How should Christians treat war?
1 Samuel 17:45-47
The subject of war can be found throughout the Bible. Because life is full of war, the Bible is full of war stories. The Bible covers not only the God who saves mankind, but also the most important events in human history.
I will ask you first. Do you think God is a war god or a god related to war? If you think of God as being for war, you must fight the words of Jesus.
On the other hand, if you think that God is against war, you have to fight many Old Testament Bibles, which describe events in which God wants to save his people through war. Even if you think that the God of Old Testament and Jesus of New Testament have different views about war, you cannot divorce the God of Old Testament and Jesus of New Testament. Old Testament and New Testament have the same view on war.
In general, we can say that God is against war because war is the result of human sin. God opposes sin and all its consequences. The problem is that we cannot eliminate war or sin. We must live in two inevitable worlds.
Therefore, God opposes war, but God approves some wars. The war approved by God is a righteous war to suppress the aggression that comes from the sins of the wicked. God has used war for this very purpose through history, and there is no reason to believe that God has abandoned his actions today.
Does God always intervene in the war? I think it depends on the situation. Depending on the reason, method, and intended outcome, how God thinks about war is different.
The Bible does not have only one position regarding war. There are many opinions about war. God sometimes opposes war. But sometimes God blesses the efforts of the soldiers who bleed on the battlefield.
Sometimes God frustrates human war effort. Sometimes God is far from war. But sometimes God is directly involved in the war.
Today, I will look into the word of God about the war that has been going on. When David stood before the Philistine giant Goliath, he had no king's sword, no royal armor, no shield. He took his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag, which he had even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; And he approached the Philistine.
But he had another hand. David knew that God was on his side. David, that David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took a stone and slung [it], and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so he fell on his face to the ground.
David won the Philistine with one stone. He killed Goliath without sword. And then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of his sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
The story of David and Goliath is a prelude to war. It represents what little Israel will do to the great Philistine army.
In 1 Samuel 17: 52-53, "And the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Akron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Akron. And the sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps. "
The most important thing here is this. What is the reason for this bloody war?
It is that the whole gathering here will know that the Lord does not save by using a sword or a spear. I think it is up to the Lord to win in the war and lose.
"And I will give the dead bodies of the armies of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, and he said, "There is a God of Israel in the land of Israel." (2 Samuel 17:46)
Why does God use war to accomplish His will? "This is a very famous question about war. It is because our world is dominated by the use of active force. If God wanted it, he could go directly into Goliath's heart and change the pattern of the war. But he did not do it because he gave us free choice. We are created in the image of God. There is something divine in us. We have reason, emotion, and will.
But until now, people have not been able to figure out what is inside human beings.
We are therefore not just God's laptop computer. One side of mankind chooses destruction. Others prefer peace. God knows how to be righteous for both.
So a foolish belief as a Christian is to say that God will never tolerate war. God surely has providence through war, and he is still carrying out war for his justice all over the world.
That does not mean that God solves serious human conflicts with war alone.
David is so charming as a believer that he realizes his immaturity in war. David had a plan to build a temple, but he asked his son Solomon to build it.
And David speaks to Solomon, just as Moses did not enter the Promised Land because he was disciplined by God.
I Chronicles 22: 7-9. "My son, I had intended to build a house to the LORD my God. "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood, and you have waged great wars; . 'Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I shall give peace and quiet to Israel In his days. "
Interestingly, he is not a prophet who preached this word to David. It is the word David directly received from the Lord. David was able to convince God's heart.
David was also a victim of the war. He experienced too much blood. Many of Israel's cities are the result of the war in Israel. But God wanted to make the holy temple a symbol of peace. War hero David was not worthy of building the temple. God pointed Solomon to a new age of peace.
The war destroyed all the parties. God pointed out Solomon and thought that from the days of Solomon he would end the war forever.
The Micah prophet said of the coming Messiah:
"And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never will they train for war." (Mic 4: 3)
I accept this as being a new people of God, the Church, as a people of peace.
Now let's take a second look at the New Testament Bible and what Jesus said about war. With the coming of Jesus and the departure of the Church, the people of God were out of war. There has never been and never will be a history of church fighting with weapons to fight the war. What should we keep? Or, what should we conquer? Nothing.
God's people are no longer a political kingdom. We are a spiritual kingdom. We have no ground, but we inherit the earth in the future. We baptize all the nations and disciple them without guarding the borders. We play more than conquerors without conquering the kingdom.
Of course there is a war we are going to take. The apostle Paul said:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the powers of this world, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly." (Ephesians 6:12)
The weapon of war we are fighting is spiritual. We are not a flesh race or nation. In the eyes of God we are Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and free men and women. We swear allegiance to only one king, but our kings rule all kings on earth. This is a great change in the message of Jesus, which caused him to be misunderstood and crucified.
Does that mean that Christians are not angry, aggressive, or seek justice?
The second chapter of John's Gospel shows a striking contrast to the actions of Jesus. At the wedding of Galilee Ghana, Jesus changes the water into wine to house the wedding owner.
And a few days later Jesus uses a whip in the temple to cleanse the temple. He overturns the table where the merchants are paying the money, and drives the animals out of the trade. The temple is a place to pray, not a place to make money.
The story of Jesus clearing the temple with a whip recalls the story of a snake on the way to a famous temple in India. Many people walk the path of worship, and some of them are often bitten by a serpent.
On the way to the temple, Swami tried to bite him once on the way to the temple, but before the serpent bites, Swami pushes the head of the serpent, and Swami commands the serpent to bite no more, and the serpent approves of it. A few months later, Swami passed the road again and saw that the serpent who was there was breathing in the grass next to the road. The snakes were badly wounded all over and the condition was terrible.
"My friend, what the hell happened to you?"
"Because you put magic on me, I could not keep myself from many attacks."
"You are such a foolish snake."
"I told you not to bite anyone, and I never told you not to defend yourself from your enemies!"
Today we read the Gospels. And I find Jesus who is angry. Every time we read it, our soul has a refreshing mind.
Jesus is not always just meek and gentle. Jesus tells his disciples that those who live with the sword will die with the sword.
Man can not overcome injustice by using aggression no matter how good the reason is. War is another evil.
Nevertheless, I fear that you may misunderstand the actions of Jesus in the temple whipping.
If you misunderstand this, Jesus looks like an advocate of war. Violence results in violence. But sometimes violence is the only way to prevent wrongdoing. In times of desperation, aggressive action is needed. Sometimes the whip is more effective than the carrot in some situations. That is diplomacy. If you fail to speak in your relationship with the enemy, you must enforce the whip of justice.
Was Korean War a legitimate war? I think so. St. Augustine has talked about the war that has influenced centuries. Please listen to his instructions.
First, we must declare war with due authority. In other words, war should not start with personal grudges or accidents. Sovereign state head must make a decision.
Second, we must carry out war with the right goals. It is not to seize the land or property through war, but to protect or restore peace.
Third, war should be done only as a last resort. Always try different alternatives before the war.
Fourth, war must be carried out on a proportional basis. The benefits that can be achieved through war must outweigh the suffering and death that arises from war.
Fifth, war must have a chance of worthy success.
Sixth, war must be carried out in accordance with all possible international agreements. In other words, they must follow the rules of the Hague and Geneva Conventions. We should protect civilians and prisoners of war as much as possible.
This is the most important guideline. The role of the church is to provide a moral context for the decision to make war or not, but the church must never declare war or advocate war.
God has taken his role from his people and has left it on the shoulders of the government.
Also, the church should not blindly go about all wars.
We have not received such authority from God.
We will deliver the whip to the evil people by our government's regular army to do it.
Whether our crisis is spiritual or national, we need to protect our alliance with our churches and nations with the whip of war if necessary. May God give wisdom and courage to the actions of our nation. Amen.