Is It Wrong to Go to War?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:… a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,8 KJV).

War is devastating. It causes great loss of life, injury, and heartache. Considering this, does God’s Word encourage war? Clearly, it does (today’s Scripture is only one example).

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). This is conditional—some wars cannot be avoided. Why? James 4:1,2 reads: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” War occurs because of sin. In this sinful world, war will occur, as it has for 6,000 years.

The Bible makes many references to God’s people and war. Moses gathered 12,000 Jews “armed for war” (Numbers 31:2). Through the prophet Samuel, the LORD encouraged King Saul to attack wicked King Amalek and his people (1 Samuel 15:3). Entering into the Promised Land (Canaan) under Joshua, some 40,000 Jews “prepared for war” (Joshua 4:13). The LORD helped King David win countless military battles (see 2 Samuel chapter 8, especially verse 6).

Jesus Christ was no pacifist when He claimed, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). In fact, God is called a “man of war” (Exodus 15:3; Isaiah 42:13). Moreover, Jesus will fight and overcome Satan, the antichrist, and his armies at His Second Coming (Revelation 16:14,16; Revelation 19:11-21).

Understand that war is not necessarily evil, for Proverbs 20:18 says, “Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.” There is nothing unbiblical about defending yourself and your possessions. Countries must defend themselves against terrorism. God does not expect us to sit quietly as we are robbed of our freedom and possessions. If it be possible… live peaceably with all men.”