YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm3BlNR3nis
Today is the 116th day of the war of Israel against Hamas in Gaza.
I had to do military training in the US army not too long before the end of the draft for the Vietnam War. In Israel, I was also called up for military training, but I believed that God had led me to refuse to carry a weapon. I asked the IDF if there was some way for me to obey and serve both God and Israel in the military, without a weapon. The New Testament tells us to submit to the authorities, unless they require us to disobey the Lord. The Bible makes clear that there will be wars until the end, and it is important for nations to have good militaries.
There are some believers who believe that it is a sin to serve in the military, because they say that God says in the Ten Commandments not to kill; but the commandment is not to murder. If killing is a sin, then there can be no policemen to protect civil order; and, more than that, it makes God Himself a sinner. Even though I believe it was the Father’s will for me not to carry a weapon, I am not a pacifist, because He isn’t. The Israeli military did not have a way (at least at that time) for me to serve without a weapon. I served some days in detention before they eventually discharged me after 5 ½ years. All of our four children have served in the IDF, three of them in wars, and our youngest in this current one.
YHVH, the Creator of the Universe, and the God of Israel, essentially declared war upon Lucifer, who became the adversary Satan, after rebelling against His Creator. The Devil may have been surprised by God’s reaction and its far-reaching and eternal consequences for himself and all who follow him, whether angels or humans; and so probably were Adam and Eve after their heeding the serpent’s/the devil’s voice over YHVH’s in the Garden of Eden. YHVH created the heavens, the Earth, the seas, and all that is in them with an eternal purpose, and He is the holy God of Armies/Hosts making war against all who would oppose Him from fulfilling His plan in His righteous and wise way. Jesus, whom we often want to think as always turning the other cheek when struck, is YHVH of Hosts. John writes in his gospel account that it was Christ/Messiah whom Isaiah saw when he saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, with seraphim angels calling to each other: Holy, holy, holy is YHVH of hosts/armies; and Isaiah says that he was undone, for he had seen the King, YHVH of Hosts.
Isaiah also writes that the wicked will not learn righteousness by grace, but only by YHVH’s righteous judgments. (Is 26:9-10) Discussions, dialogues, conversations, negotiations will not change the hearts of wicked people. God is not a pacifist, but He is a peace-maker. To make peace, the Son of God had to come in the flesh to die a horrible and excruciating death on the cross. This is the Father’s way to defeat the implacable foe: by death on the cross of His beloved Son, and by Yeshua’s/Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on the third day. The person who repents and believes the gospel is forgiven and has peace with his/her Creator and Redeemer. They are saved from God’s wrath on His enemies. The war, though, goes on — both in the heavenlies, and also on the land, seas, and air…until the decreed end. (Dan 9:24-27; Ps 110:1-2) The return of the Lord Jesus Christ will put an end to war after His enemies have been wholly defeated by Him. He will not be turning His other cheek for that.
We who are disciples of Yeshua/Jesus are called to be peacemakers. (Mt 5:9) Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is not praying for a worldly peace by the kings and rulers of the Earth, but it is asking God to give His peace to His city. There are both spiritual and carnal wars going on even today over the chosen city of YHVH God, and over His Son whom He has determined to be King on Mt Zion there. Kiss the Son today, lest He be angry, and you perish when His wrath is kindled! (Ps 2)
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, and He does not ask us to save “this” world in His name. As long as the devil is the prince of this world, there can be no “better” world for everyone everywhere. Yeshua Himself must come again to fully take back the Kingdom of God which was handed over to sinful people and nations since sin entered the world through Adam. The antichrist and false prophet will be the first thrown into the lake of fire, and Satan will be bound for 1000 years. Even during this coming Kingdom, there will be war within the hearts of sinful humans, as there will be a final rebellion against the righteous King and King of Peace when the Devil is released for one more brief time. This shows how sinful sin is, and how powerful to oppose the triune YHVH God, even after 1000 years of the best government this world has ever known!
As believers in Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua, we are called to wage war in the Spirit: we are to rule ourselves, and this is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit; we are to fight for truth against all the lies and deceptions of the enemy against truth; we are to overcome our own desires and self-righteousness by forgiving those who sin against us; we are to love even our enemies, even though we may need to not compromise, but kill them in war; we need to continue to do good when evil and lawlessness are increasing and strengthening. We cannot be pacifists in this war!
We need to put on the full armor of God, most of which is defensive. Our only offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, our weapon which is mighty in God for pulling down strongholds of the hearts and minds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah – first in our own selves, then when dealing with others. (Eph 6:10-18; 2Cor 10:4-5)
In the war of Israel against Hamas, it is Hamas who started this war when it willfully attacked a nation abiding by the previous ceasefire agreement. The Israeli government and military, although led by sinful men, must fight to defeat the enemy, who has shown that it is not capable of keeping any peace agreements, because it does not want to. What will actually happen at this time, I am not certain.
What I am certain about, though, is that YHVH of Armies will, by the time the Father has appointed, defeat all of Israel’s enemies, from within the nation, and from those without. Michael, the archangel who has responsibility for the Jewish people, is fighting in the heavenlies. Yeshua, the King of Israel and of the Jewish people, will come back on a white horse to war against the satanically energized people and nations against YHVH God’s chosen people and nation, and against those who keep the commandments of Yeshua/Jesus. Then, there will be peace on Earth, and in the heavenlies. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!