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  • Susan Dalton on Luke 23:12
    "And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves." (Luke 23:12)

    What precedes wars and fightings? As Karl von Clausewitz analyzed war, his observations can be carried over into that which is beyond military combat.

    His definition of war is "war therefore is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfill our will." He says, "War is always a serious means for a serious object."

    James says, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war,yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:1-3)

    James speaks of lust, Clausewitz said, "Everything which appears an advantage may be the object of a combat..."

    The heart manifests lust, envy, hostility, and hatred unto war.

    Have quickly hostility can manifest in the heart. A close examination of one's heart could show hostility. Hostility towards a comment made, or an action committed or omitted. It may not manifest itself into an open battle, but the hostility can remain in the heart. A polarity [Clausewitz] now exists (whether hidden in the heart, or openly manifested). Enemies are made.

    Now enemies (polar opposites) with hostile hearts, war is declared (whether verbal or silent). You don't like that person, that person does not like you. The hostility can burn and enflame into hatred and the desire to kill. (whether with words, actions, or the desire for supremacy).

    There may be many battles; many words and actions that convey hostility.

    Sometimes action in the war can be suspended, without the war ending: circumstances may dictate an inaction. [Cluasewitz] Maybe you don't want someone to see or hear your hostility so you take it underground for awhile. Maybe you decide the place or time is not advantageous for you to get the advantage so you wait for a more advantageous moment. But, the hostility is still there; it's just being put on hold.

    You may feel hostility, but recognize the person has superior power that could do you harm; so you hold off attacking; but, not because the hostility is gone; but, because you access the situation is not to your advantage.

    Hostility remains in the heart.

    Clausewitz speaks of "reciprocal action." Also, reciprocal action of reciprocal action. One hostility begats another hostility...."Thus a continuance of action will ensue which will advance towards a climax."

    If war is "a continuation of policy by other means", to have war there must be two or more opposing policies. If there are ten people sitting at a table and all ten have ten different policies (things they believe) anyone who speaks differently could be viewed hostilely. Everyone can be seeking to hold their policy, and hold their position as superior with hostility towards anyone who does not submit to their view.

    Now as toward truth, we know we are to obey God (His policy). We are to speak the truth in love; but, even then, Jesus has said, "If they hated me, they will hate you." There will be those who do not want Jesus to be over them. They will not want to obey His Words (policy). They will be hostile toward Him, toward His Word, and toward His servants. They are hostile toward God, and at war with Him.

    But, we who are the Lord's, if not careful, can harbor hostility in our hearts. We are admonished to "Keep thy heart with all diligence..." (Proverbs 4:23)

    We are to "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled..." (Hebrews 12:14-15)

    Cain, Esau, Pharisees, scorners, etc. manifested hostile hearts.

    John says, "...whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (I John 3:10)

    Our hearts will either condemn us or commend us. If the heart manifests hostility, that hostility must be in opposition to something. If hostility remains, murder can be its climax.

    Cain rose up against Abel in the field and slew him; why? because Cains works were evil and Abel's were righteous. Cain was hostile toward God and toward his brother. His hostility continued unto hatred and murder.

    The heart of the matter is the heart.


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