Scripture Deuteronomy 20:1-20; Ecclesiastes 3:8
Ecclesiastes 3:1; 8 Amplified bible (AMP):
 TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven;  A time to love and a time to hate, A TIME FOR WAR and A TIME FOR PEACE .
Many Christians today are saying that there are no circumstances under which we should go to war–or using the current vernacular: “Boots on the ground”.
As a church, and we who trust in God, are the CHURCH, need to understand when that time is and what God says about this issue.
There are many opinions about this subject. We live in a time of moral relativism; where we hear in public or in private, “I think what I think and you think what you think.”
So I don’t want to write about my opinion of WAR–
I just want us together, to go to the Bible and find out what God has to say about this subject. Afterall, His opinion is the only one that really counts.
FIRST OF ALL, GOD DOESN’T LOVE WAR!! God is not hungry for war. That’s NOT the God of the Bible.
In some RELIGIONS, you have a god, little “g”, or gods that are WAR LOVERS, but you don’t find that in the Bible. Look at the lyrics (words) to the Psalm (song) in…
PSALM 68 (NLT):
 “Rebuke these enemy nations–these wild animals lurking in the weeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves, Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war.”
This says that there are some nations that enjoy WAR. God says He will punish these nations.
We need to clearly understand that WAR is NOT a good thing. WAR is simply the result of our own fallen, sinful nature. At the very ROOT of the way SIN is.
Even though God doesn’t love WAR, we also find in the Bible that God sometimes Commands WAR: 1 Samuel 15:1-9
 SAMUEL TOLD Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people Israel. Now listen and heed the words of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when [Israel] came out of Egypt.  Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling ox and sheep, camel and donkeys” (AMP).
So WAR is sometimes necessary. Why would God COMMAND His people to go to WAR?
Because, there will not be PEACE without WAR!
In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes:
“There use to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.”
Too many people feel it easier just to pay the bully than it is to LEARN how to defeat him.
In America’s current situation in the world, we can’t afford to pay the bully. We must defeat them!
Sure, it’s easier to just pay the bully’s, but standing for what is right is more important than a life of PEACE & COMFORT.
I also found in my investigation into God’s Word, that God STRENGTHENS HIS PEOPLE for War: Leviticus 26:7-8 (AMP)
 And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
In time of WAR, we don’t have to RELY on our own strength and determination, but we understand that God is on the side of the RIGHTEOUS.
When we STAND together as a nation, as people, for God–I know by the POWER of His Word, He will stand for us.
We see in the Bible that God approves of WAR also because…
He TRAINS His people for WAR. He is the One who prepared His people for the battle.
2 Samuel 22:35 (NLT):
(God) trains my hand for battle, my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Whenever God calls you to do something, whatever it is, you can be sure that He will give you all you need to accomplish it.
And when He sent His people to WAR, where was He? Does He just stay behind? Does He wait for the soldier to return?
God involves Himself in War. He goes with the ARMY!
Deuteronomy 1:30 (AMP):
“The Lord your God Who goes before you. He will fight for you just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes.”
GOD WILL WIN THE WAR!
Proverbs 21:31 (NIV):
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.”
God has NEVER come in second place. He is the clear winner of every Battle; God is always the Victor!
And He says, when we do our best and prepare for the worst from the enemy, we can TRUST GOD to bring the victory. He will WIN THE CONFLICT!!
There is a RIGHT and a WRONG time for WAR.
There’s also a RIGHT AND WRONG way to fight a WAR.
God gives very specific instructions which I discovered and listed in Deuteronomy 20.
1. DON’T BE AFRAID (Deut. 20:1-4):
(verse 4) – “For the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you.”
Remember, God is with us; there’s no need to FEAR!
2. ONLY THE BRAVE ARE TO FIGHT (Deut. 20:5-8):
(verse 8) – “What man is fearful and fainthearted? Let him return to his house, lest [because of him] his brethren’s [minds and] hearts faint as does his own.” (AMP)
God says that anyone who doesn’t have COURAGE will be a hindrance and a discouragement to other soldiers, so let them go home.
The God says,
3. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE (Deut. 20:10-11):
(verse 10) “When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.”
The people of a city that surrendered not to be harmed, would become subject to Israel. In WAR THEORY, this is known as the LAST RESORT.
You should go to WAR only as a “last resort.”
See if there is anything else you can do, diplomacy or economic pressure or anything else. And certainly, with America and their allies’ current circumstances, it seems we have tried every means available including “red lines” and it hasn’t made a difference.
4. DON’T DESTROY THE LAND IN A RAGE OF BATTLE (Deut. 20:19-20):
 When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by using an ax on them, for you can eat their fruit; you must not cut them down, for is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?
 Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siege works against the city that makes war with you until it falls.
I meditated on the words of these two verses for some time. “Axes”, “fruit trees”, “siege works”… I asked myself,
“What other country wins a war and goes back in and spends millions of dollars rebuilding that country and helping them back on their feet?”
That is the kind of country I live in, that sees every person as valuable with a potential to repent and live in a peaceful future.
And then fifth, and this is the one that most people have trouble with if they don’t surrender:
5. DON’T ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE LIVING (Deut. 20:16-17):
 But in the cities of these people which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes.  But you shall utterly exterminate them…as the Lord your God has commanded you,
Did you ever hear your mom, or someone else’s parent say, “I brought you into the world, and I can take you out of it.” That is true of God: He brought us in and He can take us out. He is the CREATOR of ALL LIFE.
LIFE is a GIFT…but SIN is serious business. We need to understand the seriousness of SIN.
The simple fact is, none of us deserve the LIFE we are living or the next breath we are breathing. But because of God’s GRACE…He gives us LIFE!
The NATIONS were so corrupted by paganism and immorality that they DESERVED God’s punishment, like Sodom and Gomorrah. But God was using His people, instead of FIRE from heaven.
Also, complete destruction was the order of the day. They were to be totally wiped out,
“Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God” (Deut. 20:18 – NIV bible).
And once again, TIME WOULD TELL that God knew just what He was talking about.
ISRAEL didn’t completely DESTROY the citizens of Canaan. And generation after generation were led into IDOLATRY and away from God by the people Israel allowed to survive.
This was true of the Nazis during the World War II era. When people think about the HOLOCAUST, they think only about the crimes against JEWS, but they were also looking to eliminate CHRISTIANITY.
I am seeing similarities facing us today if we allow EVIL to go unchallenged.
We’ll see our children and their children in chains and wondering why we didn’t stand up for righteousness and truth in the face of evil. That’s NOT God’s will for America.
God wants to continue to use us, as He has in years past, to SHARE the Gospel with our world. Those who would destroy us, hate us because they HATE OUR GOD–they reject Jesus and they want to wipe CHRISTIANITY off the face of this earth.
But today, God is CALLING US to stand up to this evil. So as Christians, how then should we respond to WAR?
First, and foremost, TRUST in God.
During these times, when FEAR of terrorism runs rampant, we need not panic, but instead…put our CONFIDENCE in God:
“The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest” (Exodus 14:14).
Secondly, and this concept may be hard to grasp, is to SUBMIT to the government.
The Bible tells us in Romans (13:1-5), that God puts the government in place to PROTECT the people.
As Christians, we are to SUBMIT to the AUTHORITY of the government.
Now that said, we need to understand that we are to obey the government unless…it is in clear violation of the Word of God. Our allegiance is first to God!
There may be times when we have to OBEY GOD rather than our government, but only if it is clear and direct violation of God’s word!
Third, the POWER released when we PRAY.
I find it difficult to pray for our government leaders. There, I said it! But we need to PRAY more than ever before.
PRAY for those in the military and their families. And yes, PRAY for our leaders as well. Our feelings shouldn’t determine the extent of our prayer lives:
Psalm 112:8 says, “His heart is established and steady, he will not be afraid while he waits to see his desire established upon his adversaries.”
And fourth, we should look forward to the day when WARS will end!
Micah 4:1-3 (NIV Bible):
 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.  Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.
There will come a day, when there will be NO MORE WAR, NO MORE BLOODSHED.
Not in this lifetime, but in eternity. That is our HOPE as Christians; a hope of expectancy…with an outstretched neck.
GOD says that the price we pay for our SIN is death. DEATH is separation from God. And when we SIN, what we are saying to God is, “No thanks, I can do it my way.” And that puts us at WAR with Him.
In Romans 3:23, God says that every one of us has sinned.
When God JUDGES our sin, it gives us the taste of life without Him–a world full of DEATH, SUFFERING and WAR.
But you can experience PEACE in your life today. That PEACE comes from a relationship with JESUS.
Put an end to THE WAR in your life by trusting in JESUS today!
Photo Credits: Google Images
Bible Translations used: Amplified(AMP), except where noted.
Study Notes: Online Bible Study Guide: Deuteronomy 20:1-20.