Training and Learning Produce Victory


We have been studying the principles of warfare as laid out in the Word of God. The Bible is a book, as a written revelation from God, to give us direct guidance concerning the matters that pertain to our lives. Without the orientation of the principles of the Word of God, you will be confused; you will be disoriented; you will be acting contrary to the way God has made you physically, spiritually, and in soul and social relationships; and, you will be certainly confused on the matter of a subject as serious and as sobering as human conflict.

This is the Bible Doctrine of Warfare, number 6. We have covered six principles thus far. We will review them briefly:

  1. The Bible establishes that war will always exist in human history. No matter what man may do to attempt to eliminate it, it will not be done. War will not be removed from the human scene until Jesus Christ comes to this earth, which is the next thing in the order of the prophetic Scriptures. In the very near future, He will return to this earth and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will rule with a rod of iron as a beneficent dictator and the results will be peace all over the earth.

  2. The Bible has indicated to us that just warfare is from God. We looked at 1 Chronicles 5:19-22. God uses war for specific purposes. A war which is for the preservation of a national entity is a just war. It is the will of God that people live together in groups as nations. It is contrary to the will of God and it is satanic to have international control over national groups.

  3. Peace is established through the annihilation and decisive defeat of the enemy. We used Isaiah 37, Psalm 46, and Joshua 11. Throughout the Scriptures, peace was not established by dialog or by negotiating, but peace was established when an enemy threatened the national entity by the decisive defeat (that means unconditional defeat) and by the annihilation of the enemy--that is, his personnel and his matériel. That principle is still true today. Where this has been executed, peace has moved, for a while, onto the human scene.

  4. Refusal to go to war is sometimes a sin (Numbers 32). There was the case of Reuben and Gad that we looked at. They were going to stay on the other side of the Jordan and let their brethren go across to defend that strategic water barrier to their own personal safety. However, Moses taught them that it is the will of God that you fight for your nation's defense and its protection away from home as far as you can. You protect the natural defenses and barriers to the nation. There is a time when it is cowardly and it is against the will of God for you not to go to war.

  5. Numbers 1 and Numbers 26 indicated that war is for adults. Women are not to be in combat. There may be clerical and medical services performed by women, but it is for adults, and it is for males. An adult by Scripture is identified as somebody who is 20 years old and up.

  6. War demands battle courage and moral strength. We looked at Deuteronomy 20 which indicated to us that there is a quality within the soul of the combat soldier that is essential to victory. This quality is battle courage, often in the face of a superior enemy. It is a moral strength. We have indicated that the thing we are talking about all along here has to do with the soul and with the part of the mind that is the conscience. Once more, your mind has two sides to it. One is the conscience side in which you have values and standards, and you get them from someplace. Everybody has values and standards. Some people may have very fouled-up up standards because they picked them up from the world; they picked them up from our society; or, they picked them up from sources that are contrary to the thinking of God. Others have very good values and very good standards because you have picked them up from the Word of God. They are based upon the standards that almighty God has revealed in His written Word. War demands battle courage and moral strength, and this comes from being oriented to God's viewpoint.

7. Military Training

We now pick up number seven. War requires a system of military training. Immediately you can see that we are confronted with something that is a hot issue today of great resistance. In Numbers 31:3, there has been demonstrated the need for military preparedness. Back in Numbers 25:16, God gave direction to Moses. The Israelites have now come out of Egypt. They're about to move into the Promised Land. There is the job of removing the bodies of people which are living there which have come under the discipline and judgment of God. So God has judged them and they are to be removed. Numbers 25:16: "The Lord spoke unto Moses saying 'Vex (that is, come into combat with) the Midianites, and smite them. For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.'"

The Midianites were Baal worshipers, which were associated with sexual immorality in the process of worshiping the idol god Baal. The Midianites had led the children of Israel into Baal worship and into immorality. For this reason, that was the climactic act on their part bringing national judgment and doom upon them. They were like a cancerous growth in human society, and God judged that they were to be removed.

Now in Numbers 31, we have this commandment to remove the Midianites taken up again. Here was the problem. The Jews had been slaves for 400 years. As slaves, they didn't have occasion to learn warfare. Now they were confronted with picking up the techniques of warfare, and this required a system of training. So, in Numbers 31:3, Moses proceeds to execute God's command that we read about in Numbers 25: "And Moses spoke to the people saying, "Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian." The word "arm" in the Hebrew has a very specific meaning. It means "prepare for action."

Here were people who were totally unprepared for action; totally unprepared for any combat action whatsoever. So God says, "I want you to prepare for action." What did that mean? Well, it meant to be trained in the techniques of warfare; how to move into the field; how to move across the field; how to use the terrain; how to analyze the intentions of the enemy; how to work out strategy; the tactics to use; how to proceed on the defense; and, how to move on the offense. It also meant to be equipped with weapons that you were qualified to use; weapons that were effective and weapons that the soldiers would know how to use. Arm yourselves. Equip and train.

Notice that the command was "some of yourselves." Not everybody was included. "Some of yourselves" means that they established a selective service system. It says here that they "were delivered of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes shall you send to war." So, verse 5 says, "So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, and this is "masar" in the Hebrew which means conscripted, or drafted. They actually set up a draft system. They drafted a specific number from every tribe. Verse 5 says a thousand men. That meant the men mentally and physically and emotionally and spiritually best-qualified were selected for this combat training. So Israel had this standing army of 12,000 men.

Now they were to be armed for war, which meant that they had the training and the equipment necessary before they were able to do battle. Probably the veterans of this basic army became the leadership of the later expanded army as the Israelites moved through the land of Palestine conquering the Promised Land under the direction of God. What we're saying here is that training produces victory. Historically, this has been proven again and again. History is replete with this evidence. A uniform and a weapon doesn't make a combat team, and the most rugged untrained troops are not a long-range match for trained soldiers.

In Judges 3, again we have the emphasis of the specific importance that God puts upon training for warfare. Judges 3:1-2: "Now these are the nations which the Lord left to test Israel by them; even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; only that the generations of the children of Israel might know to teach them more, at the least, to such as before knew nothing of it." After Joshua's day, there was still a situation that you had other people growing up who had never had the combat experience of those who had conquered the land with Joshua. So God, in providing the need for training, permitted certain of these nations, pockets of the enemy, to remain in Palestine, intending that they should later be removed, and in the process, this would allow for further training to be updated to the current crop of the military establishment of Israel after Joshua's day.

So the Jews often found themselves under an oppressor's heel just because they were not trained for war. However, God made preparations for them with these heathen groups so that they could keep their training up to par. So every generation is responsible in a nation to train for war. This is to be without the interference of the crybabies and the people who are delusional about being able to bring about peace--peace which all of us are for; peace which all of us would like to have; but, peace (if we are oriented to the Word of God) we know will elude man, for you cannot make rules and put controls upon the old sin nature.

The greatest chance for peace in Satan's world is to have a trained standing army that the enemy is afraid to face. This is why ROTC in college is a good thing. Vast numbers, if not the majority, of our officers in World War II were the result, basically, of the ROTC program. Yet, this is under attack by the radical students and the disoriented college crowd who think that if they can destroy the ROTC program, they will help the cause of peace. You will not help the cause of peace. You will help the cause of your own destruction. Military training is essential to preservation. Once a nation's military establishment has degenerated or has been neutralized, that national entity is doomed.

There is one other thing. You need military training because it develops skills and judgment that need to be brought into play at the right moment. Luke 14:31: "Or what king, going to make war against another king, doesn't sit down first and consult whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand." What is this verse saying? This verse is saying that the status of training of the troops determines the forces of the enemy that you can meet. This king who finds himself outnumbered two-to-one has to sit down and consult with his staff whether his 10,000 are of such proficiency in their training that they can meet the 20,000 in reference to the kind of training they have. It takes a career military man to make this decision who should not be belittled, but who should be listened to. He sits down and consults with his professional staff about the readiness of his troops in their professional opinion.

Yet, today we have confused radical students, who are communists or dupes, who storm the Pentagon, and want to run it out of existence, so that we have no professional military brains to make advisements as to what we can do on the field of combat which we are inevitably going to have to perform at one time or another.

Now for training to be complete, there's one other factor. It's not enough to have the weapons training. It's not enough to have nomenclature. It's not enough to have the disciplines of the close order drill and everything else that accompanies it. There is the matter now of the soul. Unless there is a training for the soul, you have not completed military training in a biblical sense. Victory stems both from military training and from a right mental attitude. France was an excellent example in World War II. She had her great Maginot line with all of the defenses that she thought herself impregnable to any attacks from the Germans. However, she didn't consider the soul. France became so degenerate in soul by the time World War II began that she was an easy target for the Germans to march right over when they came in. The Germans came in with determined values and standards. Those values and standards were wrong, but in the conscience of the Germans there was a sense of right and wrong of destiny and of calling. Consequently, Germany had the motivation that France was nothing as an obstacle to them.

With the thinking that is abroad in the land today among young people, it raises the question as to how much of a force this nation could raise in a short time, as we had to do in World War II, that could preserve the national identity and to give those who oppose the nation a chance to keep on opposing it in freedom. No nation can survive in Satan's world if it lacks military training, but neither can survive if it is apostate in its divine values and standards.

David is an excellent example of this quality in training. You'll recall that David was a shepherd boy. As a shepherd, he didn't know anything about warfare. Therefore, he needed training, and he became one of the greatest military leaders of all the time, and certainly of all time for Israel. In 2 Samuel 22:35, David says, "He teaches my hands to war so that a bow of bronze is broken by my arms." He teaches my hands to make war. Who teaches you? I'm sorry, conscientious objector. The answer is God. It is God who taught David how to use the techniques of war. The bowl of bronze being broken here means that the enemy is defeated.

In 2 Samuel 22:38, David says, "I have pursued my enemy and destroyed him, and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them and wounded them that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet. For You have girded me with strength to battle. Those who rose up against me, You have subdued under me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, that I might destroy them who hate me. They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth. I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad."

This is what David means by, "He teaches my hands to break the bowl of bronze." You notice that here again we have demonstrated the principle that peace comes from the annihilation and the decisive defeat of the enemy. Now what was the preparation? It was God teaching him the techniques of warfare, but go back up to verse 21. There was a preparation that preceded in the soul of David that made him a victor in battle.

2 Samuel 22:21: "The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me (this is moral cleanness), for I have kept the ways of the Lord." Do you keep the ways of the Lord? You can't begin to keep the ways of the Lord until you know what His ways are. His ways are not known until your soul is filled with Bible doctrine. And the only way you get Bible doctrine is not by reading the Bible at home. If you know a lot of doctrine to begin with, that will help you. You get Bible doctrine by sitting in church under the authority of a pastor-teacher arrangement of the New Testament local church. But not just any church. It's the church where doctrine is taught. Then you learn God's ways, and then your soul is oriented to respond to God's thinking, and your choices and your ways are right, and your hands are clean.

"For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not wickedly departed from my God, for all of His ordinances were before me." How did they get before him? David was taught the Word. "And as for his statutes, I did not depart from them." How could he be sure he didn't depart from them? Because he knew them. He had been taught the Word. "I was also upright before Him, and have kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore, the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in His eyesight."

2 Samuel 22:31: "As for God, His way is perfect. The Word of the Lord is tried. He is a shield to all them that trust Him." Along with David's military training, he had Bible doctrine in his soul. That was essential to his proficiency as a soldier in the field.

One more verse: Psalm 144:1: "Blessed be the lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight." This is another statement by David. "My strength" is the source of my power in combat. Why? Because God has taught my hands how to do combat. He has taught me to meet the enemy; to defeat him; to destroy him; and, to stop him. He did it with weapons and with training and with God's point of view in my soul.

So point number seven of the principles of warfare is that war requires a system of military training. Anything that this nation does (or anybody who encourages this nation) to destroy military training and preparedness is violating the Word of God.

8. Military Leadership

War requires military leadership. We will look at Proverbs 24:1-6, and just to let you see where we're going, we'll be going down to verse 6. Verse 6 has to do with the action of a general in combat in warfare. We're going to start and lay the groundwork of that which precedes the training of this general for him to function with victory in warfare. And this applies to any kind of leadership. It's not only military leadership, although it is in this context. But the same is true of any kind of leader you want to be, whether it's in business or the home or school or social activities. Whatever it is, this applies.


Proverbs 24:1-6: "And be not envious of evil men." The word envious in the Hebrew means jealous. This is one of the most despicable of the mental attitude sins that there are. Most people like to get pretty hot about the sins of the flesh and these outward sins, but the Word of God places equal intensity, if not more condemnation, upon sins that stem from your mind. This is because what you do outwardly is only the result of what you are inwardly.

So here is the sin of jealousy. It's a mental attitude with extremely destructive effects. This Hebrew word means "redness of face." It's the intensity of anger and furor and envy that possesses the spirit of a person who is jealous. Jealousy has this destructive effect. Here is your mind, and it has two sides. Here is the perceptive side, where you understand, you learned things in school. And here's the conscience side, and here are your values and standards. It is the conscience that guide the perceptive, and it is the perceptive that then guides your actions.

Now jealousy, when tolerated in your soul, cancels out your conscience. It just blanks out all of your set of values. It blanks out all of your standards. If you follow this one quality through the Scripture, you'll be amazed at what a self-destructive force jealousy is. If you're jealous of somebody, if you're envious of somebody, you are tearing your soul to shreds. There are few things (few sins) that you could practice that are more destructive, because you go crazy in the mind. Literally, that's what happens. You go crazy in the mind. You are so irrational and disoriented, and your evaluations are so far from the truth, that you simply become pathetic, and you bring upon yourself misery that will mount up over the years unless you bring it to a halt. Leadership cannot afford to be jealous.

Here, it's particularly jealousy of evil men because these are men who work contrary to sound doctrine. They seemingly prosper in this status. Proverbs 23:17 says, "Let not your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of the reverence of the Lord all the day long." Consider God's viewpoint. You be concerned about that, but don't you be concerned to be envious of evil men. Now, military leaders who are motivated by jealousy will come to defeat. You will come to defeat because your conscience is wiped out and you have no guidance for your life.

It says further, "Be not jealous of evil men, neither desire to be with them." This means do not seek to be part of their social and their business life. You ought not to run after people who are disoriented to divine viewpoint. You are not to get yourselves on a buddy-buddy social business relationship to people who are not oriented to God's thinking--people who are not doctrinally positive toward doctrine and who do not receive doctrine. So if somebody doesn't show up for church for long periods of time, you better be aware that this person has great troubles even in running his own life; is torn up inside; is a burden to the family; and, can't really guide the children.

And I didn't say this. This is the Word of God. If you will search the Word of God on your own, you will discover that without the daily systematic intake of God's point of view from His Word, which is a living seed, you will not be able to operate in your life. You will have pointlessness, purposelessness, and miseries. You will think that you have all kinds of problems that you don't even have. This is where people get demented. This is where people are emotionally unstable. You can help yourself along in this by wanting to be with the world's crowd. They have wrong values, and so your conscience ought not to esteem them.

Proverbs 24:2 says, "For their heart studies destruction. Their mind devises violence, and their lips talk of mischief." Their lips cause trouble--sins of the tongue--because of sins of the mind. Now, here is the role of divine truth in leadership, beginning with verse 3: "Through wisdom a house is built." Now, the word wisdom here refers, as it often does in the book of Proverbs, simply to what God thinks. Wisdom is divine viewpoint. So, with wisdom, a house is built. This is coming down specifically to the area of your soul. Obviously, in the physical realm, if a man is going to build a house, he has to know something about it. He has to know something about how to put it together. With understanding of the techniques, he can build a very fine structure.

Now, this divine wisdom is neutralized by jealousy. Whatever divine wisdom you may pick up in your conscience, whatever right information you may have received from doctrine, will be neutralized by jealousy. In Proverbs 24:2, the word "built" is the same Hebrew word used for what God said He did with the rib that He took out of Adam. There are several words in the Hebrew for structuring. But what that is saying is that He shaped up a woman from the rib--a very appropriate and very descriptive word. He built. Here, a house is shaped up. What it actually means is that it receives building. So with right information, you can build a very fine house in the structure of your soul. With right doctrine, you can build yourself to spiritual maturity. The result then is, "Through wisdom is a house built, and by understanding is established." This word "understanding" is used almost in kind of a technical way. Remember that you have your human spirit: doctrine comes into your mind; you react with positive volition toward it; it goes down to the human spirit; and, there it's stored. Then it cycles back up to your conscience and it gives you guidance.

Now God only uses what you have been willing to receive from his Word. You can sit in church, and some of you no doubt have sat in church, and it would be very unlikely that somebody hasn't sat there and said, "I don't believe that." Or somebody hasn't heard something, so they say, "Well, I don't like that." So right away, you've gone negative. To that extent, you've got something up in your mind, and you may be trying to pass it off as this preacher's opinion and not really God's point of view. But if he happens to be right, and he happens to have God's point of view, and you go negative, you're in deep trouble because you have Bible in your mind but you don't have doctrine in your soul. This is the trouble with a lot of Christians. "Understanding" is a technical word which has to do with your using what you know. It's using what you've learned up here because you put it here in your spirit. This is the place that God contacts you--your human spirit.

Now the result is that it's established. This means to prepare yourself. The understanding, it is established. The structure of your soul is established. Sound doctrine enables your conscience as a Christian to be prepared to act in life. It gives you a mental outlook to respond properly to your own particular calling. I don't care what you are in life; what your business is; or, what your profession is, you will never really be successful in it unless you have doctrine in the soul. That is the absolute only way to be oriented to life so that you are operating and functioning in the right way. There is no way that you can do it any other way. So the person of the world is hopelessly entangled in an empty pointless meaningless existence.

You don't establish spiritual maturity by some experience. "Through wisdom is a house built, and by understanding this house is established." It's made operational. Not by experience. It's through what you know and what you have taken in. This is where the tongues and the Pentecostal crowds have made their mistake. They think that happiness is something that has to do with ecstatics. But it has to do with Bible doctrine in the soul. Happiness is not from the emotional kicks that are sought through the tongues experience. When God evaluates you as a believer, He evaluates and uses you strictly on the amount of doctrine you have here in your spirit.

Alright, here's the reward in Proverbs 24:4: "And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Now I think you can put this together for yourself. Knowledge, of course, is doctrine which we have received through the grace system which means that anybody who is a Christian can understand God's truth. Chambers refers to these storage areas, just like in a house, in your spirit that are waiting to be filled. They are filled as the result of the Word that you act upon by faith with positive volition. Then it says that the things that you receive are precious which means there's something of value, and they are pleasant riches which means they're very stimulating. So as a house may be richly furnished as a thing of exciting beauty, so the soul of a Christian has to be enriched with spiritual things for him to be successful in whatever his calling is in life.

That's where the work of the pastor-teacher comes in. If you are a Christian who has never been taught the Word, there is no way you can go it alone. It requires a pastor-teacher functioning under the direction of the Holy Spirit to deliver god's viewpoint to you. Most pastors don't do this. You will find very few churches sitting here in the city of Irving where you could have spent a profitable morning getting God's point of view so that you can go out and function effectively in your life. You'll have a lot of other experiences and inspirations. When this happens, churches deviate from the mind of God. Any experience you have is meaningless without doctrine in your soul. What you do is go around producing your cute human good, and you go around chasing your various kinds of lusts and desires. Doctrine in the soul is what makes the difference.

This is what took Jesus Christ to the cross. Perhaps you're outside of the family of God. You're not a Christian. Well, God says that between you and Him there lies a great barrier. This is the barrier of your sin. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Because God is perfect justice, he can't just ignore your sins. If God is perfect righteousness in the quality of His being, he has to reject those who have the contamination of sin. Now there is nothing you can do to correct that problem. So Jesus Christ walked into the picture. He who was 100% man and 100% God. He was a unique person born without a human father. This meant that He was born without an old sin nature, and therefore qualified to die for your sins. This is what God did. He paid with the Son's life and His perfect righteousness for all of our sins.

Now when he went to the cross, there came a moment on that cross when God the Father and God the Holy Spirit forsook the Son. That's why on that cross Jesus Christ was crying out in agony, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He was a perfect human being, the God man, who had never for one second been separated from God, and suddenly found your sins placed upon Him, and Himself removed from his fellowship with deity. What carried Him through? In the garden of Gethsemane, when he was approaching it, He knew the agonies that he was going through, and Jesus Christ said, "Father, if there is some other way, may this cup pass from me, but (and then he came through with doctrine in His soul) not My will, but Yours be done. If it is My death for the sins of the world, then so be it." It is God's viewpoint that carried him through as the leader and captain of our salvation.

So I'm happy to tell you that Jesus Christ, who is coming back again to this earth someday, and has told us all about this and this wonderful revelation in the Bible, the book which has never been proven wrong, the book that has always been proven accurate in what it has to say. It tells us that He's coming again. When he comes, and when you come into His presence, you will come in as either a child of God or one who is under the condemnation of God.

How do you get into the family of God? You believe the fact that God made this sacrifice to cover your sins. Every sin that you have ever committed or ever will commit has already been covered by the death of Jesus Christ. But God is a gentleman, and he will not beat you into the Kingdom of God, but He invites you, and you must act upon your volition. So, if you're outside of the family of God, right now where you sit, you make the decision in your heart. And you must make it. There's no way around this. When you know what God has done for you can now say, "That's great. I believe God when He says that He who knew no sin, Jesus Christ, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." What that verse is saying is that Jesus Christ, who was perfect, took your sin and swapped you His righteousness. So when God looks at you, He not only says, "Okay you're not guilty. You're welcome in heaven." But He says that you never even sinned. God sees you in absolute perfection. We call that justification. Or, you may go negative and you will go out just as unsaved and lost and doomed and without hope and without any future just as before.

Now this is real, friend. This is not something that we are making up. It is this person, Jesus Christ, who because of doctrine that He received and went positive toward that made it possible for you to have eternal life. We commend Him to you and we urge you to accept Him.

Proverbs 24:5: "A wise man is strong. Yea, a man of knowledge increases in strength." A wise man is a man of wisdom because of divine viewpoint. He's strong, vigorous, and powerful. He has knowledge, which is Bible doctrine from God's written revelation, and he increases in strength--spiritual power from the doctrinal orientation in the conscience.

Now we come to the dramatic Proverbs 24:6. Our excellent King James Bible has generally done a good job of translation, but here it has kind of missed the boat. Now we're getting to the application of this in military leadership in terms of leadership which is oriented to God's point of view in its soul. Remember we have had some very great military leaders who have been godly men. Men who knew God and who knew his point of view, and that's what made them the dramatic successful generals that they were. Proverbs 24:6 says, "For by wise counsel, you shall make war." "Wise counsel" is more accurately translated as the "wise guidance of leadership." "By the wise guidance of leadership, you shall make war." This means by the wise guidance of the generals and the admirals you shall make war.

Now the next phrase goes kind of askew. It says, "In a multitude of counselors, there is safety." That's not exactly true, because in a multitude of counselors, you can have a lot of confusion. In a multitude of people's opinions, you can go so up and down that you don't know what's in or out. If they're people who are disoriented to God's point of view, the more advisers you have like that, the more trouble you're in. So there is not safety just because you have a lot of people. This was the mistake that some of our politicians have made in recent years. The idea of the consensus of the policy, and actions on the basis of consensus. Let's get together, and what all of you people think, that must be the truth.

When I was a kid we had a phrase that said "50 million Frenchmen can't be wrong." That meant that if 50 million Frenchmen say that immorality is right, they can't be wrong, or whatever else they said. That's the idea that with a multitude of counselors, you can't be wrong. That's a bunch of gobbledygook, and that isn't what the Bible says.

It says something very fascinating and very dramatic though. It says, "In the multitude of counselors, there is safety." What it should say is that, "Victory is in the greatness of the adviser." These are all specific words in the Hebrew. Safety is really victory. Victory is in the greatness of the general. "Safety" isn't the word at all. The word there in the Hebrew is "victory" is in the greatness. And the word "greatness" is the Hebrew word "rov." That's greatness. It's not, as we have here, "multitude." It's not "multitude." It is "greatness." That's the rendering. So victory is in the greatness of the advisor or the general--not the counselors. Victory is in the greatness of the adviser. The advisor is the one who makes the decisions.

The verse should say, "By wise guidance of leadership, you shall make war, and victory is in the greatness of the advisor." Bad military leaders with improper preparation in their souls lead to defeat. I think it was General George Patton that made this observation: You don't basically defeat an enemy's armament. What you basically defeat is his soul. That's well taken. That is very scriptural. It is the soul that you defeat. Victory is in the greatness of your advisor or your leader. How is he great? Well go back up to the first five verses which tell you how God's viewpoint in your soul orients you to right actions so that what you do is just great. That's how greatness comes. By God's performance through His thinking. So the military leadership has to be nurtured by a nation.

Proverbs 20:18 says, "Every purpose is established by counsel, and with good advice, make war. Every purpose (his battle plan, in this context) is established (this means it is executed successfully) by counsel (that is, by wise planning which we have seen is doctrine in the soul giving the right values and standards to the conscience), and with good advice (the decisions of qualified military leaders) make war (meet the enemy)." So if it has been your practice to ridicule military leadership and to participate in attacks on the sources of preparation of our officer corps like ROTC, the Word of God wants to tell you that you're wrong.

We have cover two points here. Military training is essential. War requires military training, and war requires military leadership. Military leadership and military training, both in men and officers, is never complete without orientation to a set of values and standards that can only come from the Word of God.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1970

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