The Soldier's Ransom

This sermon had been taken from Your Heritage, and prepared into a PDF file by Clifton A. Emahiser’s Watchman Teaching Ministries with added critical notes.

by Bertrand L. Comparet

Those entering the military service, and their families, naturally are worried over the dangers to be faced in battle. They should know that Yahweh has provided the defense against such dangers. The directions to receive His protection are in the Bible.

There is no pacifism in the Bible, because Yahweh has destined us to impose His will upon the world, a process which often requires war when wicked nations seek to blot out righteousness. In Jeremiah 51:20 Yahweh says to our nation, “Thou art My battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.”

No matter how the self proclaimed intellectuals may scorn this duty, it is our inescapable destiny. We can do our part willingly, in complete reliance on Yahweh’s protection, and we shall prosper. Or, we can be driven to it unwillingly, like slaves under the lash, and accomplish our purpose at frightful cost, it is our destiny and perform it we shall.

Recent efforts to abolish the draft, and establish a mercenary army of professional volunteers, is bad. The Bible never gave its approval for mercenary professional armies. For us, Yahweh’s plan was universal registration and conscription, we find this law in Numbers 1:1-3 & 26:1-2. “And Yahweh spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male; from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel; thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.”

Note this military service began at age twenty, none were exposed to the hardships of war while they were immature boys. Exemptions from military service were few, and for one year only, these rules are found in Deuteronomy 20:5-9 & 45:5. One who had built a new house but had not occupied it yet, or who had planted a new vineyard but hadn’t received a crop from it, and one who was engaged to be married, or had been married less than one year, these received one year’s exemption from military service.

Military service was a moral duty of the Israelites. When the people of Israel were entering into the promised land, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh chose their inheritance in the lands east of the Jordan river. All the rest of the nation had to cross over the Jordan river and conquer the lands to the west of it. When it seemed possible that Reuben and Gad might want to stay in their lands while the other tribes had to continue the war without them, Moses sternly warned them, as it is recorded in Numbers 32:6-23.

“And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brothers go to war, and shall ye sit here? If ye will go armed before Yahweh to war, and will go all of you armed over Jordan before Yahweh, until He hath driven out His enemies from before Him, and the land be subdued before Yahweh; then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before Yahweh and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before Yahweh. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against Yahweh: and be sure your sin will find you out.”

Registration for conscription was a religious duty in times of national danger, however it wasn’t to be enforced only so the king could know how big his army was, merely for his own pride. King David ordered a registration out of his own vanity, when there was no need for it, this was a sin on his part. However, the punishment fell on the whole nation because they obeyed the king when he commanded them to do what was sinful. This is told in detail in II Samuel chapter 24. Yahweh’s way to raise a conscription citizen’s army, and to give them protection amid the dangers of war, is stated in Exodus 30:12-16. “When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto Yahweh ... This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a skekel .... an half shekel shall be the offering of Yahweh. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto Yahweh. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto Yahweh, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before Yahweh, to make an atonement for your souls.”

The half shekel of the soldier’s ransom was worth 33 cents in our money, so it was no burden on the poor. The rich weren’t to make a display of their wealth, to embarrass the poor by giving more. The importance of the act was that it was a declaration of faith in Yahweh, looking to Him for protection. Those who truly trust in Him, He doesn’t fail.

Yahweh’s promise of protection is clear and strong. It is set forth most beautifully in Psalms 91:1-11. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Yahweh, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God: in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made Yahweh, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation: there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

The Bible records that those who did offer the soldier’s ransom, in reliance upon Yahweh’s instructions, did receive His protection in battle. In Numbers chapter 31 it is recorded that an Israelite army of 12,000 men was sent against the Midianites. They annihilated the Midianite armies and burnt the Midianite cities, quite a devastating war. Upon the return of the Israelite army we read, “And the officers which were over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses: and they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.”

If you are thinking Yahweh was able to protect His soldiers against swords, spears and arrows in ancient times, but wondering if He has the power to protect them against the terrible modern weapons, such as atom bombs, I tell you to have no doubts. He who created atoms is still their master, still able to give protection where needed. In Isaiah 54:17 we have His promise. “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper: and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh, and their righteousness is of Me, saith Yahweh.”

War on a scale never before seen, must come in the near future, it is part of the battle of Armageddon and the great and terrible day of Yahweh. There is no escaping it, for it has been prophesied by Yahweh. When it comes, we must take our part in it. Yahweh has never required us to enter battle without offering protection to those who are loyal to Him and who claim His protection in sturdy faith.

For those who are drafted into the armed forces, they or their families should seek their protection by offering the soldier’s ransom. We have heard many reports of families who have done this, and their sons have returned safely from combat. You should also profit by their example.

Take Yahweh at His word. Obey His instructions to offer the soldier’s ransom. Have faith and you will see the demonstration of Yahweh’s power.

Critical note by Clifton A. Emahiser: Not only is the soldiers ransom necessary for those who are called to go to war for our country, but also for we who are fighting the battle with the seed of the serpent here at home. The battle we are in, disseminating the Israel Identity message and identifying Israel’s enemy is just as dangerous as any war, and we can use all the protection from Yahweh that we can get. And I don’t believe that it is necessary to do the soldier’s ransom every time we turn around; once in a lifetime for each war should be sufficient.