Summary: Brother against brother. Father against son. Son against father. It was a war that was anything but “civil”. Wars are inevitable.What if we could learn to fight fair? What if we could wage civil wars?
Civil Wars Pt. 2 - The Art of War
I. Introduction The most costly war in our history in loss of life was the Civil War. Estimates put the death toll of the Civil War somewhere between 650-850,000 men. These were not soldiers from a foreign invader. These were not troops from some external conquering force. Father's taking aim and shooting at sons. Sons lighting fuses on cannons that would kill their father. Brothers impaling brothers on the steal of their bayonets. The civil war was not civil. Households were divided. Families were torn apart. Sides chosen.
The Civil War that took place in the Garden of Eden that disrupted utopia and the Civil War in our nation reveals that we don't navigate relationships well. Even though from day one we have been designed and created for relationship we have reverted to what we were trained to do in middle school . . . we either hit back or vacate. In taking either of these actions we allow isolation to imprison us and as we said last week we block our prayers, our power, our presentation and our we leave our God assigned posts. It is time to learn to fight fair so that when we have the inevitable wars they are civil.
So let's continue today as we discuss "The Art of War!" There is an art to having civil wars. I want to remind you of a few pointers today.
TEXT: 2 Kings 6:8-14, 18-23 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
2 Samuel 2:17-23 (highlights) The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men. The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle. He chased Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he pursued him. Abner looked behind him and asked, “Is that you, Asahel?” “It is,” he answered. Then Abner said to him, “Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him. Again Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?” But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. (Do I need to stop and say there are some confrontations you should not pursue and too often we run right past the repeated warning signs to our own demise?) He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.