Summary: Is our nation withing God’s will as we prepare for war and what is the church’s responsibility?
Uncertainty of War and the Protection of God
As we enter this time of uncertainty and war seems eminent, I question our position as a nation in God’s divine plan. Just over a decade ago we prepared for war in the Middle East. I was in the military at that time and was sent away from my family to face an uncertain future. During this time of war, I had a feeling of confidence that I don’t feel today. I remember the last war very clearly. People were concerned and there was a national call to prayer. I saw churches praying and even the President of the United States addressed the nation and acknowledged the God of the Bible as our source of strength and as war loomed closer, people became repentant and submitted themselves to God.
America’s attitude during this war appears to be different. There is just as much uncertainty (if not more), yet there seems to be a complacency that was not present during the last conflict. The protesters are making noise just as before, but the church and the spiritual movement are missing. This should be a cause for concern. Though technology is valuable in our military, it is not our strength. Our might is based solely on our position in God’s will. I believe that the cause for our involvement in war is valid and it is something that must be done. We have seen in the past that when the world ignores the schemes of the wicked, a monster will arise that threatens the world. Evil has never and will never remain content inside of its boundaries. If left unchecked, it will always find its way into your territory. Unfortunately, most evil is left unchecked until it is climbing the walls of our own backyard.
We have already seen that this Middle East wickedness is expanding its boundaries. September 11, 2001 was a painfully clear signal and the actions of Sadam have made it clear that he is not content with his boundaries. Out of fear of war, people are willing to be blinded to the evidence; however, a greater fear will come if we ignore this wickedness. The question is not, ‘What should we do as a nation?’, but ‘Is our nation – and church – within the will of God’. In this two-part message, we will examine how the Bible addresses a nation’s spiritual responsibility and our individual response to the uncertainty of war.
The Nation that forgets God
When we examine the scriptures we see that God uses nations to judge nations. When the nations that inhabited the Promised Land became morally bankrupt, God drove them out by the hand of His people Israel. When Israel became corrupt, God judged His own people by raising up wicked nations against them. The nations that plagued Israel were not righteous, but God used them to test, attack and plague His people. Eventually God used Babylon to destroy Israel and remove them from their homeland because they refused to repent. Look at Amos 4:
6 " Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD.
7 "I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD.
9 "I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD.
10 "I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; Your young men I killed with a sword, Along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD.
11 "I overthrew some of you, As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD.
12 " Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"
13 For behold, He who forms mountains, And creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth -- The LORD God of hosts is His name.
When a nation whose God is the Lord begins to go in a direction that will destroy them, God makes it as difficult as possible for them to choose destruction. Some look at the actions of God and think that it is unjust for God to these things, but in reality it is truly unjust to allow a nation to become morally bankrupt without intervening. The purpose of God’s chastisement is to reveal the hopelessness of our own ways and to draw us back to Himself. When a nation or an individual is determined to rebel, all the chastising in the world will not deter them. Some people would rather choose misery than fellowship with God.