Beersheba and God’s Purposes


Paul Daley (author of Beersheba, mentioned in an earlier post) wrote an interesting historical account of the Beersheba charge in today’s Guardian, which includes the following observation:

The charge, coincidentally, narrowly preceded the British war cabinet’s proclamation of the Balfour declaration in support of a Jewish state in Palestine. Such was the alignment of these pivotal moments in Middle East – and global – history that some evangelists and Christian Zionists have claimed that the light horsemen were somehow doing “God’s work” in re-establishing a Jewish homeland, as biblically prophesied.

This has always seemed utterly fanciful to me. While some horsemen certainly knew of the places they were traversing (Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem) from the Bible, there was nothing to suggest in the hundreds of letters and diaries I’ve read that any saw themselves as actively doing God’s work.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/postcolonial-blog/2017/oct/30/beersheba-centenary-lets-remember-that-story-is-not-the-same-as-history

 

I find Daley’s view expressed in the above quote is extremely naïve.

It doesn’t surprise me that the participants would have no idea of what role they may have been playing in God’s purposes and their ignorance of it can’t be offered as evidence of the claim’s lack of validity. Man’s knowledge and complicity aren’t determining factors of truth.

Mankind increasingly sees history in political and cultural terms, driven only by man’s decisions and actions, that the future is in our own hands, governed by our own choices. Any thought of God or any Divine intentions are mostly ignored or ridiculed.

Even many who acknowledge God’s reality tend to sideline Him, making God more of a spectator than someone with an active interest in His creation. They overlook the possibility that he may actual have a very defined purpose in mind for this world and its inhabitants, and that man’s actions will not and can not change that ultimate purpose. Instead, God is more than capable of using any of mankind’s actions (including the evils of war) to move towards His purposes being realised.

 

 

As I wrote elsewhere:.

God did not cause or ordain those acts, but He was more than able to USE those acts to further His purposes. He is more than willing to give mankind over to the consequences of our own choices, and will even give us a helping hand in achieving or obtaining what we’ve chosen in place of Him. (refer Romans 1:24-32 and 2 Thess 2:11-12)

What mankind meant for evil, God could turn around for His good, to move a few steps towards the fulfilment of His eternal plans.

https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/anzacs-and-wwi-part-5-the-part-god-played/

 

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For my New Zealander friends, the NZ part of the ANZACs can not be forgotten. They played a pivotal role in making the Light Horse charge possible, wiping out the machine guns that could have cut the charging horses and men apart before they reached their destination.

http://www.nzmr.org/beersheba.htm

8 thoughts on “Beersheba and God’s Purposes

  1. “It doesn’t surprise me that the participants would have no idea of what role they may have been playing in God’s purposes and their ignorance of it can’t be offered as evidence of the claim’s lack of validity. Man’s knowledge and complicity aren’t determining factors of truth…God is more than capable of using any of mankind’s actions (including the evils of war) to move towards His purposes being realised.”

    Amen ! And very well expessed.

  2. Following up on my earlier post, I’m glad you included that link per NZ.

    … with Turko-German weaponry dug in over-looking all the approaches to the township and its trench defences, [this key hill] had to be in the hands of the Anzacs before a frontal attack on the town could take place.

    The Turkish defenders were well protected by the rocky terrain, and not one tree impeded the enemies’ view of the New Zealanders as they began their advance.The capture of Tel el Saba took much longer than hoped for, the NZMR attack came under heavy fire that continued all day.

    The secondary attack planned for the Australian Light Horse was held up until the threats from the machine guns [at this key place] were cleared. No advance … [took] place across the … corridor with the Turks holding this stategic point.

    The New Zealand attack finally succeeded only a half hour before sunset[:]

    ~ the Anzac position was in a critical state
    ~ the attack was in desperate need for water for the horses and men, a source that was only available in the town [Beersheba] itself

    ~ Australian General Harry Chauvel took a gamble and ordered a mounted charge across the open ground into the enemy garrison town[…
    ~ w]ith bayonets in hand the 4th ALH [Australian Light Horse] charged into history and captured the fortified town before the sun had set……

  3. It’s not available in my area with the services I’ve checked so far. Will keep my eye out.

    I’m wondering. How is, do you guys think, the idea that soldiers were doing God’s will…

    … even without knowing it, different from something good coming from dominionism?

  4. God can and does use situations brought about by man’s rebellion to bring about situations that suit His purposes. The most significant example is Jesus’s crucifixion. He was accused, tried, condemned and executed by men who were in rebellion against God, who rejected His Son – and yet they fulfilled God’s purpose.

    God didn’t need to create a specific person or a specific group of people to being about Jesus’s death. He didn’t need to ordain that a particular individual (or group) would betray and murder Jesus. Sinful men were quite ready to make that choice for themselves. Jesus just needed to come to earth at the right time and the right place for man’s inclinations to follow their natural path and achieve God’s plan for His Son to die.

    The same kind of thing happens throughout history through man’s violent ambition and rebellion. God shapes and directs those events to bring good out of them, never allowing man’s evils to prevail in the overall scheme of history (His story).

  5. Something I like about the story I referenced (from the NZ link) is that the ANZAC men were drafted and deployed and found themselves in a situation where they not only were to decommision enemy machine gun positioning but viewed water (including the tradition of tea) to be an invaluable part of life, both as a general concept and as an immediate need. I like that there were very social as well as physically considerate modes of decision making and communication for fellows.

    Most of the men on the ground wouldn’t have a great grasp of what was involved or possible or what the bigger picture might me. Most wouldn’t know Bible history or geography much if at all either. But they understand water, and they are concerned about the men who are out there with them. If there is only a half hour left before sundown, well then that is how much time there is to get to the water source so they and their buddies who just pressed upward for hours won’t languish in thirst.

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