Holy war. That’s a scary subject today, with Muslim terrorists in the name of jihad, their concept of holy war, going around killing civilians in things like 9/11 and suicide bombings. And this was a scary thing in the past, when Crusaders in the name of Christianity went to war over the so-called holy lands, killing people, sadly, in the name of Christ. Those are just a couple of examples of the many atrocities that have been committed under the guise of holy war.
Well, what about this passage? In this passage, Israel begins their military conquest of the Promised Land. The Hebrew word for this sort of conquest is the word cherem. Cherem warfare. It’s when they utterly destroyed man, woman, and child, in the name of God. It’s basically the biblical word for a sort of holy war. I hope this causes you to sit up straight in your seats when you hear this. So the question becomes, is this an atrocity, akin to what Muslim terrorists do today, and what the Crusaders did in the past? If you do think so, and you’re a Christian, do you just try to ignore passages like this? Or, if they are not the same sort of thing, then why? What’s the difference?
Listen in as we consider this topic and it’s impact on our lives today.
Sermon preached on Deuteronomy 2:26-3:11 by Rev. W. Reid Hankins during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 08/02/2009 in Novato, CA.