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War in Heaven (An Analogy).
pp. 55, 56
It is impossible to read the Old Testament Scriptures without becoming acquainted
with war from a great variety of angles. We read of the conquest of Canaan, of civil war,
and of war inflicted as a Divine scourge. Under the old dispensation God does not stand
aloof from war. Indeed Moses, in Exod. 15: 3, speaks of Him as "a man of war". We
shall, therefore, expect to find that there will be some passages of Scripture, dealing with
Israel, and with some particular conflict, that will nevertheless contain principles which
can legitimately be applied by believers of all times and callings.
At the exodus from Egypt, Moses gave utterance to the first of these great principles:
"Fear ye not. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord . . . . . the Lord shall fight
for you, and ye shall hold your peace" (Exod. 14: 13, 14).
Long afterwards in the days of Jehoshaphat, we hear some of these words again:
"Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not
yours, but God's . . . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye
still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor
be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you"
(II Chron. 20: 15-17).
Then again, in I Sam. 17: 47, we have David's words: "The battle is the Lord's."
Before, however, we go further with our application of these principles we must
examine the contexts of the passages concerned.
In the first passage from Exodus, it might appear that Israel were perfectly passive, but
this is not quite true. Immediately following the words: "The Lord shall fight for you,
and ye shall hold your peace" comes the command: "Wherefore criest thou unto Me?
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod . . . . ."
(Exod. 14: 15, 16).
Similarly, the citation of II Chron. 20: 15-17, if it unduly stresses the words "stand
still" or "not need to fight" to the exclusion of all else that is said, will not supply the true
Scriptural principle. Those who would have "no need to fight" are nevertheless told to
"set" themselves, and we must also remember that the words "with you" are included:
"Stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you . . . . . for the Lord will be
with you" (II Chron. 20: 17).