For a quick study, watch the new Wonder Woman movie; humans fighting the war on the physical level, and Wonder Woman fighting with Aries, the god of war, on the spiritual level.
Then read Daniel Chapter 10, about the Prince of Persia.
It’s almost impossible to theologize clearly when you’re standing in the middle of a battlefield full of bodies, including women, and children.
So please let me share what I see from a high altitude ‘overview.’
Satan rebelled; God choose to allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve; they failed their test, so God bans humans from the garden and the Tree of Life.
Cain kills Abel; God allows Cain to live; East of Eden. Things go really bad. The Nephilim, and all that, so God sends a flood.
Men decide to build the Tower of Babel. God confuses their languages, and they scatter throughout the land.
Satan re-establishes his kingdom, placing his evil associates in positions of authority over his nations.
The Prince of Persia, in Persia, and other false gods over the other nations; with all of them building mighty armies in anticipation of God’s next response.
God decides to build His own army, beginning with Abraham, promising him many decedents, and the Canaan land.
After a forty year delay in Egyptian slavery, God sends Moses to free the Israelites, and continues with the plan to build His mighty army, out of the weakest of the weak.
God intends to keep His promise to Abraham, and along the way defeat the false gods.
And then, eventually find a way to show His people His true character.
I see the Old Testament as one big exorcism, God tearing down idols, and eliminating false gods, one by one.
Many Bible scholars are convinced some of these so-called divine beings could indeed do amazing acts because they were demons, or fallen angels, disguising themselves as gods.
When Moses confronted Pharaoh, the Egyptian magicians were able to duplicate some of his miracles, such as turning their staffs into snakes and turning the Nile River into blood.
“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up.” (Duet. 32:17)
There was Ashtoreth, also called Astarte, or Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Canaanites.
Baal, the supreme god of the Canaanites.
Chemosh, the subduer, the national god of the Moabites, was also worshiped Ammonites.
Dagon, fish god of the Philistines.
Marduk, god of the Babylonians associated with fertility and vegetation.
Milcom, the national god of the Ammonites, was associated with divination, seeking knowledge of the future through occult means, and child sacrifice.
And the Egyptian gods; Egypt had more than 40 gods, including Re, creator sun god, Isis, goddess of magic, Osiris, lord of the afterlife, Thoth, god of wisdom and the moon, and Horus, god of the sun. (The Ten Plagues of God against Egypt were humiliations of ten specific Egyptian gods.)
Obviously God was not going to be able to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, through the desert, and into Canaan without major resistance.
I also see God accommodating the Israelites dream of becoming free, and possessing their land of milk and honey.
I believe God did this as a physical example of His spiritual plan of redemption, and as a negative lesson about the pain and bloodshed it takes to conquer land and hold it.
In other words, to teach us once and for all, that war doesn’t work.
I believe another reason for the Old Testament violence was to set Satan up for the Incarnation and the Cross.
The theologians were not the only ones expecting Jesus to arrive as a concurring Hero.