Jesus is a Warrior

 Among my mix of commentaries (liberal to conservative to theological to rhetorical to grammatical) I always appreciate Dale Ralph Davis.  Going through Joshua 10 this week in sermon prep, I found this great quote by Davis.  The textual background is Joshua 10.10-11, where YHWH is the subject of quite a few killer verbs: threw [them] into a panic, killed, chased, threw hail at, and struck down the enemies.  It is hard to miss the fact that YHWH is on the warpath, making war with and killing his enemies. 

“It is too bad much of the church has lost this vision of God or Christ as the warrior who fights for his people.  Too many of us regard this conception as substandard, by which we mean it does not fit our sentimental twentieth-century graven images of what God ought to be like.  The imagery seems too violent.  And we do the same for the Lord Jesus, with perhaps not a little help from church school materials.  The popular image of Jesus is that he is not only kind and tender but also soft and prissy, as though Jesus comes to us reeking of hand cream.  Such a Jesus can hardly steel [solidify – sl] the soul that is daily assaulted by the enemy.”

“We need to learn the catechism of Psalm 24.  Question: Who is the King of glory?  Answer: Yahweh, strong and mighty!  Yahweh, might in battle! (Ps 24.8).  We must catch the vision of the Faithful and True sitting on the white horse, the One who ‘judges and makes war’ in righteousness (Rev 19.11-16).  No mild God or soft Jesus can give his people hope.  It is only as we know the warrior of Israel who fights for us (and sometimes without us) that we have hope of triumphing in the muck of life.”

Well put!  The quotes are taken from Davis’ commentary on Joshua, pages 81-2.  By the way, these commentaries are great even for “average” students of the Bible who just want an accessible commentary to read with the scriptures.  Davis has commentaries on 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, and Judges.  The price is also right: they are all around $10.

shane lems

sunnyside, wa

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