The Great Christian Revolution (VIII), Part 3

Keep Within the Rules:

The third point of a Biblical covenant, is that God provides a set of rules or laws man must follow in exercising his dominion over the earth. God will judge man by how he follows these rules.

The Ten Commandments provide nations and peoples with a moral and legal framework for the provision of all things, including national defence. The scripture gives us a motivational summary, describing those who have initiated unjustified warfare over the centuries:

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war against your members?You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:1-2).

Furthermore, the Psalmist seeks God’s rescue from “evil men…violent men [and those who] continually stir up wars” (Ps.140:1-2).

The horse was an offensive weapon. Horses were the basis of both the cavalry and chariots. There were to be few horses in the king's stable: "But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way" (Deut.17: 16). The horse was a tool of empire. Kings could not lawfully multiply them…Egypt had been an empire based on chariots. There were limits on what chariots could accomplish. Chariots had failed to keep Israel inside Egypt's boundaries. No Israelite king was to send Israelites down to Egypt to buy horses or to learn the arts of horse-based warfare. Horses were forbidden to Israel's kings because empire was forbidden.

 Israel would be defended by God, just as she had been at the Red Sea. Israelites were not to put their trust in horses… An Israelite army without horses was at the mercy of God, not the mercy of Egypt. To preserve the inheritance of Israel, the king had to conform to God's laws, for he was the nation's supreme civil representative. A stable full of horses would serve as a symbol of the king's trust in military might rather than God's preserving hand. An arms race in offensive weaponry in Israel would testify to a national loss of faith.1

The fact that civil government under God’s law was not permitted to tax, precluded a standing military force in Israel, as it does today in any God-fearing nation. Conscription also was not permitted, or wars of national aggression. Civil governments are not to assist others in armed conflicts; nor are they supposed to meddle in the affairs of other nations. If other nations suffer some form of national calamity, individuals or organisations in a free society may provide their own voluntary assistance, but governments are not authorised to do so. This does not sit well with governments today, which have become used to confiscating vast wealth from their communities for various purposes.

The greatest and most righteous king in Israel’s entire history, Josiah, was killed when he mounted a preemptive war against Neco II, Pharaoh of Egypt. In terms of domestic policy, Josiah did everything required in God’s Law, putting in place the most amazing religious reformation Israel ever experienced. His undoing came when he indulged the presumption that military aggression against Egypt for the purpose of aiding Carchemish was a legitimate action. The tragic tale unwinds at 2 Chron. 35:20-25, where we learn that all the good Josiah had accomplished within Israel (II Chron.34:1-35:19) was undone by his initiation of this Biblically unjustifiable war.2

Josiah’s disaster could have served as an instructive example for many, but it has not.

The extent of the U.S. global empire is almost incalculable. The Department of Defense’s "Base Structure Report" states that the Department’s physical assets consist of "more than 600,000 individual buildings and structures, at more than 6,000 locations, on more than 30 million acres." There are over 700 U.S. military bases on foreign soil. There are U.S. troops stationed in 159 different regions of the world in every corner of the globe. There are 285,000 U.S. troops stationed in foreign countries, not counting the 200,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 100,000 U.S. soldiers in Europe to face a non-existent Soviet Union. The United States has commitments to provide security to over 35 countries. The United States still maintains 64,000 troops in Germany, 33,000 troops in Japan, and 10,000 troops in Italy – sixty years after we defeated them in World War II. We have, in fact, never stopped mobilizing for war since World War II, manufacturing enemies where we could find none.3

References:

1. North, G., “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.40.

2. Selbrede, ibid.

3. Vance, L., “War, Gunboat Diplomacy and the Church,” p.1, Lew Rockwell website, 24/7/2007.

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