The Spoils of War

As we work our way through the trials and the triumphs, what if it’s not really about us? Would that change our attitudes towards suffering and humble us where we might be tempted to take up pride? What if we were just a means to an end, and the universe doesn’t actually revolve around us, after all?

In Judges 3:1-2, I read recently, “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it) . . . ”

So God chose to allow a generation to experience the difficultly of war not for the sake of the war itself or even for what He was doing in the generation that was going through the experience. The intent was “only so” the generations that followed this battle tested generation would benefit from the experience. The benefit was only for the “generations of the children of Israel.”

Nobody likes war, I don’t suppose. It’s bloody and dark realities are without any real winners when experienced from the most intimate perspectives. Even the victors have a lifetime of emotional baggage and difficult memories. The pain of suffering and death in war is legitimate and I’m sure exceeds even the best attempt of any movie to capture its essence. Participants are changed forever.

We go through the battle to benefit the generations that follow. The way that we make for them will either accommodate their destiny or frustrate their passions. We have the opportunity daily to stand in the gap for those that follow. It doesn’t take bullets and bombs to constitute combat and strife. We face contention every day and consider escape more than once. It’s not about us, though. The benefit to a warrior is in the generations that follow.

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