War Drums: What Does the Bible Have to Say About War

The Drums of war are increasing in the world this week. Not too far north of the hot war zones, with tens of thousands of Russian troops stationed along Ukraine’s western border, the Kremlin is flirting with the notion of sending a humanitarian mission to intervene. This has sparked fears in the West that Russia is planning to use the humanitarian condition in Ukraine as a pretext for a military invasion of portions of that country. We have also heard the three day cease fire between Israel and Gaza ended in a blaze of rockets and airstrikes.

From the Obama camp, we heard of his decision to launch military action in Iraq. That raises the question about all those public statements made over the past two years in which Obama, and other official mouthpieces, bragged about ending the war in Iraq. His announcement to begin air strikes on ISIS targets, he claimed, was part of a “humanitarian” outreach. Wow, that seems a masterful Orwellian piece of double speak; firing missiles and dropping bombs is “humanitarian” outreach. I wonder just how much of the world would love to have this form of “humanitarian outreach” delivered from the friendly skies.

We must not forget the war on terror; now well into its 13th year of existence (the longest war in the history of the U.S.) and it now bears the Orwellian name “Overseas Contingency Operation” as if there no fighting or blood shed involved. The cost of soldiers is more than 66,000 casualties, but 200,000 live with post-traumatic stress disorder, not to mention the multiple millions of civilians killed and the more than 5 trillion dollar price tag. It seems a very appropriate time to think about what the Word of God says about the subject of War.

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Please read Exodus 17:8:

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“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.”

It’s important to know that Amalek as a people were related by blood with Israel. You’ll recall that Abraham’s son Isaac had two sons: Esau, the first born and Jacob, the son of promise. Amalek was a descendent of Esau. Genesis 36:12 states, “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.” So the military attack was from distant relatives.

In Deuteronomy 25:17-18, years later it was recorded,

“Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.”

So there were Israelites who were struggling, feeble; these trailed behind the main body that was on the move. Amalek took advantage of the stragglers and attacked the weakest who were separated from the stronger one’s who could have more successfully handled the attack. Note that God sees the evil of this attack on the weak and feeble.

It’s always a violation of God’s Law for an army to purposefully target civilians as Amalek did. When nations followed the Biblical principles of warfare, civilians were never the target and all actions are taken to seek to protect the civilians from each side from the devastation of war. That biblical teaching was followed and developed as part of Western Civilization. It is one part of what it means to be a civilized people. Only barbarians would target civilians.

You might be surprised to learn that it was here in our own land that the more that 1000 year old Christian warfare protection of civilians was destroyed. It wasn’t until the War Between the States, and it wasn’t the Southern Generals who followed these Biblical principles; it was the godless Sheridan and Sherman with the approval of Lincoln that began their campaign of destruction and pillage of the Southern civilian population.

After that terrible war was over, those Generals took their total war theory and lectured about it throughout Europe. The fruit of that, we saw in World War I and World War II, and we see it today in the War on Terror where multiple millions of innocent civilians have been killed; and not only as collateral damage, but as actual targets of war. This is ungodly, a policy for which our country bears not merely disapproval, but also the judgment of God. We must fight the good fight, we must keep the faith.

Learn more about your Constitution with Pastor David Whitney and the “Institute on the Constitution” and receive your free gift.

Video of the Sermon:

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