President Obama believes that compromise is the key ingredient to achieving peace in the Middle Peace. He used the word five times in his recent interview with the New York Times.
During that interview he offered compromise not only as a global solution but also as the near term solution to the chaos in Iraq. The president said:
“But for a society to function long term, the people themselves have to make decisions about how they are going to live together, how they are going to accommodate each other’s interests, how they are going to compromise.”
Once again, the Scriptures address the issue of compromise. For example after God promised the land of Canaan to the fledging nation of Israel, did he instruct Joshua to negotiate with the land’s inhabitants? Do men determine national boundaries or does God? Moses spoke very succinctly on the issue.
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth…When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 32:1, 8
Moses was addressing the inhabitants of the entire earth and by using the word ‘when’ he proclaimed that God had already determined the boundaries of all nations. The Apostle Paul reaffirmed Moses’ declaration that God had pre-set the boundaries of the nations. Nothing has changed, except that man has steadily distanced himself from God’s words.
Joshua’s taking possession of the land of Canaan is explained in two stages, i.e. the southern conquest and the northern conquest. Concerning the southern conquest of Canaan:
“So Joshua conquered all the land; the mountain country and the South…and all their kings; he left none remaining but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded.” Joshua 10:40
No negations. Joshua conquered all the land of southern Canaan and destroyed all the kings whom he had displaced; all according to God’s instructions.
Then the conquest of the northern part of Canaan is described in great detail. When the kings of the northern portion of Canaan heard of the conquest of the south they joined together to fight Israel.
“So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots…to fight against Israel.” Joshua 11:4-5
But God reassured Joshua that the defeat of those kings was certain.
“But the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid because of them for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel…” Joshua 11:6
“So all the cites of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took with the edge of the sword…and all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty…he (Joshua) left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:12, 14-15
Near the end of the Book of Joshua, the taking of the land is summarized.
“So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it… the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.” Joshua 21:43-44
But perhaps the following verse puts Israel’s conquests in proper perspective. It should be the benchmark for today’s foreign policy decisions and actions.
“Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. Joshua 11:45
President Obama’s Bible clearly outlines God’s plan for the future. He names those nations to be involved and the future of Israel.
The question is then; does the president use his Bible as the guide to dealing with the present problem in Iraq? His words describe his solution.
“You’re going to have to show us that you are willing and ready to try and maintain a unified Iraqi government that is based on compromise.”
Remember, Iraq is the ancient land of Shinar which includes the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.