Sunday, March 19, 2017

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage
March 20, 2017
Joshua 6:3 "March around the city with all the armed men."

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is when the Israelites were told they didn't have to fight, that they only needed to stand still and the Lord would fight for them. You've heard this quoted so many times; you will not have to fight this battle. You need only stand still and the Lord will fight for you.  It is so poetic, fairy-tale-esque even. How awesome of a position to be in, where the Lord does all the fighting of the enemy on our behalf. Sadly, there are only two instances in the Bible where this has every happened. As Christians, we want to believe it happens each and every time, that we will never have to fight and there will never be battle wounds and there will never be damage. The reality of the situation is we do have to fight more often than not. You and I will have to fight.

When Joshua was told to take the city of Jericho, he was told to march around the city and then blow the trumpets and then take the city. He was never told they would not have to fight. He told the army to march around the city, not the women and children. The reality of the situation is that some in the city of Jericho, after the walls fell, may have put up a small fight. One or two of Joshua's army may have lost his life. Very few instances in the Bible does it say the Israelites didn't lose a man. It is safe to assume, if the Bible didn't specify no man was lost or they didn't have to fight, then the Israelites probably lost a man or two and most certainly had to fight. The Bible doesn't say in the battle of Jericho that the Israelites didn't lose a single man. Who knows, maybe they were victorious without a single drop of their own blood. There were hundreds and hundreds of battles in the Bible, where the Lord granted them victory, and yet the Israelites lost a man or two, even thousands of men sometimes. All those men had mothers, and fathers, and wives and children. Even if the Lord granted victory over the battle as a whole, there was plenty of collateral damage along the way. They still experienced losses.

No where in the Bible does it say you'll never suffer some sort of lose during a harsh battle. There is an enemy and he is going to fight tooth and nail during every battle. Do you think he is just going to roll over when he sees you coming? No, he is going to fight each and every battle as if it could be his last. The reality is that the Israelite's suffered collateral damage even when the Lord granted the victory as a whole, even when the Lord got the credit for a win. There were plenty who died along the way; many grieving widows despite the Israelites' victories.  The Israelites were told to go into battle far more than they were told to stand still and let the Lord fight. Joshua's men were armed for battle that day at Jericho, even when the Lord told him victory was a sure thing.

The devil is here to steal, kill, and destroy and if he can't win the war, or even the battle, he will still try to kill as many as he can. In your life alone, even if the devil doesn't prevail over your situation, it doesn't mean he won't try to create stab wounds along the way or attempt to burn down your house. He is real and he takes the battles far more serious than you and I do sometimes. He doesn't goof around, but we like to think that because social media reminds us that the Lord fights our battles for us (as in the only two times in the Bible when the Israelites didn't have to fight) that there isn't really a battle or that we won't ever suffer a loss. Be prepared Christian, you're probably under attack right now if you are actually living for Christ. There is an enemy and you might win this battle, but he will still try to inflict collateral damage. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Exodus 14, Josh 5-6, 2  Chron 20,  1 Peter 5:8

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