Judges 3:1 The LORD left certain nations in the land to test those Israelites who had not participated in the wars of Canaan. 2 He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.
10 The Spirit of the LORD came upon him (Othniel), and he became Israel's judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram, and the LORD gave Othniel victory over him. 11 So there was peace in the land for forty years.
27 When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Ehud sounded a call to arms. Then he led a band of Israelites down from the hills. 28 "Follow me," he said, "for the LORD has given you victory over Moab your enemy." So they followed him. And the Israelites took control of the shallows of the Jordan River across from Moab, preventing anyone from crossing. 29 They attacked the Moabites and killed about ten thousand of their strongest and bravest warriors. Not one of them escaped. 30 So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and the land was at peace for eighty years
This will be an interesting post to see if I can land on the balance of truth. We are losing two huge skills in our land today- the ability to love and the ability to fight.
Jesus did both so well. He loved with great compassion, but He also knew how to attack sin- verbally (vs the Pharisees) and physically (turning the tables on the money changers). The crucifixion was an act of incredible fight.
Jesus predicted that in the last days that "the love of most will grow cold" and He also predicted that many would "fall away from the faith". A lack of love and a lack of a fighting spirit.
One of the things I love about football is that it teaches both at the same time. The passage in udges brings out two very interesting points. God allowed enemies to teach the Israelites how to fight. You have to be able to fight in this world of sin. The passage also points out that after great victories, the land is at peace.
Lord, teach us the right way to love and the best way to fight!