"Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before." - Judges 3:1-2
We always long for peace. We pray for peace. We are commended by God to seek peace. The Lord said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God.”
But God knows that we need to experience war. He arranged for enemies to challenge Israel so that they would have to fight to stay free. He does the same thing for us, sending us both geopolitical enemies in the natural realm and spiritual battles we have to fight as Christians.
When we go through a time when we don’t have to fight, we quickly forget who our enemies are. When we don’t have an enemy to fight for a while we start to think there aren’t any more enemies. We are lulled into complacency, drop our guard, and become easy targets.
The reality is that so long as we are in this world there will be battles to fight, enemies to face, and temptations to overcome. We can never forget that we aren’t in heaven yet, so God in His mercy sends us battles to keep us alert.
Lord, you are wiser than we are. You call us to pursue peace even as you warn us to be ready to do battle. Be with me today, Lord. Keep me safe. Help me to be faithful and fight well, and give us peace, in Jesus name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles