could feel strong enough to battle and fight the good fight. Other days, I just want to go home, shut the lights and go to sleep. Only God can give us the energy for our daily battle.