“There is a time to kill and a time to heal…” – Ecclesiastes 3:3
“For many fell mortally wounded, because the war was of God. And they (the people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh) lived in their land until they settled in their place until the exile” – 1 Chronicles 5:22 NASB
The war was of God? Many believers think, Surely not! God sent the war? No way! There are many verses in the Scripture in the same vein, including Exodus 15:3: “The Lord is a warrior.” Really? Yes, that is what the Word of God says. Additionally, there are numerous accounts of God performing miracles to achieve triumph in war, such as knocking down the walls of Jericho so that the Canaanites could be conquered (Joshua 6:20-21), raining down great hailstones so the Amorites could be destroyed (Joshua 10:13), and defeating the Amalekites as long as Moses held up his staff (Exodus 17).
Even David attributes his skill in war to the Lord God.
“A psalm of David. Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” – Psalm 144:1 NLT
The Military Motif in the New Testament
Some in the Christian community are presently countering with, “yes, but all these examples are from the Old Testament, and because we are under the New Covenant, these examples do not apply.” But this is not true!
If you are industrious, please read three of my past articles pertaining to peace, war, and pacifism. Go to www.daleebel.org: page 7, Understanding Matthew 5:17, dated October 26, 2018, Page 6 Clarifying Romans 10:4, dated March 18, 2019; and page 6, Pacifism: A profound false ideology, dated June 2, 2019.
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John shares his divine vision concerning the return of Christ:
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war” – Revelation 19:11
Jesus Christ makes war? YES, HE DOES! Does He make war in righteousness? YES, HE DOES! And this is the New Testament? YES, IT IS! The passage in Revelation is so sobering and awesome I have written it out below,
“11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself. 13 [He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” – Revelation 19:11-16
The right to wage war at certain points in history is just and necessary (Ecclesiastes 3:8). If war was considered sinful why did not the Apostle Paul or the New Testament writers prohibit it? Why would the writer of the book of Hebrews be so unguarded as in teaching the importance of faith to use an argument which clearly proves the lawfulness of war?
“And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” – Hebrews 11:32-34 NASB95
Sadly, it is true that even just wars are attended with evils, just as there are governments that do evil. However, is this a good reason to abolish either of them?
They are a means by which greater evils are averted! (Look to 1 Timothy 4:8-11).
• Suppose the colonies of America would not have separated from Great Britain in the Revolutionary War?
• What if there was no Civil War to stop slavery?
• Think if we did not declare war on Japan in 1941 after Pearl Harbor and subsequently, Germany and Italy declared war on the US? Think of the possible extension of Nazism.
I agree with Founding Father, John Jay, in his dialogue with Quaker John Murray, when he said,
“…it is to be lamented, that war, however just and necessary, sends many persons out of this world who are ill prepared for a better one.” – The Founders’ Bible page 617, quoting from Jay, The Correspondence and Public Pager of John Jay, Vol. IV, pp. 405-406, to John Murray Jr. on April 15,1818.
My own distant and recent family members fought in both WWII and Vietnam. The horrific consequences of artillery wounds, and lingering PTSD are a constant reminder of the travesty of war.
Other Relevant New Testament Passages:
Luke 14:31-33 Christ Himself uses the war motif to illustrate “counting the cost.”
2 Timothy 2:3 The Apostle Paul describes Timothy, the young pastor, as a soldier of Christ Jesus.
Matthew 8:10 Our Lord was astonished at the great faith of the centurion of Capernaum!
Romans 13:1-8 It is crucial to understand that God has placed governments in authority for the primary purpose of protecting its citizens.
Christians are forbidden to overthrow the institution of Government and live in anarchy, but we are not required to blindly submit to every human law and policy. God does not approve of every specific government. Just as the family and church is ordained of God, but He does not approve of each one if they are contrary to Scripture.
Probably the best treatment of Romans 13 I have found is from David Barton, in the Founders’ Bible, pages 1763-1771, Rebellion or Rightful Overthrow?
Turning to the Present War in Israel and Gaza
On Saturday, October 7th, 2023, Hamas, a terrorist group backed by Iran, launched a brutal attack on Israeli civilians. They killed and ruined the lives of thousands of innocent Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Driven by hate and the goal of “wiping Israel off the map,” they raped, murdered, beheaded babies and tortured Jews while killing Arab citizens and using Palestinian civilians as human shields. As of now, more than 1,300 people have died—including dozens of Americans.
Yet many in the media and academia continue to demonize Israel and justify the horrific actions of this evil terrorist group. “Social justice” activists, many from the halls of academia across the U.S. are celebrating the terrorists’ success, dancing in the streets, while Israel continues to fight for its existence.
A Brief Explanation of Psalm 83
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! 2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:” – Psalm 83:1-5 NKJV
This prophetic Psalm describes Israel’s enemies’ objective precisely. The voice of the people of Israel is heard in this End-Time prayer-song, calling to God for help in the distress from their enemies. It is a prediction, yet future, but as with many prophecies we see the beginning foundations being laid and starting to be fulfilled.
On March 22, 1945, the Arab League, an international organization of Arab nations, was founded. The original members included the following seven countries:
• North Yemen
• Saudi Arabia
These states considered themselves closely allied with the British administered “Palestine.” One of their ostensible goals was to support the Palestinian Arabs in preventing the establishment of a Jewish nation, whatever the cost. However, once the nation of Israel was found in 1948 in spite of the rabid resistance, the goal shifted to obliterating Israel and destroying its Jewish citizens.
The word “league” comes from the Latin verb ligare, which means “to bind” or “to unite.” In the Cambridge On-Line Dictionary/Thesaurus, league is defined as “union” or “conference.” Psalm 83:5 states that the enemies, who demand Israel’s total obliteration, form a confederacy, a league. For further discussion on Psalm 83 look to Are we Really living in the Last Days? By Roger Liebi. Linda and I had the privilege to listen to him lecture for over 6 hours over a three-day period of time. Unbelievably Informative and powerful!
“Deal with them as [with] Midian, As [with] Sisera, As [with] Jabin at the Brook Kishon,” – Psalm 83:9
The examples listed all come from the book of Judges: the story of Gideon, (Judges 7:1-8:28); and from the story of Deborah and Barak (Judges 4).
The concluding verses reveal that God will command Israel to go to war against the people who are set on one purpose—to wipe Jewish people off the face of the earth. Israel was to destroy the people who have such vindictive motives and barbaric intentions. There will be and is only one solution for such cruel people—they must be vanquished. They must be destroyed to protect future generations from contamination. This is where war does divert further atrocities perpetrated by evil people.
(For further study please read 1 Samuel 15:1-6; 28:19-20.
I have found that the footnotes from the ESV Study Bible, and the Henry Morris Study Bible are very instructive).
The reason for vanquishing the people who wish to “wipe them out as a nation,” is found in verses 17 and18.
“17 Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Let them die in disgrace. 18 Then they will learn that you alone are called the LORD, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.” – Psalm 83:17-18
“If Israel would just allow the Arabs to have a state of their own there would be peace in the Middle East!”
This is what we hear from UN Ambassadors, European diplomats, media pundits, and college professors. But what would you say if I told you the Arabs have been offered a State of their own, not once or twice but on five different occasions. THEY REJECTED THOSE OFFERS EVERY TIME!
In 1914 after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the British took control of most of the Middle East. 17 years later in 1936 Arabs revolted against the British and their Jewish neighbors. The Peel Commission was formed to study the cause of the rebellion and determined that two independent states was the solution. Their recommendation—80% of the land went to the Arabs. The Jews accepted the offer, but the Arabs rejected it and resumed their violent rebellion.
Ten years after The Peel Commissions, in1947, the British asked the UN for a solution to the tension. The UN recommended a two-State solution. The Jews accepted it, but the Arabs rejected it and an all-out war broke out with Jordon, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria all joining in the conflict to destroy Israel. The Arab coalition was defeated!
In 1967, Egypt, Jordon, and Syria attacked Israel in what is called the Six-Day War, with Israel having a stunning victory.
After the war there was indecision about how the land should be divided. In 1967 the Arab League met in Sudan and issued there three famous NO’S—NO peace with Israel, NO recognition of Israel, and NO negotiations with Israel. It was during this time that the Arabs started to refer to themselves as Palestinians.
In 2000 Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel, and Yasser Arafat the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization met at Camp David. Barak offered a Palestinian State, all of Gaza and 94% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its Capital. Arafat said NO! As Bill Clinton said, “14 days and Arafat said no to everything.”
In 2008 Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minster expanded the deal and the Arabs said NO!
In between the two last offers the Jews unilaterally gave Gaza to the Palestinians to build a state of their own. Essentially Gaza has become a Hamas training country for terrorism with the stated purpose to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth.
What would any sensible country do facing such obstinance, brutal attacks of unconscionable violence, barbaric actions against its citizens? At what point is a self-defense war justified and put into action? Like Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, “…a time for war and a time for peace.” For Israel it is a time for war and as followers of Christ we ought to at least attempt to understand the God of the Bible and His perspective on War.
Actions to take in view of this information.
- Go back over and do a little study on the verses I listed and the context of each. Discuss them with someone else.
- If this teaching resonates with you pass it on to your pastor, small group leader or others.
- Please continue to pray for Israel, but also please speak up and speak out about the topic of war. It is crucial that we have a whole view of Scripture.
In the Name of Yahweh God, our Strong Warrior!