War and its Place in God's Plan
The final verses of the Book of Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter." This man who has written this book
describing the emptiness and the pointlessness of his life, says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God (that is, respect God)
and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man." Whatever else you may think God is expecting of you today, the Word of God says
that God expects only one thing of you, and that is that you know Bible doctrine and that you respond positively to it. That's all that God wants
you to do. He says, "I want you to know My viewpoint, and I want you to be receptive to My viewpoint." Then all else in your life will flow from
it in a very normal fashion. You won't be figuring out ways that you can appease God and stay on His good side. You won't be figuring out all
kinds of rinky-dink religious exercises to go through, but you will know God; you will respect Him; you'll know His commandments; and, if you keep
them, you will have performed the whole duty of man.
The final verse of the Book of Ecclesiastes says, "For God shall bring every work into
judgment, and every secret thing whether it be good or bad, whether it be evil." So there is a day of reckoning and of judgment coming. Your
eternal welfare in the way of rewards is dependent upon your response to the Word of God. So here we remind you again as we approach this study
from the Word of God that you must be in a position of being a spiritual Christian, which means at this moment there is no known unconfessed
sin in your life, and that you are in perfect fellowship with God. All that has been a violation of His Word in your life and his will in your life
has not been made right with Him through your naming of that sin to Him.
Unless you are in this condition you might as well abandon this study now because you're wasting your time to sit here and study. The Word of God
only enters the human spirit of a
Christian who is on the ground of fellowship with the Heavenly father. You can't even understand the Word of God. The Bible will be a book of
confusion and hard to understand. You'll spend this study so bored and so agonized and so out of sorts and so waiting to get out of it that you
won't be able to stand it unless you are in fellowship with your heavenly Father. You'll set up little services of your own either externally with
visiting with your neighbors or with thoughts of your own that are someplace far afield.
So when we come to the Word of God, we come to the most important thing that God expects you to do: to learn what He thinks--not what men tell you
that He thinks; not what you've always thought He thinks; not what your religious background is; but, what you as Bereans search from the Word of
God and discover that these things indeed are so.
This is the Bible doctrine of warfare, part number three. Let's review what we have learned thus far. We have learned, to begin with, that the
antiwar attitudes in the United States today are the result of a defect in conscience which has resulted in disoriented thinking and, consequently,
in disoriented actions. Now in all fairness, we must recognize that there are two antiwar attitudes in the country today in general. Some people
are against the war in Vietnam because of the predetermined goal of the United States government not to win the war. These people have a point
which is well taken. The admitted goals of the United States government not to defeat the communists on the field of battle has given the
communist the complete encouragement that he needs to hang on in hopes of ultimate victory because he knows he can't lose.
The United States
government has already declared, "We will take no land away from you. We will not destroy your matériel at the point where it would really stop you
from fighting the war. We will not zero in upon your personnel at the point where we would destroy your ability to wage war. We will not react
against those who help you to wage war." There are some people in the United States, perhaps a large majority, who are against the war in Vietnam
because of the predetermined goal of no victory. However there are some other people who are against the war in Vietnam because it hinders the
further expansion of communism toward world domination. These are either traitors or dupes. There are vast numbers of people in this country today
who are sympathetic to socialism and sympathetic to the communist cause. Therefore, they oppose the stand of the United States anywhere in this
world against communist aggression.
We have also established the role of conscience in thinking. Part of the soul is the mentality. In Luke 12:19, we read about a man who is
discussing with his own soul his own future welfare materially. He is thinking through within his soul what he will do, and he is talking to
himself, to his soul, his self-awareness, as to how his soul may take its ease. The mind is structured in two facets. In Titus 1:15, Paul says, "Unto
the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure. But even their mind and conscience is defiled." The
mind and conscience are tied together. The mind has a part which we may call the understanding. It also has a part called the conscience.
has two parts to it. It has a part for understanding. This is the place where you perceive things. When you go to school, this is the part of your
mind that operates, that you learn things with. This is the beginning of learning Bible doctrine. It starts with this part of the mind where you
listen to the Word of God explained and you understand it. You perceive it on the basis of your being filled with the Holy Spirit. Now you may
accept it or you may reject it apart from any reaction to it. You understand it as the result of this part of your mind which is able to function
in spiritual things as the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
The conscience, over here, is a storage department for your values and your standards. This part of your mind, your mentality, decides what you'll
do and what you won't do according to what you think is right and what you think is wrong. Now the conscience side of the mind has direct influence
upon the understanding side. The conscience controls your understanding. Your thinking is under the control of your conscience. It influences what
your mind decides to do.
Proverbs 23:7 is a familiar verse that says, "For as he thinks in his heart (and here the word 'heart' means 'mind') so is he." Let's look at the word
"thinks." This word in the Hebrew means "to cleave, or to divide." As a man divides in his mind, as a man separates into various classes. Thus this
word comes to mean "thinking" because actions are the result of how people look at things, how they divide things in their minds, how they classify,
and this determines their attitudes which determines their outlook which determines their actions. As a man divides in his mind so he acts.
Now what causes a man to divide a thing? How does a man divide? How does a man look at things in his understanding? Well, it depends on his
conscience. Whatever values are in his conscience decides how he looks at things. Whatever standards he has in his conscience, that's what decides
how he looks at things. That's how he divides things.
Now the word "conscience" in the original language is a very significant word too. For if you divide this word, the first part of the word means
"with," and the second part of the word means "knowledge." So your conscience is actually a thing of joint knowledge. When we speak of the
conscience, we are speaking of a person's sense of morals that are the result of some information that he has received. Something is received up
here that determines what kind of a conscience you have. So the word conscience is joint knowledge. This part of your thinking picks up information
from someplace. The information that this part of your mind picks up determines your understanding, the way you look at things, and that determines
your outward actions. And nobody works any other way. There is not a living human being who does not work by this process. Your actions are the
result of your thinking, of your understanding; your understanding is the result of your conscience; and, your conscience is the result of
information that has been fed up to it that determines its values and its standards. The information can be good or the information can be bad.
In 1 Timothy 1:19, we read about good information: "Holding faith and a good conscience which some, having put away concerning faith, have made
shipwreck." So the conscience can be joined with information that makes it a good conscience, but it can also go the other way. In 1 Timothy
4:2, you read about a conscience that has received information that has caused it to go insensitive to rights and wrongs: "Speaking lies and
hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron." So today you sit here with a conscience that's full of values and full of standards.
Everybody has them. According to the information that has been fed up to your conscience, you'll have a good conscience or you'll have a bad
conscience. If you have a good conscience, it will guide you according to God's viewpoint so that your understanding will be God's point of view,
and your actions will be right. If you have a bad conscience, because of bad information fed up to it, your values and your standards will be
offbeat, and it will feed information to your understanding which will cause your actions to violate the will of God.
A Good Conscience
How do you form a good conscience? I know almost everybody studying this could tell me immediately. A good conscience is the result of information
in the form of Bible doctrine, or Bible teaching, divine truth, which is fed up to the conscience. That's exactly what happens. Here is your mind.
Here is the Triune God. Here is the Word of God. Here is a pastor teacher who gives you information. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you
understand it. Now it hits your volition. Your volition goes positive or it goes negative. You can say, "Yes, I believe the word of God. I accept
that." If you do believe the Word of God, then down here is your human spirit which God has given to each of you. You had a dead human spirit before
you were born again, but one of the things that happens when you're born again is that you now become spiritually alive which means you have a
human spirit. This is why it is absolutely impossible for a person who is not a Christian to understand the Bible. There is nothing more useless
than to tell an unsaved person to read the Bible. You will drive him more away from God by telling him to read the Bible because he has no human
spirit which is the only point at which God contacts you. God does not contact you in your mind. God contacts you here at your human spirit.
The Human Spirit
Now in your
human spirit are all of these compartments and shelves, and it's a full reservoir of divine truth. Here's the doctrine of the Trinity. Here's the
doctrine of redemption. Here's the doctrine of future things, the doctrine of the Lord's return, the doctrine of the confession of sin, the doctrine
of salvation, and so on. All of these are placed in your human spirit when you go positive. Now you've stored all this. As you act, again, under
the filling of the Holy Spirit, which means your line of communication is open, you don't even have to sit down and think. If you have learned
Bible doctrine, and you come up against a situation, a problem, or a temptation, God the Holy Spirit goes to work and He reaches down into your
human reservoir and He brings up the particular truth, the particular view that God has on it, and he zaps it here to your mind. And your mind
makes a decision. It hits it to the conscience; the conscience speaks to the understanding; you make a decision; and, your action is right.
This is how everybody works. You can see what the problem is. Supposing you have some sad sack potato Christian who has nothing down here in the
storage bin. There are Christians who have absolutely nothing. In this country there are millions of Christians who go to church every Sunday and
they come out just as empty down here as when they went in. They couldn't walk out the door and say, "Now, I thank you Almighty God because I have
learned this divine truth. I have learned this much about your point of view. I have received this Bible doctrine." Oh, they got a lot of Bible
teaching. They got a lot of knowledge of the Bible. And a lot of them sit there and they think, "Well, I don't know. That's that preacher's opinion.
Maybe yes. Maybe no." And they don't respond positively toward it so that it can go down here to the human spirit, because that is where God speaks
to you. At this point, God comes into your life. Up here in the soul, this is your consciousness with man. But it is here in the human spirit
that God deals with you.
So how a person divides or looks at things is the result of what is available from his human spirit, and thus a joint knowledge, so to speak, for
the conscience. The conscience is joined to this knowledge down here, and then it has something to act upon. Now the conscience can also be
attached to false knowledge, and then it will act upon that. The conscience always acts upon information that has been fed into it. It's like a
computer. The conscience will tell you that certain things that are just absolutely wrong in the sight of God, but your conscience will tell you it's
right if you have fed wrong information into it. And if you are a blue hang-nosed dog legalist, you will walk around frowning at people for what they
do and for exercising their liberties in the Lord, and because of information to your conscience, you will be pointing your finger at people and
saying, "You're wrong. That's bad what you do. You shouldn't do that." Most of that is none of your business anyhow in the privacy of the individual
Christian's exercise of his priesthood. But you can have a conscience that's way off base so that you're even attacking other Christians. Joint
knowledge. So it's important what you put into it, as to what you're going to get out of it.
Now the lack of God's viewpoint down here in the human spirit leaves a person only with the thinking resources of an animal. That kind of a person
acts on instinct, just like an animal does. He acts on impressions, just like an animal does. I have a cat at home, and if I act real cozy and
sweet, she rolls over and purrs. She just acts on an impression. But if I growl at her and start attacking her, her eyes widen and she looks at me
and her back arches and her paws go back and she gets on guard. She's acting with impressions that are conveyed. She has no way of an analyzing
what is true and what is not true.
A person acts on a human viewpoint which is a result of rationalism and of empiricism, his senses and his reasoning, neither of which will give
you God's point of view. You just have animal responses. If you have a dead human spirit, you have nothing to feed up into the conscience.
Now, here is a Christian. He has a human spirit, but all of this is empty. He's never taught. He goes to church and a pastor-teacher never explains
the Word of God in such a way that the Word of God applies to him for correction. He's miserable. That's what the Word says. It's profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. If you can sit in church Sunday after Sunday and never feel
uncomfortable here at Berean Memorial Church, then somebody is not doing a good job, because I know most of you and you aren't all that good.
We're just not that good. If the Word of God is really being explained, people will be exposed to themselves, and they will only have two courses.
They will either be inclined to respond positively or they will flee negatively and go someplace else where they will not be uncomfortable. But a
Christian who is ignorant, who has never been taught, he has no way of feeding information up to establish values and standards in his conscience.
That's why a lot of people are off-base today. A lot of Christian people are off-base today. Just get over this idea of arguing that because some
other Christian does something, and he's a good sincere honest Christian person, that it must be alright, and you can't cast doubts upon the
position that opposes what those Christians do. What those Christians may be doing is operating from an empty human spirit. And the fact that
they're Christians doesn't carry any weight whatsoever, that they're acting upon divine influence whatsoever. They can act just as much on the
animal level as the person who is not born again.
Now you have a mature Christian. The mature Christian does have a human spirit which is filled with the Word and understanding. He has a contact
with God, but if he breaks his relationship with God the Holy Spirit, he interjects a short-circuit. As of that point, when sin has entered the
life and until the point where it is confessed to God and he returns to fellowship, he is cut off from all the information down in the human spirit.
I hear Christians using an expression like this: "I have perfect peace about this thing that I'm going to do." I don't know how many times I've
had people say to me, "I have perfect peace." And I say, "You have perfect peace? I want to show you what the Word of God says about this.
God has already condemned what you're planning to do." Then they say, "Well, I don't know. I have perfect peace in my heart."
Somebody the other day who is violating a couple of principles of the Word of God said, "I have perfect peace about this matter." Well, I know
what that person is saying. A person is revealing that either there has come an interruption in the line of communication because sin has
short-circuited what they know, or else they don't understand God's point of view. They are ignorant of what God thinks. As long as you are
ignorant, you can have perfect peace.
Some of you read about the company in Germany who manufactured the drug thalidomide which pregnant mothers took and thousands of children were
born without arms, without legs, without ears, or with other parts of their bodies missing. They had horrible deformities. The company has been
set free and they have agreed to provide certain sums of money for the educations and rehabilitation of these children. All of those mothers who
took the drug thalidomide (it was some kind of a tranquilizer, I think), they had perfect peace about taking it. Every time they swallowed it,
they said, "Oh this makes me feel so good. It just makes me so happy that I'm having this baby." And they had a perfect piece about taking it.
Well, why did they have peace about it? It destroyed their children. Because they didn't understand what it was they were dealing with.
So I get a
little tired of Christians who come around, and they want to cover up the fact that they are doing something wrong, and say, "I have perfect
peace about this." When they do say that to me, I clam up. I give a little word of warning and then I clam up because what they're doing is saying,
"I want you to not bug me anymore about what God thinks. I have peace about it. So you can't tell me anything." And I don't try to tell that
person anything. Once he says he's got peace about it, and he's been warned that the Word of God indicates he should not have peace, because God
will not give you peace against that which violates His Word, I know he's got a short-circuit in the line, or he has a human spirit which is
uninformed on that particular truth. So an immature Christian can be out of fellowship. However, when you are in fellowship, the Holy Spirit
automatically cycles up the information, and you know exactly what to do.
So the conscience is unable to guide the thinking unless it has been joined with the right kind of information. But once your conscience is
joined with divine viewpoint, which you get as the result of the knowledge of Bible doctrine, which you get as the result of sitting in church
and having a pastor teacher explain it to you, you come to a fullness of soul that is something fantastic. You discover that your thinking, your
emotions, and your will are all exactly right. You don't go making mistakes in marriage. You don't go making mistakes in the rearing of your
children. You don't go making mistakes in business. You don't go making mistakes in your spiritual life. You just plain operate and function
on God's point of view. When we do make mistakes, it's because we have short-circuited or we have permitted ourselves to be ignorant on an area
of truth that we desperately need. The conscience joined to right knowledge of Bible doctrine keeps the understanding side of the brain straight
and thus our actions right.
The second thing we've established is that God has ordained that humanity is to live on earth as sovereign national entities under a common law
and culture (Deuteronomy 32:8, Job 12:23). Now we have found that Satan opposes independent nations, and he promotes international controls
(Isaiah 14:12, Genesis 11:1-9). International controls are promoted by Satan because they lead to suppression of the Word of God within a nation.
When Satan is able to control with international controls as he does in communist countries, the Word of God is stifled.
Now, a nation is to provide certain things. When a nation does provide these things, it is possible for the Word of God to be propagated. Laws,
even in the best of society, can never correct the evils that stem from the old sin nature. And neither will another economic system. This is
what communism says: They'll correct the evils of the capitalist system by imposing another economic system.
The Principles of Warfare
We now come to the principle of warfare number one. These are the principles of warfare. You must have that background in reference to
conscience and in reference to natural entity for you to understand these principles.
War Will Always Exist
War will always exist in human history (Matthew 24:6). In the other gospels, Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 also repeat this declaration of the Lord.
In Matthew 24:6, Jesus Christ said, "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you be not troubled, for all these things must come
to pass, but the end is not yet." Wars will always exist in human history. So man's efforts at peace are predictably doomed. Any Christian who is
informed in Bible doctrine knew that when they formed the United Nations in San Francisco decades ago, it was doomed in its hope
that it would preserve peace among the nations. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, "For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety,' then sudden destruction
comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with a child; and they shall not escape." Anybody who thinks that there is a solution to remove the
problem of human conflict off the scene of history is mistaken. It's simply a question of when the next aggression is going to occur. The United
Nations has had no power to keep peace among the nations. There have been something like 50 wars since World War II closed.
The peace movements
are basically communist tactics designed to destroy the defensive posture and the capabilities of prospective victims. Those who promote
peace are in themselves generally promoting peace for the very purpose of having a clear field for the aggression that they plan. Satan himself
finds himself instigating war through the old sin nature which is in man. So, this being the case, God proceeded to establish in His Word for the
Jewish people some guidelines and principles for dealing with this thing that would always exist with them. In Numbers 21:14, Moses writes,
"Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, what he did in the Red Sea, and in the books of Arnon." The book of the wars of the Lord.
What God did and what God thought and what God gave in the way of instruction concerning warfare was recorded for the Jewish people. Wars will
always remain a fact of history. Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, "There's a time for war."
However, there is going to come a time when there will be peace all over the world, but that will be in the millennial rule of Christ--when Jesus
Christ returns to set up his own kingdom on this earth to rule it for a thousand years. Isaiah 2:4 says, "And He shall judge among the nations.
(This is Jesus Christ.) And He shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nations shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore."
When I was a boy, it was popular among Christian people to
have little paperweights which were made in the form of plowshares and pruning hooks. After World War I ended, the war to end all wars, there
were again some uninformed simple-thinking Christians who thought, "Now we shall have peace forever on this earth." But it didn't take very long
before the biggest of all wars came along and plowshared them under and hooked them good. Micah 4:3 says, "And he shall judge among many nations
and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift
up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore." That will never take place until Jesus Christ is physically here on this ruling.
Now the one thing you can be certain of, if you know anything about communist plans, is that they will make war. The communists, many years ago
when the United Nations was formed, fought their first battle to ensure that they could make war. Those of you who are old enough to remember
those days remember how horrified the world was because the United Nations set up a Security Council. This council was designed to deal with wars
of aggression. The idea was that this anybody who got up and attacked another nation, that this world body would be able to act together and stop
them for peace.
Russia rose up in the Security Council and said, "No, we will not agree to that kind of arrangement. We insist on a veto. We
insist on everybody who are the big nations in this Security Council, if the council says we will stop this aggression, we want to have any one of
us to be able to say. 'No, we veto that decision,' and with that act, the United Nations cannot stop that aggression." Well, finally the free
nations gave in. Again and again and again Russia has used that veto.
Now why do you think they wanted a veto? Because it is communist intention
to dominate the world, and the way they dominate the world is by creating what are called national wars of liberation, such as we had going on in
South Vietnam. If they're going to have national wars of liberation, they have to be committed to be able to play the role of aggressors. What
would have happened to communism if every time a communist nation attacked a free nation, the United Nations stepped in and said, "Wait a minute?
You can't do that. If you want to hold a free election here in this country and ask these people if they want to be communist, that's OK. But you
can't march in with the army and force them to be communists." Communism would have been stopped.
Stalin knew that. He was no fool. He wasn't going
to begin to set up a world organization that could stop the wars of aggression that he had planned. The greatest most militaristic aggressor in
the world today is communist Russia. So resistance to communist aggression in Korea came as a surprise. Do you remember how it happened? The
Russian delegate on the Security Council got mad about something. They had ways of expressing themselves. In Khrushchev's day, it was beating the
table with your shoe, or beating the table with your fists like they do at a football game, and everybody chanting together. They had a lot of fun
at the United Nations, those fellas. This time, this character got mad, and he stormed out of the Security Council.
That's when Stalin made the
mistake of giving North Korea the word, "Go." Stalin had set North Korea up, armed them, prepared them, and then said, "Wait for my signal, and
then you plow into South Korea and you slaughter them, and we'll take the south for communism." Stalin made the mistake of saying, "Go" when his
delegate was out of the Security Council. The Security Council met and they said, "We're going to send United Nations forces and stop that
aggression." And there was no communist to raise a veto. The communists have never walked out again. They're not going to take the chance on that
mistake being made again.
Well the sad thing was we did stop them. We gave ground while we, as usual, had to prepare ourselves to fight, but once we fought, there was
nobody finer than the American fighting man. And with MacArthur's brilliant encirclement landing at Inchon, the communists were overrun all the
way through North Korea, and we pushed them right back to the Yalu River to China itself.
Then our civilian leaders came in and gave it all back.
Like dealing with a guy that you have whipped, you say, "Now, old friend, I don't want you to be mad at me. I'm going to give it all back, OK?"
If a fellow comes into your house, he beat your brains out to rob you, and you manage to subdue him, and then you say, "Now look, no hard feelings.
Go ahead and take the stuff." They gave all of North Korea back, and so Khrushchev could again boast. Not one link in the chain of socialism has
ever been removed. It's a pity that we in the free world can't say that.
China today is preparing every day for the war that must come, she says, with the United States. And we stand around here wringing our hands
because we will not win the war in Vietnam. Wars are always going to be here because communism has this as a matter of policy. It made sure, when the
United Nations was formed, that it could continue its wars without interruption.
Just Warfare is from God
Just warfare is from God. (And we are only going to cover these two principles in this section.) Just warfare is from God. Not all wars are
justified. Wars which are waged for personal or political ambitions, as the Nazis did, are not justified. Communist wars of aggression to impose
by force their economic theory on a nation such as they tried to do in Korea and Vietnam are not justified. Wars that are a threat to a nation's
sovereignty and independence are not justified. God uses war to stop a nation which is violating the institution of national entity. In 1
Chronicles 5:19, I'd like to read for a little bit about a Jewish-Arab war. Here's the situation. You have a rabid dog fighting. A rabid dog has
to be destroyed--not tolerated.
Killing in Warfare is Not Murder
And please don't quote Exodus 20:13 out of the Ten Commandments for me that says, "Thou shalt not kill," because I
happen to know that verse, and the verse does not say, "Thou shalt not kill." There are several words in the Hebrew for "kill," but there is one
word in the Hebrew language that means only one thing--a very specific type of killing, and this is it. And the word used in Exodus 20:13 only
means "murder." When a nation goes to war, it is not murder. It is the response to the civil authorities. I've had men come to me who have been
in combat who were torn up because they had killed people. One man said, "I just can't get over the fact I'm guilty of that commandment." I said,
"Well that commandment doesn't say 'Thou shalt not kill.' It says, 'Thou shalt not murder.' This is intentional premeditated murder which is not
the condition of warfare." You could just see the look of relief on his face, and his wife sat there and looked at him and said, "Now, after all
these years, does that make you feel better?" He said, "It sure does." That's what Bible doctrine does for you. It keeps you from being a fool.
It gives your conscience some guidance so your thinking is straight.
So here's a rabid dog who is threatening God's nation and the Jewish people. 1 Chronicles 5:19: "And they made war with the Hagarites." The Hagarites
were descended from Hagar, Abraham's second wife. The three tribes were the Jetur, the Nephish, and the Nobad. Now this was a fighting organization.
The Jetur were famed archers; the Nephish were famed horsemen; and, the Nobad were famed spearmen. And this war was part of God's judgment upon
the Arabs who were opposing his people Israel, and who were occupying the Promised Land. So God removed them from the land as a moral and political
threat to the Jewish nation.
Verse 20: "And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hands and all who were with them, for they cried to God
in the battle, and he was entreated by them because they put their trust in Him." Now the victory was given to the Jews over these three Arab tribes
because they entreated God in prayer, and God answered their prayer because this was a justified war; because they had put their trust in him (faith
rest); because they were doctrinally informed; and, also their consciences were oriented to the truth of the doctrine of warfare. God acted on his
character on the basis of His promises. We're told in verse 21 that 100,000 Arabs died. The Jews' cause was justified, so God was able to respond
Somebody came to Abe Lincoln during the Civil War one time and said, "Mr. Lincoln, do you think God is on our side in this conflict?" President
Lincoln said, "I'm not nearly so concerned as to whether God is on our side as I am whether we are on God's side." That's the issue. There are wars
which in the site of God are justified. When you fight a justified war, you're on God's side, and victory is yours without a doubt.
So the enemy matériel and their personnel for making war were destroyed. Verse 21 says that the Jews took away their cattle. They didn't say, "Well
fellas, look. We don't want you to really get mad at us so you really want to hurt us. Keep the cattle." They took away their food supplies: "And of
their camels 50,000, and of sheep 250,000, and of asses 2,000, and of men 100,000. For there fell down many slain because (OK you conscientious
objectors) the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity." The war was of God, and God gave them victory. Does it
make you feel like maybe Moshe Dayan has been reading the Scriptures here? When he had his six-day war, and he grabbed everything of the enemy
matériel that he could lay his hands on, and destroyed every enemy soldiers that was ready to continue resistance? The Jews have ample scriptural
direction on how to fight their wars. And what applies to them applies to us. The victory to the Jews was because the war was of God.
So a just war, in Satan's violent world, is always won. No conscientious objector can say that God is against wars, and so all wars are immoral.
He can say that he, as a conscientious objector, is against war. He can say that he doesn't like to go to war. He may say anything about himself
personally. He cannot say that the Word of God is against war or that God is against war. He can just say that he doesn't like the idea, which most
of us would be ready to join him in. But he wouldn't stand around and say, "I'm a conscientious objector," if brave Americans had not died all
across the Pacific and European theaters and all around this world to make it possible for him to stand up and to be a CO. Now either he's a dupe
or he's a coward. But he is not scripturally oriented in either case.
People who have no way of defending themselves against the communist
aggression of Russia and China have appealed to us in South Vietnam for our help, and our going there was a moral thing. But our going there with
the intention of not winning; of not destroying the enemy; of not taking his territory; and, of not destroying his power to wage war: that's
immoral. It's just as immoral as it can be. Why is it? Because somebody along the line up here in the United States government has some bad joint
knowledge. Their conscience is offbeat. Their values and their standards are fouled up. Consequently, their understanding is fouled up, and,
consequently, their actions are wrong, and we fight indeed an immoral war because we will not win it.
So we as Americans sit there in South
Vietnam behind defensive perimeters waiting for the enemy to make his choice to come against us. And 50,000 Americans lie dead in a war that we
will not win. While the longhairs, the dupes, and the cowards call for victory for communist aggressors; wave the Viet Cong flag; and, point the
finger at us, and say that we are immoral and that we are the aggressors. How can you get so fouled up? How can you get it so backwards as to who
the aggressor is? It's here, dear friend. You feed wrong understanding to your conscience and you will get wrong thinking every time.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1970
Back to the Warfare index
Back to the Bible Questions index