Day 124: The Sixth Commandment, part 5 - "Lawful War" II

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill [b]."

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto [e].

Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves [c], or of others [d], except in case of
• public justice [e],
lawful war [f], or
• necessary defence [g];
the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life [h]; sinful anger [i], hatred [k], envy [l], desire of revenge [m]; all excessive passions [n], distracting cares [o]; immoderate use of meat, drink [p], labor [q], and recreations [r]; provoking words [s], oppression [t], quarreling [v], striking, wounding [w], and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any [x].

Be a "Berean" (Acts 17:11)

Why Important?

10,000/yr vs. 10,000 per day. What is the tendency of legitimizing purposeful, orchestrated, intentional, organized, systematic, institutionalized killing?

Review: "Capital Punishment" - Atonement

Genesis 9:4-6
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require. At the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man.
Numbers 35:33 - [In ContextRead ChapterOriginal Hebrew]
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed [kaphar] of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Deuteronomy 21:8 - [In ContextRead ChapterOriginal Hebrew]
Be merciful [kaphar], O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.

lawful war [f], Deuteronomy 20 throughout. Ver.1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, etc.
So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people.

Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

  • Micah 4:3
    He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
    Isaiah 2:4
    He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

    Swords Into Plowshares
  • Joel 3:10
    Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    10. Beat your ploughshares into swords-As the foes are desired to "beat their ploughshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears," that so they may perish in their unhallowed attack on Judah and Jerusalem, so these latter, and the nations converted to God by them, after the overthrow of the antichristian confederacy, shall, on the contrary, "beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," when under Messiah's coming reign there shall be war no more (Isa 2:4; Ho 2:18; Mic 4:3).

    let the weak say, I am strong-So universal shall be the rage of Israel's foes for invading her, that even the weak among them will fancy themselves strong enough to join the invading forces. Age and infirmity were ordinarily made valid excuses for exemption from service, but so mad shall be the fury of the world against God's people, that even the feeble will not desire to be exempted (compare Ps 2:1-3).

War Cleanses the Nations

We see God's sovereignty in Isaiah 13 verses 3ff., where God judges Babylon using the Medes:

The soldiers of the Meden army are His "sanctified ones." (v. 3)
The Lord "commands" them.
He calls His "mighty ones." (v. 3)
He musters the armies together. (v. 4)
The armies of the nations
come from the Lord
to destroy the earth. (v. 5)
(Not the whole earth, just the land that pertains to Babylon.)
The destroying armies are "the weapons of His indignation" (v. 5).
This is the day of the Lord's "wrath and fierce anger" (vv. 6-9).
The coming destruction is a terror for these evil doers (v. 11).
God is sending a sword to cut them down (v. 15).
indent.gif (90 bytes)Isaiah 10 is a prophecy against Israel. God is going to use Assyria in the same way He used the Medes against Babylon.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Verse 5 says the Assyrian army is the rod of the Lord's anger. Their weapons are the Lord's indignation.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Ultimately it is God Who is sending these unGodly barbarians. Their purpose is the judgment of a hypocritical nation, those who have incurred God's wrath. God gives the army "a command" (v. 6a) to steal, confiscate wealth and property, and in general to do the things the Assyrian army does best: to rape and pillage Israelites, treating them like sewage in the street (v. 6b).
indent.gif (90 bytes)God says -- to Israel -- "I give him a command to spoil." A command to beat their plowshares into swords. It is truly evil and ugly, a violation of the Sixth Commandment. You would be sinning to voluntarily enlist in the Assyrian Army.

Somewhere between 50-90 million human beings were killed in World War II. The clear winner of that war was Marxism/Communism, which took Eastern Europe and Asia, over 1 billion slaves. Would Moses or Isaiah have considered the wars of the 20th century to be Godly, lawful wars? How about the wars we're already seeing in the 21st century? Will they make atonement and cleanse the land?

What is the tendency of the belief that we should be training for war?

End of Lesson, Day 124

For Further Study:

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