I mentioned in my previous post that God used Old Testament Israel in “Holy War” in a very specific time and a very specific place. The command to “devote to destruction” is no longer applicable because in Christ there is no one nation or ethnic group that can lay claim to be God’s special people or instruments of God’s judgment. Now, in Christ, God is calling people from all the different nations of the world. The commands applicable for us today is to do no murder; to love our enemies; to care for the vulnerable and foreigner; and to pray for those who persecute us.
However, Christians can learn much from the fact of Holy War in the Old Testament:
On 2 April 2015, Al-Shabab gunmen stormed into the Garissa University College in Kenya and killed at least 147 students. The terrorists entered the college grounds during early morning prayer services. Collins Wetangula, the vice-chairman of the student union, he could hear the gunmen opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians. “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,” he said. Al-Shabab is an Islamic terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda and is based in Somalia. El-Shabab is “fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia.” Such large-scale violence and murder as seen in Kenya rightly upsets us. But what about the large-scale violence and murder seen in the Old Testament and particularly in the book of Joshua?
Dog breeding has become a science. Once ferocious wild dogs and wolves have, over the centuries, been bred into domesticated, loveable pets that sit on your lap and sleep on your pillow. We have even bred dogs for specific purposes. The greyhound was bred for speed. The sheepdog was bred to herd sheep. The dachshund or badger dog was bred in Germany to fetch small animals from their burrows. Like the pit bull, bulldogs were originally bred to help butchers control livestock. The Yorkshire terrier was bred just to look cute (I think). We have taken wild animals and domesticated them to serve our own purposes.