Summary: There is a time for everything under the sun, even war. When is the right time for war? What does God think about war? How should we fight a war? And how should a Christian respond?
Since September 11, 2001, America has been at war. We didn’t choose to be in this war, but we were violently awakened to the reality that we are under attack, and there are those in our world today who would destroy us if they have the opportunity.
Today, we are facing a war with Iraq, and many people in our very own nation and people around the world are calling us to do nothing. To sit and allow Saddam Hussein to continue developing weapons of mass destruction and continue the sort of violence he has wrought since he murdered his way into power in 1979. In the book "The War over Iraq", the authors write: “(Saddam) has imprisoned, tortured, gassed, shot and bombed thousands upon thousands of his own subjects. He has launched wars of aggression against his neighbors and still seeks to dominate the Middle East. He has expended vast resources on the development of weapons of mass destruction. He is at once a tyrant, an aggressor and, in his own avowed objectives, a threat to civilization.” They write about the murder of children, the raping of women in front of their husbands and children, torture, dismemberment and inhuman prison conditions. They profile the crazy dictator in ways that any sane person would say qualifies him as a blot on the human race.
Many Christians today are saying that there are no circumstances under which we should go to war. This is in direct contradiction to the Bible. Remember in Eccles. 3:8, in the chapter that says there is a time for every purpose under heaven, God’s Word says, there is:
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
As a church, we need to understand when that time is and what God says about this issue. In our Worship Center today, there are many opinions about this subject. We live in a time of moral relativism, where we say, “I think what I think and you think what you think.” But today, I don’t want to tell you 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. His opinion is the only one that really matters.
What Does God Think About War?
First, we need to understand that
1. 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 Psalm 68:30
Punish that animal that lives in the swamp!
Punish that nation whose leaders and people are like wild bulls.
Make them come crawling with gifts of silver.
Scatter those nations that enjoy making war.
This says that there are some nations that enjoy war. There are some evil dictators that are looking for a good fight. And God says He will punish those nations. We need to understand that war is not a good thing. War is simply the result of our fallen, sinful nature. And at the very root of way is sin.
Norman Schwarzkopf, the general of the Desert Storm allied forces, was interviewed by Ted Koppel. The general was describing his own understanding and philosophy of warfare. He said, "I would never want to serve under a general who enjoyed war." He spoke about his heroes from World War II: Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall. He mentioned a couple of others who he said hated war. It made them safe to be generals in a war. In the same way, God doesn’t love war.