From the Pages of History

Stories, Pictures, Quotes & Trivia (and more) that tell the story of the world.

Archive for the tag “Israel”

War is good for…


Soldier in war

Via Pixabay

I heard someone say the following the other day and wanted to do up a post in response to this common thought.

“War is good for absolutely nothing!”

[…minutes later…]

“Thank You, God, for the freedoms we have and the men and women in our military who protect them.”

…I guess war is good for something, then. Otherwise we’d all be Roman Catholic, saluting the swastika, worshipping the Emperor of the Rising Sun, or some such thing.

It was a Christian leader who said the above quote and it’s crazy because first of all he’s quoting an anti-Vietnam War song that goes hand-in-hand with draft dodging and secular hippies, and then going on to laud the work of American soldiers. It’s an irony that says a lot about the whole issue. You can’t sit in the USA, your freedoms protected by the sacrifices of countless soldiers fighting in wars, and justifiably argue against war. Seriously, you look like a jerk. If you yourself don’t want to fight, that’s understandable and perfectly fine, but don’t go off against war in general. It disrespects those who fought and achieved much good in the world. 

God understands we live in a fallen world full of fallen people because of the innate sinfulness of every human being. He is not against war, or even Christians participating in it. In Heaven everything WILL be perfect; on Earth it’s not. Strife and war have always been a part of our world since Cain killed Abel. While death was never God’s original plan, God gives His servants principles to live by and tells us what to do in the midst of the sin and war that surrounds us in our world.  Sometimes that includes going to war to prevent greater loss.

In the Old Testament, Israel lived in a hostile time and God guided them though many battles. They defended, retreated, attacked, defeated–all under His direction. Yahweh helped Israel win wars, carry out rescue missions, assassinate an overlord, crush hostile enemy nations, decimate heathen populations, and become a formidable force as they walked with Him. (When they didn’t, it was a different story.) Much good comes from war fought God’s way. 

In the New Testament, soldiers came to John the Baptist, who “prepared the way for the Lord (Jesus)” and preached repentance and baptism, asking what they should do. These were average working people asking what God wants, and Luke 3 shows God’s answer proclaimed through John: 

Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.””

If God was unhappy with these men being soldiers, He could certainly have said so. On the contrary, men are encouraged in the Bible to be the physical defenders and protectors of their land and families. Biblical principles are given for all workers to adhere to, whatever their profession. Micah 6:8 teaches, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Now certainly nations go war for wrong reasons, warring over religion, land, or expansion of control. But other times there are clear cut good and bad sides. And whenever an aggressor rises, a defender is needed–someone willing to do battle for the innocent, for freedom, for justice, for peace. War has accomplished much that’s good. 

  • Birthing new nations like America, and freeing many others from their oppressive rulers.
  • Stopping atrocities like the Holocaust perpetuated by evil minds who cannot be reasoned with.
  • Breaking holds of dictators or religious groups like the Holy Roman Empire so citizens have more freedom.

So to those who were or are in the military, thank you. Thank you for all you do to keep our country safe. You are in a profession that God is deeply concerned about. Go to Him for counsel and comfort. He’ll always be there for you, as you are for us.

Leadership: Lessons from King David


​King David was one of the greatest leaders of the ancient days. Even today, he is remembered and respected as such. Garry Wills’ text, Certain Trumpets, categorizes him as a “Charismatic Leader.” But how was David so successful? There are some important
lessons we can learn from David’s life and leadership if we consider several things that made him effective.

​To get to power, David needed outside help. Israel was a Theocracy in David’s time. The God of Israel was awed and revered. That was why David was accepted so readily. God chose him; therefore he was the right man. When their authority comes from outside, leaders do not have to do much to build themselves up. But David actively cultivated a relationship with the Lord. “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14). He was a “man after [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22). Relationships need to be built and developed. No one is an island. We all need help from time to time. Sometimes, superiors provide much needed help, as God did for David.

​Wills rightly declares in Certain Trumpets, “the leader most needs followers” (13). David did not lack those. He “was accepted in the sight of all the people” (1 Samuel 18:5). They were drawn to David. His bravery was astounding and his character winning. Leaders should understand and get to know their followers. King Saul, David’s predecessor, was not a leader who was well liked by the people. “And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and [David] became a captain over them” (1 Samuel 22:2). These men felt they could trust David more than they could their own current sovereign, Saul. Building rapport and relationships is the best way to ensure satisfaction and loyalty.

​For a leader, dealing with personal mistakes rightly is critical. Though David was one through whom God worked mightily, he was human as well. One notable example of his fallibility is the incident with Bathsheba. She was the wife of one of David’s generals, but that didn’t stop David from taking her to be his wife, killing her husband in the process. For a time, the incident went undiscovered but, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, David was convicted. He immediately and sincerely repented. Other times, David acted out of selfishness but, when God spoke to him or sent someone to speak to him, David realized his wrong, did not make excuses, and took the consequences. Leaders aren’t perfect; sometimes they’ll fail. But when they do, they must always be ready to own up, apologize and make amends. It shows that they are not ones to just shift blame, but will take responsibility.

​This is not a comprehensive list, to be sure, but these are some of the most important qualities in a leader. Cultivating relationships with authority, winning followers, and dealing honorably with failure—these are things which David exemplified and which today’s leaders would do well to learn.

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