Warfare in the Heavenlies – God’s Surprising Strategies

February 17, 2024
Photo: Lightstock

Christians have long known God as the God of grace, mercy and love, as have the Jews since Moses interceded for his rebellious nation and God appeared to him as ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin’ (Ex 34:6-7), yet few of us have encountered Him by some of His other names.

The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. Ex 15:3-4

The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zeph 3:17

One of God’s names is Yahweh Tseva’ot – literally, God of the armies, which is unfortunately most often translated God of hosts. The heavenly hosts are armies of angels!

Even though God gave Israel the land, the people still had to fight for it and enemy nations still came against them to wipe them out. Such is Satan’s agenda against God’s plans and purposes.

When nations come against Israel they will discover that they come against the real owner of the Land, the Almighty God.

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel. Joel 2:2

The Torah dedicates a whole chapter to the Laws of War in Deuteronomy chapter 20.

When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. 3 He shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, 4 for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ Deut 20:1-4

When the Israelites entered the land, Joshua was confronted by a warrior angel who reminded him that God does not carry the biases of humans but serves the purposes of God alone (Josh 5:13-15). He gave Joshua God’s strategy to march around the city and blow the shofars, the walls fell down and the Israelites did not lose a man in the battle. I am sure this was not the strategy that Joshua had in mind!! He obeyed and God brought the victory. However, disobedience and pride shortly after caused many to fall in the attempt to take the city of Ai.

Israel will win because God is fighting for her and working out His purposes through the nation. We need to hold up the arms of our elder brother in the battle and content in prayer and fasting for God’s purposes to be established.

In 2 Chronicles 20, when a confederacy of nations came against Judah from the east, King Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and fasted and all Judah asked the Lord for help. He encouraged the people through a prophetic Levite, saying, ‘The battle is not yours but God’s’ and to have faith in the Lord. He gave a strategy of praise and worship and God caused the attackers to turn on one another. God was glorified and ‘the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel’ (2 Chron 20:29).

When Elisha was surrounded by armies out to capture him and the king, he was aware that ‘those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ (2 Kgs 6:15). The Lord’s chariots of fire are still today more than those of the enemy. Elisha prayed blindness and confusion over the enemy and they were led astray but then God ordered Israel to feed the enemy and not to destroy them! 2 Kgs 6:21-23.

Israel’s division and the rebellion in its ranks over the last few years has caused her enemies to seize the weakness in the nation. The war has at least brought everyone together in unity. The battle over Israel is essentially spiritual in nature. The real question is: Who will rule the nations from Jerusalem? We thankfully know the answer as told by the prophet Zechariah.

3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east…9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. Zech 14:3-4,9

Yeshua will come as a warrior.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war… 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Rev 19: 11,15-16

What is our responsibility as Christians? The ekklesia of God is called to the battle in the Heavenlies. We need to discern the strategies of God and not react in the flesh. As Daniel contended through prayer and fasting for the destiny of his nation which involved much conflict, he was comforted by the fact that God was hearing his prayers and in answer, the heavenly hosts and the archangel Michael were dispatched to fight the Satanic forces (Dan 10).

Israel will win because God is fighting for her and working out His purposes through the nation. We need to hold up the arms of our elder brother in the battle and contend in prayer and fasting for God’s purposes to be established. May the intercessors take up their positions on the ramparts, put on the spiritual armour and stand against Satan’s plans to destroy God’s people. Pray that Israel will repent and seek God; for the leaders to ask Him for His strategies and be obedient to follow His instructions. Pray for prophetic Levites to arise to give godly advice and for Israel’s enemies to turn on themselves, so that lives of many young Israelis may be saved. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. Eph 3:10 NIV


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  • Jill Curry

    Jill Curry is the coordinator of the Jewish Prayer Focus ministry and the author of The Anzac Call - www.theanzaccall.com.au

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