“The army of Judah also captured ten thousand men alive, took them to the top of a cliff and threw them down so that all were dashed to pieces.” 2 Ch. 25:12
Ten thousand Edomites had been slaughtered during the war and another ten were captured. Was there quarter given to these people? Not so at all. They were taken to a cliff and thrown down and all of them “were dashed to pieces.” Doesn’t it make you tremble with fear when you come across such words in this historical narrative? It is told so matter-of-factly and no further comment is given, as if it was saying “no comment needed.”
Ten thousand lives were cut off in the blink of an eye and the victors seemed to be rejoicing over the slaughter. Why shouldn’t they? They were the ones who lived another day to tell the story, for they were the victors, and it could easily have been them who were pushed off the cliff had they lost the war. The goal of this particular war against the Edomites, just like any other war, was to annihilate the enemies, and whether it was just or not didn’t seem to be their concern. All enemies are nameless and faceless, and the primary goal is to take their lives before they take yours. As simple as that.
I became spellbound by its brutality and irrationality when I was watching a documentary of “The Great War,” and I still had great difficulty figuring out the reason behind the conflict at the end. War is one of those mysteries in life that remains to be explicated. The answer to it will never be uncovered unless we bring original sin into the equation of the discussion. Sin causes humans to become bloodthirsty and drives them to slaughter one another for no particular reason. Why did Cain murder his brother Abel? Many have tried in vain to come up with a good reason behind the first murder in human history, for there was no reason. Cain killed merely for the sake of killing, and the motive given behind the cruelty was just an excuse.
Death is the antithesis of life and hatred is the opposite of love. Sin causes us to become allies of the prince of darkness and to murder seems to be the natural extension of the alliance. God is love and there is no need for him to find a reason to love and Satan doesn’t need a cause to hate and to kill. Indeed, war is such a faceless, nameless, and reasonless act that totally escapes any sound reasoning and rationality.
Does the Lord even take sides at all in any war? He seemed to take the side of his chosen people more often than not, which may appear to be unfair. Yet, unless he did so, the Israelites would have long been annihilated and the line of salvation through “the Lion of Judah” severed.
Indeed, the war our Lord Jesus waged against Satan in which his own blood was shed was the war to end all wars, and peace will reign when he is finally enthroned in people’s hearts.
Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:17:00 AM