Dave and Maggie treated us - the Captain, Jacks and me - to fish and chips at The Lamb on Wednesday. Maggie still has her media career - including a very glamorous appearance on the cover of a glossy magazine. Who says that retirement is boring?
They head back to Thailand in a day or two. Lovely to see them. And we hope they might consider a return to the UK at some stage. They could always overwinter in their place in the Far East, as they are not ones for the cold. And we can feel the coming Winter round the edges now, though the weather is lovely. Its a sunny day here.
Back to the Kingdom Hall last night... and hopefully back to the field on Saturday.
We were studying some aspects of the Mosaic Law last night - as we are considering how perfect Jehovah's law is.
"Even warfare was regulated under the Law. God’s people were to wage war, not to satisfy a mere lust for power or conquest, but to act as God’s agents in “Wars of Jehovah.” (Numbers 21:14) In many cases, the Israelites had to offer terms of surrender first. If a city rejected the offer, then Israel could besiege it—but according to God’s rules. Unlike many soldiers throughout history, men in Israel’s army were not allowed to rape women or engage in wanton slaughter. They were even to respect the environment, not felling the enemy’s fruit trees. Other armies had no such restrictions.—Deuteronomy 20:10-15, 19, 20; 21:10-13.
Do you shudder to hear that in some lands mere children are being trained as soldiers? In ancient Israel, no man under 20 years of age was inducted into the army. (Numbers 1:2, 3) Even an adult male was exempt if he suffered from undue fear. A newly married man was exempt for a full year so that before embarking upon such hazardous service, he might see an heir born. In this way, the Law explained, the young husband would be able to make his new wife “rejoice.”—Deuteronomy 20:5, 6, 8; 24:5."
I was thinking of the exemption of those who suffered undue fear, and thought how kind, sensible and reasonable that was. And how different human law is. In WW1 if some poor shell-shocked young soldier could no longer face the horror of going over the top, he was shot - by his own side - for "cowardice".
Rudyard Kipling wrote this of such "cowards":
"I could not look on death
Which, being known,
Men led me to him
Blindfold and alone."
Of course, it was never never Jehovah's wish that we should fight and kill each other. But he has let us live for a while - only 6 days in his eyes - with the terrible decision our first parents made in Eden. The questions raised there are being fully answered before all intelligent creation - man and angel - and when the issue is settled, at the end of the Thousand years, "distress will not rise up a second time". We should already clearly be able to see that we cannot rule ourselves, but need our Creator's loving law.
Revelation tells us that Satan will be let loose for a little while at the end of the Millennial Reign, but he will never again rule the world, and he will be destroyed, everlastingly.
And, with the formation of the new Christian congregation in Jesus' day, a new situation came into existence. Followers of Christ would be "sheep among wolves" - they would "study war no more".