Moses Gives The Principles of Military Service And Warfare

Uriah the Hittite was in the hottest part of the battle and his fellow soldiers withdrew from him on the command of King David - We do the same thing to our fellow soldiers when we withdraw our prayers from them. (Russell Brownworth - Sermon Central) … More


In this chapter Moses lays down principles of military service and warfare. They are as follows:


1.     Never fear an enemy’s horses and chariots. This is because the winning of battles will never be determined by mere military strength (v. 1). Instead, it would be determined by (v. 4):

a.     The Lord who will fight for you.

b.     The Lord who will save you.


2.     The role of the priest (chaplains) was to encourage the soldiers (vv. 2-3).


3.     The officers where to be responsible for making sure that the army was composed of qualified men. The most qualified were those who were the most committed and free from distractions. There were four standards that might excuse a man from battle:

a.     If he had built a new house but had not yet consecrated it (v. 5).

b.     If he had planted a new vineyard but had not yet eaten its fruit (v. 6).

c.     If he was engaged to be married (v. 7).

d.     If the man was fearful or afraid to go into battle (v. 8).


4.     All the cities outside Canaan were to be given an opportunity to surrender (vv. 10-15).


5.     All the cities inside Canaan were to be destroyed because of their wickedness and idolatry (vv.16-18).


6.     Fruit trees were never to be destroyed during a battle (vv. 19-20).


Just like the Israelites, we sometimes face overwhelming opposition, but we need to remember that the same God who delivered them wants to deliver us.

Deuteronomy 20:1-20 (English Standard Version)

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