The instances are not few of nations, tribes, and political parties claiming a divine endorsement.
Those who assume the righteousness of their cause and rally their supporters using biblical military imagery ought to keep in mind at least this one reality about the divine warrior tradition from the Old Testament.
It is presumptuous for anyone to assume that they do their fighting or politicking in God’s name.
One of the leaders of Israel—God’s chosen people!—learned this lesson in a divine warfare passage:
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Josh. 5:13-15).
Humanity, including God’s own people, must take pains to search out and adjust to God’s agenda and God’s way of working. The presumption that God obviously endorses our agenda, as the history of Israel demonstrates, brings disastrous consequences.