Today’s passage: Deuteronomy 20
- The first command of warfare for Israel is this: Don’t be afraid because God is with you!
- One lone man can defeat the world’s greatest army when God is on his side.
- Three reasons are given for exemption from military duty:
- Someone moving into a new home.
- Someone harvesting crops.
- Someone newly married.
- Israel had no reason to bring every living, breathing male to the battle field. God had promised them victory.
- Laws were also given concerning what to do with those who had been defeated, whether through surrender or military victory.
- The people groups within the Promised Land were being judged for their sin by God through the nation of Israel. The people groups outside the Promised Land were to be treated differently.
- Even the fruit bearing trees were to be spared in battle. As if God was saying to Israel, “Don’t cut down the fruit trees, you’re going to enjoy those when I give you the victory!”
Questions to consider:
- How would these commands have given Israel confidence to proceed to the battles that were ahead of them? In whom was their confidence to reside?
- If their confidence was in the Lord, how would that have impacted other areas of their lives? If God is your protector and champion, how will you respond to Him and love in relation to Him?
- What clear consequence of sin was depicted in this passage? What was Israel not to do with the nations God had given over to judgment and destruction? What judgment is coming on this world and how therefore should the people of God live today?