Preparatory remarks before entering into the land: first, there are those who are not prepared to do battle; these are relieved of duty (20:1-9). Second, when doing battle with an enemy that is at some distance, offer terms of peace. However, there is no offer of peace toward those who reside in the land and are to be eradicated by the Lord’s people (20:10-20).
Application: Being prepared to do battle is crucial to the success of that battle. Can you imagine going into a battle unprepared, against a foe that is fully prepared. Goliath was not prepared to handle a foe like David, but David was fully prepared. When we do battle with the spiritual forces of this world – and we will do battle with it – is it not better to be prepared, fully armored (Ephesians 6:10-18)?