How can we get God on our side? (Deuteronomy 20:4)

Deuteronomy 20:4-6 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
4 The Lord your God will fight alongside you and help you win the battle.”

Deuteronomy 20:4

ESV - 4 For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 20 2018 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the central issue for any nation is not whether God is on its side, but whether it is on God's side. 

Later in the same chapter from which the verse cited in the question is taken, instructions were given for Israel to tell the personnel in their army to go home instead of fighting if they met certain conditions, such as just having built a new house, or planted a new vineyard, or gotten married, or even if they were simply afraid of the enemy who faced them. God ordered this reduction in Israel's army (just as he later did with Gideon in Judges 7) so that, after Israel had defeated its enemy, it would know that it had not won because of its own numerical superiority or military strength, but because God had fought against the enemy on its behalf.

God also later showed the Israelites on multiple occasions (such as Joshua 7) that He would not support them when they disobeyed His instructions, or when they haughtily assumed that the source of their strength lay in themselves, rather than in Him. 

In the same way, even today, the true strength of the United States lies not in its defense budget, but in the genuine acknowledgement of itself as a nation under God (words which were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, although the pledge itself had been in use since 1892), and in its recognition of God in its founding document (the Declaration of Independence). As long as we remain committed as a nation to the principles stated there (while maintaining democracy, a republican form of government, and respect for both the rights enumerated in the Constitution, and for the laws enacted in accordance with it), I believe that God will support our endeavors.

June 21 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
In the context of this passage God is giving his law (perfect will) to the nation of Israel to guide them when they go to war against their enemies. Can we extrapolate this instruction and apply it to our day today? Will God fight for 1 person against another, one religion against another, 1 nation against another? Since the coming of Jesus as the “Saviour of the whole world” does God take sides anymore? In the case of Israel, they were God’s chosen people. God made a covenant with them to lead, guide and protect them and establish them in the land he had promised to them. The Israelite's covenant was to obey God’s law to show the world how human beings were supposed to live in the world God created.

In one sense, God is on the side of every human being. God loves every single person he has created. As John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In 2 Peter 3:9 we learn that God is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

In another sense, God is on the side of every Christian. When we accept Jesus as our personal saviour, God becomes our eternal Father, Jesus becomes our eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and the Holy Spirit becomes our teacher, guide and power source for living out God’s perfect will for our lives. The universal Christian church becomes our eternal spiritual family. We are brothers and sisters with other Christians in every nation, people, tribe, culture, tongue on the entire planet.

When we examine the growth of the Christian church throughout history, we can observe that when people embraced the gospel and allowed God to begin transforming their lives, these radical changes impacted the countries they lived in. Leaders started enacting laws that were based on the principles of the bible. These nations were guided by God. Justice, righteousness and equity were the hallmarks of these nations. The people prospered and lived in peace and harmony with each other. 

But many of these countries in the western industrialized world have drifted away from God. Evangelical Christians are now a small minority in most western nations and their influence on how their countries are governed is waning. Leaders now plan their own course without guidance from the bible (God’s word) or consulting God in prayer. As a result, God has turned his face away and allowed these nations to sink into moral depravity until people have enough of the evil and wickedness and call out to Jesus to save them and set them free.

The bible teaches Christians that our enemies are not flesh and blood but rather they are the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus taught us that we are to love every single human being, even those people that we might consider our enemies such as terrorists. This kind of love is impossible without the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Matthew 5:43-48).

Israel was God’s chosen people. Under the reign of king Solomon they were at the pinnacle of their prominence in the world. But even Solomon understood what would happen if the people forsook God’s laws. God would punish their disobedience. Solomon prayed that God would forgive them when the people repented. Read Solomon’s prayer in 1Kings 8:22 to 53. 

God answers Solomon’s prayer with these words in 1Kings 9:4-9. God used Israel as an example for the whole world. In my view, disaster and eternal judgement awaits every nation and its people when they forsake the Lord and reject his Son, Jesus Christ.

June 26 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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