Some people imagine that they are justified in conscientiously objecting to war by professing that God is all loving, peaceful and absolutely opposed to war. That presumption, taken alone, is absolutely false. Ex 15:3 states, “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.”
They might be inclined to respond by agreeing that, indeed, the God of the Old Testament was a man of war, but that today things are different. When Jesus came, things changed, and now God is a God of peace. Again they make a false assumption. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword,” (Matt. 10:34).
When Jesus returns to this earth to set up his peaceful, earthly kingdom, he will return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Thes. 1:8). He will tread the winepress of the wrath of God until blood comes “even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs,” (Rev. 14:20). And when he sets up his kingdom, he will rule the nations “with a rod of iron,” (Rev. 19:15).
So, it is ludicrous to protest war and pray for world peace, thinking that they can actually stop wars. In so doing they protest even against the Lord himself. The world has been instructed by the Lord to turn a deaf ear to their wicked imagination. Look what Jeremiah said in Jer. 23:16-17. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”
Throughout history, God has accomplished many of his purposes by engaging nations in war against each other. Just look at some of the evidence from the Bible:
- In Ex. 14, God drew Pharaoh into a fight with the Jews and swamped him and his army in the Red Sea.
- In Jos. 3:9-10; 6:21; 8:24-25; 10:10; 11:10-12; etc., God instructed the Jews to obliterate all the inhabitants of Canaan, men, women, and children.
- In 2 Sam. 5, God gave David specific instructions on how to kill the Philistines in battle.
- In 1 Sam. 15, God gave Saul specific instructions to kill all of the Amalekites and all of their animals. Saul didn’t kill them all and so God took the kingdom from him. He tried to show mercy when God called for death.
- In 2 Chr. 35:20-24, the Egyptian king, Pharaoh-nechoh, was commanded by God to fight against Carchemish. The great king Josiah tried to take advantage of this military opportunity to beat Pharaoh-nechoh. But he failed because God had commanded Necho to fight.
- In 2 Chr. 20, when Judah found themselves incapable of fighting against the armies of Moab, Ammon and Seir, God took up the battle for them and utterly destroyed all their enemies.
- In Lev. 26, God promised the Jews that if they walked contrary to his commandments, which they did, He would send the sword against them. God did just that in allowing their enemies to fight them and nearly destroy them. Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Titus, Hitler, etc. are perfect examples of rulers whose armies God used to punish the Jews for their disobedience.
- In Zeph. 3:8, it is God who directs the United Nations to assemble in war against Israel so that He can destroy those nations at Armageddon.
War just happens to be something God has used and something God will continue to use to work His will in the earth. That certainly doesn’t mean that God is to be blamed for every war that’s ever been fought. But it certainly does mean that protesting war by crying for world peace is a dead-end proposition. In fact, the war protesters will finally get a world ruler to side with them and proclaim to the world that he can guarantee world peace (Dan. 11:21-24). The day that happens, more people will die from war than have died from all wars that have ever been fought in all of human history (Rev. 6:8; 9:15-16; 16:16; 14:20).
Beware the war protesters, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape,” (1 Thes. 5:3).
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder