This We Must Defend

The Tower of Babel stands in Scripture as the ultimate example of how bad things can be in this fallen world. It was a government that preyed on people to enslave them to impossible dreams, to pull humanity down to the pits of Hell with no possibility of escape. The ruler of Babylon, Nimrod, is held up as the ultimate example of Satan’s servant. He was a predator extraordinaire.

The ultimate opposite was King David, a shepherd. Notice that both of these men were highly capable as warriors. But Nimrod preyed, whereas David defended.

Don’t get lost in the silly notion that God kept David from building the Temple because David was a man of blood. His son Solomon was no less a warrior, but the issue was that God had given David a different mission. David was supposed to first secure the kingdom against any rival nations. Solomon was to be the builder within that secure kingdom. David’s command from God was to go out and shed a lot of blood among those God said were too much like Nimrod.

And while we are at it, notice how God favors Jacob over Esau, and why. Esau was a predator, a man who knew raiding. Jacob was no less a warrior, wrestling an angel all night. Jacob was no prissy mama’s boy; it was that Jacob understood the necessity of keeping things organized and stable. Esau had no concern for such things. Further, Jacob understood keeping shalom while living in tents, whereas Esau went off to eventually conquer some remnants of the old Horite Kingdom east and south of the Dead Sea. Esau seized cities and ruled; Jacob built up life in utter dependence on God.

So it’s not as if shalom means no human violence, but that violence is used as a tool for some other cause. We live in a fallen world; there will be war. Violence does not forfeit God’s favor. It’s the commitment and purpose of the warrior that can gain or lose God’s favor.

If the orientation of your mind is some mythology that seeks peace in terms of ending strife, then you really do not understand what God has said. That very bad translation, “thou shalt not kill,” should be read, “thou shalt not prey.” You shall most certainly defend those people and things God says to defend, and by any means necessary. Human life is not sacred; the will of God is sacred. His revelation makes clear that a great many warriors were good men of God because they weren’t predators, but defenders. The alleged sanctity of life is a heathen mythology that serves only to restrict human action under the power of the state.

So it falls on us to discern what is worthy of defense. We have to work to keep a grasp on the living shalom to which God calls us. Shalom is not the absence of strife, but a struggle for what God says is right in any given context.

About Ed Hurst

Avid cyclist, Disabled Veteran, Bible History teacher, and wannabe writer; retired.
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2 Responses to This We Must Defend

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    “Don’t get lost in the silly notion that God kept David from building the Temple because David was a man of blood.”

    Have people actually suggested this? I’ve never heard this take before.

    “Jacob was no prissy mama’s boy;”

    I’ve often heard him depicted the same was young David was, which is kind of a prissy mama’s boy. Though in both instances I don’t recall any of that really being mentioned in Scripture.


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    The issue with David being “a man of blood” is commonly taught in the evangelical circles I’ve encountered. That includes the NATO military chapel in Europe. I suppose it just depends on where you’ve been whether you heard it before.


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