In the matter of a siege, it was less dangerous than an out and out battle, but you had to set up defenses around your own encampment, in the open, around the whole city to defend against anyone getting in to resupply the city, or in case reinforcements came. This also opens yourself up for “sorties” and “raids” from inside the city. You had to cut down tree’s from the area to make weapons, forts and so on.
The laws of warfare in Deut 20 specifically says not to cut down the fruit trees (date, olive, almond, pomegranate, fig, apple, etrog, etc). Spiritually, this teaches us not to cut down the “fruit”, which is the word, and the food you have. If you did, you will be barren and “erosion will set in. If you are besieged, you will need to protect your water source, and wait because the enemy cannot maintain a siege forever, unless he gets you to play his game. Here’s why.
The conquest of a city is a difficult venture, and if it can be avoided the opposing army would try. You had to be a stronger army to maintain a siege. 1 Sam 11.1 says that David sent Joab to besiege Rabbah. Once it was ready to fall he would come because the king shouldn’t be away from his duties for long.
It was a risky time to be away. Sennacherib of the Assyrians was away for three years, and when he got back he was assassinated by his own sons. Don’t be discouraged if you are being besieged by the enemy. Your job is to hold out and maintain what you have. Keep your water (teaching) flowing and your defenses up. Be confident that the longer you hold out, the worse the enemy’s position becomes. We are in a war and we don’t have spiritual eyes to see the blows we inflict on our enemy. We can feel his, but we do inflict blows and he does get “beat up” and desperate. The stronger you are (the more truth you know) the more desperate be becomes, not to mention frustrated. You represent a huge potential to do damage against his kingdom.
Here is a question. What is the spiritual significance to the Sabbath? The Temple, eschatology and the festivals? The majority of Christianity places little or no value on them. Now you come along and explore it and observe it. Now you are becoming a true threat, while the rest are on “fantasy island.” Who do you think the enemy is going to fight against?
When you start learning the things contained on this website, and others like it (and we have only scratched the surface), you are going to get a fight. You go out and observe the Sabbath, start learning the eschatology of the Scriptures, learning idioms, phrases and concepts that are all contrary to what is taught out there, and you will see what happens. You are really learning about the things of God, but you will also see that it is also about getting kicked out of your church, losing friends and family, getting ridiculed, being left alone, being misunderstood and talked about by others. But all you did was find out something was from God and did it, and moved away from something that wasn’t from God.
So, you decide you are going to “set them straight” but you realize you aren’t going to be able to that. Flesh and blood cannot reveal these things to them, it can only come by the Spirit of God. So, we need to pull back and learn what we are doing. This is where the enemy tries to “undermine” your walls and your position. He will have others call you a “fool” and “you are not a Christian” or “acting in love.” They will accuse you of “following the law” (which isn’t a bad accusation) and you realize you are in a very big battle, and an important one.
You will ask yourself questions like, “How come the big TV preachers don’t know this” and “Am I the only one?” You will begin to wonder if you are out on a limb and on a “tangent” or “part of a cult.” The fact is, a siege is not very fun. You want the enemy to come out from behind their walls. You may try to get in by deception, like the Trojan horse.
In Joppa, Thutmoses III notified the governor that he wanted to surrender. He made two hundred baskets with soldiers inside, plus soldiers carrying the baskets. Once inside the city, they would attack. The baskets had weapons, chains and ropes. Once they were in, they captured the city. At Ai, Joshua drew out the warriors of the city into the open, and Joshua counterattacked and got into the city. At Gibeah they did the same thing (Judges 20.18-38).
For the most part, unless the Lord gives us specific instruction, most people should not use this tactic. Usually they don’t know the Scriptures well enough or they are not smart enough to use this spiritually. However, the enemy will use it against us, with skill. Here is how he does it.
People will be on fire for God and learning things they never saw before, then they move away to another city for a better job. Soon they are cut off and isolated and stop learning because it was not from the Lord to leave. In another scenario, for one reason or another, they leave the group they were learning in and they go off in another direction, thinking they were “led of the Lord.” They go to a church where they “feel” they are “of the Lord” because they are so “biblical” and they have a “peace about it.” In reality, it is the exact opposite of what the Lord has revealed and soon they are cut off from the truth of what they were learning and they “dry up” like the people of Ai (which means “to ruin”).
The Lord is perfectly capable of moving you, and sometimes he does, but it can be a deception. How do you know if such a move is from the Lord or not? Does it line up with Scripture (that means you must know them)? If it is accompanied by a sign, don’t go with the sign alone. Ask the Lord to confirm it and it is not ridiculous to ask for a sign. Gideon did it and here is how not to do it. We want to do something so we say “I want to do “such and such”, and Lord, if you want me to do this, then have “such and such” happen.”
But, there is away how to do it biblically. God speaks to you about something and you don’t know if it is from the Lord. You want it confirmed, then send out your “fleece” by saying “If you are speaking to me about this, then have “such and such” happen.” We “fleece” things that are our own thoughts, then say “fleeces” don’t work. If God said something, he is not ashamed to confirm what he said.
At Megiddo, Thutmoses III had his lines drawn out and he couldn’t engage the enemy until all his forces got caught up. Spiritually, the enemy will try to “spread us out too thin, making us easy to defeat. We have too many “irons in the fire” so we need to make sure we have all our “forces” concentrated before we enter a battle. Thutmoses III paused before the battle to think things over, and the Scriptures tell us to do the same thing (Luke 14.31).
In Psalms (the book that teaches us how to fight) the Hebrew word “selah” means “to pause and think it over, evaluate.” The strategy (how to win a war) of Thutmoses III against the Hittites was to first realize where the Hittites were from, which is from the north, their home. Having come to Megiddo, the Egyptians have drawn the Hittites away from their home base. Once they fled back to Megiddo, the Egyptians encircled them and the Hittites were cut off. Later, at Kadesh, the Hittites learned from Megiddo and they drew the Egyptians north to Kadesh and did the same thing to the Egyptians 200 years later. England did the same thing to Germany in North Afica. By drawing a superior force too thin with no bases, they were able to defeat them.
Spiritually, the enemy will try to do this to us. He will try to draw us away from our home base and cut us off from the place we are learning from and are fed. He wants to draw you into his territory, not fight you in yours (Gods). We have this concept in western culture called “manifest destiny.” It is the belief that the west was a “superior race” and all others, like the Indians, Mexicans, Eskimos and the Hawaiians were “given” into our hands by God. We thought that we were the “greatest nation in history.” We were better, smarter, stronger and Godlier than the others. Ministers have said in the last twenty years that we are “God’s home plate” and that “God would never destroy America because we saved the world.” We thought our culture was better than anyone else.
For example, when we sneeze, we use handkerchiefs, but to an Indian it was considered “gross” because we are putting “snot” into our pockets after blowing into it. The truth is, cultures have plus and minuses. America is prophesied against in the Scriptures. This idea of “superiority” is used by the enemy to blind us from seeing what God has really said. Denominations suffer from it, and so do people. God is not a respecter of persons and “manifest destiny” keeps us from seeing the idolatry all around us. We judge things by what our culture says rather than what the Scriptures say. What is accepted by our culture becomes religiously acceptable. To go counter to that will make us look “unpatriotic” and some equate our status as a believer with our politics. Israel is the only nation chosen by God and who has a covenant with God (Amos 3.2). The United States does not have a covenant relationship with the Lord and we are not a “new Israel.”
The problem is a “little knowledge puffs up.” We need to be quiet when given great truths. Don’t throw your pearls before swine, or don’t waste a high caliber bullet on a low caliber target. Don’t confuse your compulsion to say something as being “from God” when it is mainly our ego that wants to say something.
In Part 8, we will continue with the other side of the coin and the tendency to not say anything. We will give concepts related to knowing when to get involved, how to know when the Lord is leading you and so on. Even then, when the Lord leads you, it also means you still may get hurt. We will talk about all of this and more in Part 8.