Veterans Day, 2 Sam 23:8-39

Each year on Nov 11 we observe Veterans Day.  Nov 11, 1918 is the date of the armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany in WWI.  The cessation of hostilities went into effect at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, in the 11th month, in 1918, and this is generally regarded as the end of the war, even though the Treaty of Versailles was not signed until June 28, 1919.

As stated on the VA website, “November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good”.

So, as we observe Veterans Day today, we once again honor our American Veterans and thank you for your service and sacrifice.

We recognize the importance of expressing our thanks in part because we find a similar recognition in the Bible for those men who distinguished themselves in battle.  We should therefore:

Honor the distinguished veterans among them.  In 2 Sam 23:8-22, David’s mighty men were honored for the bravery they displayed and the heroic acts they accomplished.  We should honor those Veterans who, likewise, have distinguished themselves in their particular acts of bravery.

Honor those veterans you know by name.  In 2 Sam 23:24-39, more of David’s mighty men are listed by name but they are not distinguished for any particular act of bravery.  We should honor those Veterans that we know by name, like our friends and neighbors.  

Honor those veterans you don’t know by name.  In 1 Sam 30:9-10, 21-25, 200 of David’s men stayed by the stuff while 400 went to recover all from the Amalekites who had destroyed Ziklag.  We don’t know their names.  Yet, they all parted alike when the battle was over.  

In the airport in Pensacola recently, the new cadets arrived in the terminal and all the passengers rose and gave them a standing ovation to honor and encourage them.  We didn’t know the name of one man or woman among them.

Honor the one who ultimately gives the victory.  If you talk to Veterans who saw action in war, many will tell you about God’s victory in the war.  Sergeant Alvin York’s testimony in WWI of leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, gathering 35 machine guns, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers, and capturing 132 prisoners.  He said all glory goes to God.  

Medic Desmond Doss’s testimony of redemption at Hacksaw Ridge is that he saved the lives of 75 men trapped at the top of an escarpment.  He said all glory goes to God.

My neighbor, Fred Pester, a naval fighter pilot in the Korean War who crashed in the sea before he could return to his aircraft carrier.  He said all glory goes to God for saving his life.

In 2 Sam 22:1-7, David thanked and praised the Lord for the victories over his enemies.  In Ex 15, Moses thanked and praised the Lord for the victory over Pharaoh.

The greatest battle that has ever been fought was during the war between Jesus Christ and the devil.  Jesus fought that battle to the death and won the greatest victory known to man, Col 2:15.

Because of Jesus’s great victory at Calvary, we can now have eternal life over death and victory over sin.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”, Jn 8:36.

Conclusion: we talk about the freedoms that we have today because of the willingness of our soldiers to fight for our liberty.  Thank them and thank God for them.  But don’t ever forget, the greatest liberty is our liberty from sin and death.  That victory is yours when you trust Jesus Christ to save you.