Summary: A broad look at some of the Bible’s teachings on the issue of war and the response believer’s should have to war and all fearful situations according to Philippians 4.
War and Worry
In this series called “Prescription for Joy,” we have worked our way to the final chapter of the book of Philippians. We have been moving through the book from beginning to end from verse to verse, but I want to make a slight change this morning.
I want to stay in the book of Philippians but, if you don’t mind, I want to skip down to verses 4-7 of chapter 4. We will come back next week and cover the first few verses of chapter 4. They are very important, but with the situation in our world, I think it is more appropriate that we skip those verses for now and deal with verses 4-7.
It has been a tense week for all of us beginning with President Bush’s comments on Monday night when he gave the final ultimatum to Sadaam Hussein and continuing with the “opportunistic strikes” Wednesday night and the subsequent bombing that has continued.
Most affected have been the families of those who are serving in our military as they have no doubt been on a roller coaster emotional ride that may not be over for quite some time. For those reasons, I want to talk with you this morning about war and our response to what is taking place in the world.
I have not made any comments about war or the politics of the war, and I don’t intend to wade into the political aspects of our current situation. But I do want to make some general comments about war and what the Bible says about war. The Bible is not silent when it comes to the issue of war, and it is always important to get God’s opinion on issues like this one.
Let me begin the message today by giving you some general thoughts on war.
First, God does not delight in war and neither should we.
The last part of Psalm 68:30 says, “Scatter the nations who delight in war.” God takes no pleasure in war, and He opposes nations who do. That seems to indicate that war should be a last resort. It should never be the first response of a nation, and it should not be a cause of celebration or joy on the part of an attacking nation.
As I hear the tone of rhetoric around our nation, as I hear our president speak, as I watch news reports, I don’t sense that anyone is rejoicing in the fact that we are at war. Regardless of whether you think this is a justified war or not, none of us are happy to be at war, and that is God’s attitude as well. God takes no delight in war.
At the same time, God says there is a time for war.
As devastating and difficult as war is, God says in His Word that there are times to take up arms and go to war. Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, There is “a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:8
As much as none of us want it to happen there are times when war is a step that must be taken. David even writes, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1 There is a time for war and God even prepares people for war. Isaiah 13:4 says, “Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war.” Isaiah 13:4
Revelation 19 describes Christ as the Faithful and True and says “With justice he judges and makes war.” Revelation 19:11 God takes no delight in war, but He clearly says that there are times when war must be waged.
The Bible also teaches us that In this life there will always be war. We should work for peace. We should promote peace. We should work diplomatically for peace, but we will never be free from war in this life. Daniel 9:26 says that until Christ comes back “…war will continue to the end.” Daniel 9:26
We should not adopt a fatalistic view of war, but war will always be a part of this life. Jesus affirmed this when He said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…Nations will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” Matthew 24:6-7 This is a part of the fallen world that we live in. War will continue to be a part of the landscape of this earth.
Unfortunately, In this fallen world, the path to peace is sometimes war. Because we live in a world where evil is real and at times strong, in order to establish and preserve peace, sometimes we must wage war. You don’t need a history lesson this morning, but event he relative short history of our country is filled with numerous examples of war leading to peace.