With such regularity, it really should be the refrain of every national anthem, we hear something along these lines: ‘The land is rightfully ours. God promised it to us.’
Yeah well, God lies. Or at least he changes his mind.
Consider this: “And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying…’And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” It’s from Genesis 17:3,8. Genesis 13:15 and Exodus 32:13 say pretty much the same thing. But check out Acts 7:5, which says “And he gave him none inheritance in it…yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him…” Promises, promises, eh? But of course the retraction is in the New Testament, which isn’t recognized by those of the Jewish faith.
No matter, there are lots of lies and changing of God’s mind in the Old Testament:
-God said that Adam would die on the day he ate the apple (Gen 2:16,17), but he didn’t – read Gen 3:17 and Gen 5:3.
-Jehoiakim was told that he wouldn’t have a son (Jer 36:30), but he did – read 2Kings 24:6.
- God promised Jacob that he would return from Egypt (Gen 46:3,4), but he didn’t – he died in Egypt (Gen 49).
- Nebuchadnezzar was to have captured and destroyed Tyre (Ezek 26:3-5,7,10,13-14). He didn’t (surprise!) – Alexander the Great did.
- “‘I am merciful,’ saith the Lord, ‘and I will not keep anger for ever’” (Jer 3:12); “Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever” (Jer 17:4). Well, which is it?
- Israel shall rise again (Jer 31:4); Israel shall not rise again (Amos 5:2). She loves me, she loves me not.
- “They shall seek me early, but they shall not find me” (Prov 1:28); nope, I lied – “these that seek me early shall find me” (Prov 8:17).
- “Every living thing that liveth shall be meat for you” (Gen 9:3); wait, changed my mind – “these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud or of them that divide the cloven hoof” (Deut 14:7).
No need to go on, really. To start a war on the basis of what God said is about as ridiculous as you can get. It’s quite possible that he lied when he said the land was yours. It’s quite possible that he changed his mind. Give it up!
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not picking on Jews. I’m picking on anyone foolish enough to claim such supernatural support. ‘God said so’ is not exactly a strong premise for anything, let alone for going to war. ‘Whose God?’ is a reasonable response to such a claim. So is ‘Oh yeah? Prove it!’
For better or worse (and my vote is on worse), our society (well actually, the U.S., aka the U.N.) distinguishes between just and unjust wars. One of the criteria for a just war is that there must be a just cause, a valid reason that justifies the war. Isn’t it about time, then, that we consider all religious wars to be unjust wars?