It is very explicitly spelled out that the lesson here is war, and it is one which many in the world seem to have learnt very well whether they follow a Bible-based religion or not. War is seemingly justified, in this case in the name of the Lord to occupy land, and isn’t that just what anyone thinks who goes to war, namely that it is justified for whatever reason they give. And yet two of the Ten Commandments the Lord gave his people are in direct contradiction to the idea that war is justified, namely ‘do not commit murder’, and ‘do not desire another man’s house … or anything else that he owns’.
In times of war I know that generally if a soldier kills another it is not considered murder, but what else is it when someone takes another’s life? The hypocrisy strikes me, and I can’t think of any justification for killing someone. It also strikes me that we seem to have this image of those who are Christians today being people of peace and yet some do go to war. In Judges here, peace seems a very simple thing that occurs after the war is won. Surely it is never that simple and cannot be if war breaks out again. Peace is of course the desired status, even something the Lord wants with all his people obeying his laws, but peace is not necessarily easy and something that has to be worked at. Many of the world’s leaders or would-be leaders would do well to acknowledge this.