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A NATION AT WAR

Ecclesiastes 3:8 states 
"that there is a "time for war and a time for peace."


 

 In these times of warfare, we often ask, 
"How should we respond? What should be our
attitude?" 
We will find biblical answers for these questions when 
we explore the ultimate issue: What does the Word of 
God say about warfare? 

When a nation goes to war, Godís people need to 
fully understand their heavenly  Fatherís viewpoint 
about this matter. 
Naturally, God is not excited about war. 
He does not enjoy bloodshed and vengeance. 
However, He  is dealing with a world of people 
who have a fallen nature-sinful, wicked and vile.
describes mankind without God: "Öthere is none
 righteous, not even one; there is none who understands,
 there is none who seeks for God. . . . 
Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and 
misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they 
have not known." 

God battles with people who oppose Him, who fight 
against Him and His followers.  So, even though He 
hates war, God is not against it. Throughout the Old 
Testament, there are examples of God using warfare to 
carry out His plans, to punish the wicked and preserve 
His people (; ; ; ). You may think, "How could God do 
that?"
He says in , "My ways are higher than your ways and 
My thoughts are higher than your thoughts." 
God has divine reasons for choosing to use war as a 
vehicle to accomplish His will

In Scripture, God clearly establishes the governments 
responsibilities and authority over us, as well. In  and 
Paul writes, "every person is to be in subjection to the
governing authorities. For there is no authority except 
from God, and those which exist are established by God
for it [the government]  is a minister of God to you for
for it [the government]  is a minister of God to you for
good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does 
not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of 
God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who 
practices evil." 

The government is ordained by God with the right to 
promote good and restrain evil. This includes 
wickedness that exists within the nation, as well as 
any wicked persons or countries that threaten foreign 
nations. 

Obviously, there are times when a country should 
not go to war; but there are also times when, if a 
nation does not do so, they suffer the consequences. 

Therefore, a government has biblical grounds to go 
to war in the nationís defense or to liberate others in 
the world who are enslaved

You may think, "Well, how do we reconcile that with 
what Jesus said about loving our enemies and turning 
the other cheek?

In that passage, Jesus was speaking to us as individuals. 
If someone treats us badly, we should love him anyway. 
We can pray for our enemies, and do good to those 
who hate us. 
The way someone treats an individual is one thing; 
the way he treats an entire nation is a completely 
different issue. 

The Bible teaches that it is the responsibility of the 
governmentís leaders to protect the nation against 
those who would destroy it.

The Bible also instructs citizens in the proper way to 
respond when their country goes to war. 

For example, it is a violation of the Word of God to 
refuse to defend your country if ordered. Recall : 
"every person is to be in subjection to the governing 
authorities. For there is no authority except from God.
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the 
ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will 
receive condemnation upon themselves." 

According to this verse, weíre to be submissive to the 
laws of the land. The only reason we have for 
disobeying the government is if it requires us to 
behave in a way that clearly violates some specific
verse or command of  God

Someone might say, 
"But I canít go to war because shooting the enemy 
would be murder, and the Bible says Ďyou shall not 
murderí". 

Actually, when a man in combat shoots his enemy under 
the command of the government, without personal hatred, 
he is not committing murder. Instead, he is simply being 
obedient to the purpose for which he is fighting. 
To commit murder, a person must have vengeance and 
hatred against another. 
Many men have died on the battlefield without animosity 
toward anyone--they were fighting for a cause, defending 
or freeing their land. 
Therefore, if called, it is a citizenís national and biblical 
responsibility to defend his country.
Someone might say, 
"But I canít go to war because shooting the enemy 
would be murder, and the Bible says Ďyou shall not 
murderí". 

Actually, when a man in combat shoots his enemy under 
the command of the government, without personal hatred, 
he is not committing murder. Instead, he is simply being 
obedient to the purpose for which he is fighting. 
To commit murder, a person must have vengeance and 
hatred against another. 
Many men have died on the battlefield without animosity 
toward anyone--they were fighting for a cause, defending 
or freeing their land. 
Therefore, if called, it is a citizenís national and biblical 
responsibility to defend his country.


Even if we do not actually participate in the fighting, 
we are also called to create unity and harmony within 
the country. We need to support whatever decisions 
our nation makes, as long as they do not directly violate 
the Word of God. 

How can we justify the protests and marches against war? 
I understand that, in America, for example, we have a right 
to express our different opinions. However, there comes a 
time when our personal opinion is not a priority. The only 
reason we have the freedom to protest in this country is 
because thousands were willing to die for that liberty in the 
past. 

Instead of resisting, we should offer to serve the war effort in 
any way possible during this time, especially by encouraging 
and helping the families of our soldiers.
And the most important and powerful thing we can do for our 
nation is pray. 
Pray for the President, leaders, military, and even our enemies. 
God honors the prayers of His children and expects us to 
support those in authority


Despite the many different opinions and philosophies about war, 
the most important consideration is Godís viewpoint. Throughout 
Scripture there is evidence that God favors war for divine reasons 
and sometimes uses it to accomplish His will. He has also given 
governments and their citizens very specific responsibilities in 
regards to this matter. 

This is a frightening time for all of the worldís citizens, but it is also a 
time for Godís people to rise up as a unified body against the global 
threat of evil and terror. 

I challenge you, as a child of God, to respond to this conflict as He 
desires: with an attitude of prayer, submission, and an unwavering 
dependence upon your heavenly Father

Author: Dr. Charles Stanley