Summary: A sermon that discusses the phenomenon of war and takes a look at some scriptures that will balance our view and points us to Christ’s peace. Some use of other sermon central material.
ECC 3:1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
ECC 3:2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
ECC 3:3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
ECC 3:4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
ECC 3:5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
ECC 3:6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
ECC 3:7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
ECC 3:8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace
. MT 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
This morning I would like to ask the question what is it that God wants us to know about war and what would he have us do about war?
I would like to begin with words from Mr Hudson Taylor who knew the taste of Jesus and the experience of war.
Here is what he wrote in his diary October 2nd 1854.
As to my position it certainly is one of great peril. On two succesive nights, recently, bullets have struck the roof over my head. How little difference in the direction of the gun might have rendered them fatal to me. But ’As the mountains are round Jerusalem’ so the Lord is on every side to protect and support me and to supply all my need, temporal as well as spiritual. I can truly say my trust is in Him,. When I hear guns fired near me and the whizz of the bullets as they pass the house, I do feel alarmed sometimes; but a sweet still voice says inwardly, ’O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Awakened suddenly in the darkness by the thundering report of guns from the North gate which shake the house, and hearing gongs, sounding and firearms discharging close at hand I have felt lonely, and my heart has palpitated painfully at times, not knowing whether my own house might not be the object of attack. But ’Lo I am with you always.’ Has quieted the troubled waters and restored peace to my soul.
One night I woke to my room full of smoke was not a little alarmed.
But it was only stubble butning in a field - Thoroughly ashamed of my fears I returned to rest with a very sweet sense of the presence of my Protector, the ’Watchman of Israel’."
If we look in our bible we don’t need to go too far before we find some evidence of violence - Genesis chapter 4 to be precise.
But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let’s go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Gen 4:8
The dictionary defines war as a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism; a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end.
The Biblical term employed to describe such conflict are similar. Strife, conflict, battle, fight.
When we use the word war, we usually use it in reference to a conflict on a larger scale between nations or tribes or between people groups. James explains clearly the source and just why there is war on this earth and why there will always be war.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. Jam 4:1-2