ALLEVIATIONS OF WAR
T. DeWitt Talmage
Ps., 27: 3: " Though war should rise against me, in this will
I be confident."
The ring of battle-axes, and the clash of shields,
and the tramp of armies, are heard all up and down
the Old Testament; and you find godly soldiers like
Moses, and Joshua, and Caleb, and Gideon, and
scoundrelly soldiers like Sennacberib, and Shalma-
neser, and Nebuchadnezzar. The High Priest would
stand at the head of the army, and say: "Hear, 0
Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your
enemies, let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not
tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them!" and
then the officers would give command to the troops,
saying: "What man is there that bath built a new
house, and hath not dedicated it? Let him go and
return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another
man dedicate it? And what man is he that hath plant-
eth a vineyard and bath not eaten of it? Let him also
go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle
and another man eat of it. And what man is there that
hath betrothed a wife and bath not taken her? Let
him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the
battle and another man take her." Great armies
marched and fought. In time of Moses and Joshua all
the men were soldiers. When Israel came out of
Egypt they were six hundred thousand fighting men.
Abijah commanded four hundred thousand, Jeroboam
commanded eight hundred thousand men, of whom
five hundred thousand were slain in one battle. Some
of these wars God approved, for they were for the res-
cue of oppressed nations, and some of them he de-
nounced, but in all cases it was a judgment upon both
victors and vanquished. David knew just what war
was when he wrote in the text: "Though war should
rise against me, in this will I be confident."
David is encouraging himself in stormy times, and
before approaching battles administers to himself this
consolation. So to-day my theme is the ...
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