What Does The Bible Say About Military Service?
Today is Memorial Day and we as a nation are honoring those who have served our country in the military and have given the ultimate sacrifice. As we take a day to relax from work and spend time with family and friends, let’s also take some time today to pray for the families of those who have had family members killed while serving in the armed services. Let’s also take some time to pray for our President and national and local leaders. Their decisions largely determine our continued freedom as a nation.
Many Christians do not understand how to balance what the Ten Commandments say about murder with serving in the military and facing the need to kill an enemy endangering national security. As a result, many are pacifists and believe that national peace can be secured by diplomacy alone.
Let’s first of all look at some fundamental facts. Thou shalt not kill should actually be translated Thou shalt do no murder. The prohibition is against premeditated murder. Understand that the same God that said Thou shalt not murder also told the Israelites to go to battle and kill their enemy during the conquests of Canaan their promised land. And God told them that He would empower them in battle and help them defeat their enemy. This is the killing of an enemy to spare a nation from annihilation by an enemy set on their destruction and this kind of killing for the defense of a nation is allowed by God.
A strong national defense is a deterrent to an enemy that is set on a nation’s downfall. A strong national defense actually encourages peace because it sends a strong message to those seeking to undermine a nation’s security. Because of the wicked fallen human condition, a nation must defend itself against attack. As Paul said in Romans 12 we should seek, as much as lies within us, to live peaceably with all men. That’s not always the easiest thing to do in the light of the depravity and wickedness of man.
As you enjoy your peaceful holiday today, please pray for our nation. Our international enemies would love for our nation to fall into ruin. Many are seeking to steal the liberties that we as a people enjoy. We are hated by extremist that are actively seeking ways to destroy America. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray that our nation would continue to be a friend of Israel. Our national survival hinges on how we as a nation deal with Israel.
And remember the sacrifices made for your freedom. Peace through military strength will be necessary until the millennial reign of Christ when the nations will beat their swords into plowshares!