In 1095, Pope Urban II launched the Crusades after he gave a speech urging European Christians to undertake a spiritual quest to seize the Holy Lands from Muslim control. Upon hearing his address, many in the crowd are said to have hollered “Deus hoc vult!” (“God wills it!”) to show their support. The Pope answered by saying, “Let this then be your war cry in combat, because this word is given to you by God. When an armed attack is made upon the enemy, let this one cry be raised by all the soldiers of God: It is the will of God! It is the will of God!” Shouts of “Deus hoc vult!” went on to echo over dozens of battlefields during the First Crusade, which culminated in a blood-soaked siege at Jerusalem. The pontiff-sanctioned slogan would remain the Christian warriors’ rallying cry until the late-13th century, when the last of the Crusades finally came to an end.
While it is debatable God willed the Crusades, it is certain, He willed the possession of Canaan, Deuteronomy 1:21. Israel was at war. They would face two formidable enemies: the residents of Canaan, and the gods of Canaan.
God predicted this ongoing conflict in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you [The Serpent] and the woman [Eve]; and between your seed and her seed.” Israel was and is a part of Eve’s seed, and they faced the The Serpent’s seed, living in the land of Canaan, Numbers 13:32-33.
For 40 years they were a Nation of “wanderers,” now God called them to be an army of warriors. Joshua leads them in the conquest of the land, Joshua 1-12.
But as one Bible teacher states, “The nation of Israel quickly decayed after a new generation took over, a generation that knew neither Joshua nor Joshua’s God,” (See Judges 2:7-11). The Nation neither loved God nor were loyal to Him with the exception of 12 Judges (military leaders).
The period of judges was a dark period for the Nation. The seed of the Serpent was winning many battles. It was a dark and evil time, but in the midst of national apostasy, there arose a woman of great integrity.
Join me this Sunday and learn how to survive spiritually during a time of spiritual darkness and decay. It all comes down to which God/god you pick.
REFLECTION AND RUMINATION
1. Why are there giants still in the land after the flood?
2. Why does God direct the Israelites to war against King Sihon (Numbers 2:32-37) and then King Og (Numbers 3:1-11), before entering Canaan?
3. What is the significance of Og’s bed, Numbers 3:11?
See you Sunday!