~ WAR IN THE BIBLE?
WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY?
A General Bible Study about 'War'
Regardless of what Secular readers might think, this study uses
verifiable, historical information from the Tanakh (or the 'Old
Testament'), which includes records of many wars and
detailed information about 'War' - (especially for Israel, but often
affecting the entire Middle East or even the whole world) in the
past and even into the Future!
> This study does not avoid reverent references to God, the "God of Israel." YHWH is the special Name of God 'Elohim' - but we use the Sacred Name ADONAI as in many Biblical references [also the 'Shema]:
ADONAI = LORD ~ the One behind all History and moral conclusions.
"Shema [Listen] Isra-el, ADONAI, Elohaynu, our God] ADONAI Ehad, [is One]."
> We're encouraged to believe that many modern Jewish people still do believe in God. They still say there are not too many atheists in active war zones! Sadly though, 'god' to millions of people, means 'Allah' - NOT the same as ADONAI. Even many so-called Christians, sadly, do not really 'know God'
~ "Now this is Eternal Life: that you may know ~ the only True God, and Jesus Messiah, Whom God sent,"~ from Yeshua/ Jesus' last prayer before He went to die for us. Reported by His close friend, John in chapter 17 of his Gospel. Knowing the true God is the deeply satisfying source of all questions, or sorrows or joys, whether in connection with 'war' or any other experience!
> Because of these facts ~ or inspite of them,
We hope even secular readers' interest will be widened by this two Part study ~ to the point of real encouragement! ~ Especially if you are in a part of the world where 'war' is a reality, particularly for any people in their Nation's Defence Forces ~ and their families and friends, perhaps like Israel, and some Muslim nations, and parts of Africa...
>You will notice as you read through this study, [yes, these are study papers], that words about:
"Almighty God", or words from the Holy Scriptures are printed in purple italic, as a mark of respect and reverence. Blue is for Israel.
We use the New International Version - Bible translation [taken from the ancient Hebrew - for the Tanakh - or Old Testament, and Greek for the New Covenant, or New Testament], so we can now read both parts in modern English.
The Noun - Definitions
1, ‘Conflict by force of arms, as between nations or groups’ of nations.
2. ‘The state of warfare - or the time period of such conflict’, "The War".
3. ‘Any contest or contention of one human, against a perceived enemy’.
‘To engage in armed conflict, to fight, to contend’.
CAUSES OF WARS:
1. Disputes over territory of land or sea. These can be disagreements over possession of geographical land or sea areas, or recognised pre-set boundaries.
2. Strongly held religious or cultural beliefs. Wars are often instigated by very strongly held principles, political or religious beliefs. *
3. The decision of despotic Dictators and Ruling groups. Evil and dictatorial leaders (like Adolph Hitler) can manipulate the support of others in a war against another nation for their own ‘glory’, or other reasons. E.G. the Iraq war of Sadam Hussein against Iran, and later Kuwait.
4. A part of a population may rebel against another group. In modern times - populations of any country can rise up against another large tribal or religious group, which can degenerate into lethal use of weapons, (maybe scattered attacks by terrorist Groups), not quite like 'Civil War'. We see this now in Iraq, Syria, and formerly in Cambodia and Rwanda, in Africa.
5. 'People Protests' against bad Leaders. In recent times, we are seeing the amazing willingness of hundreds of people to die (not as soldiers, often) but ordinary citizens for the hope of better leadership and conditions in the country they live in. Syria from 2011 is a very tragic example of this kind of 'war' but has degenerated into religious divisions, Sunni, (backed by Saudi Arabia), vs Pro-Shi'ite Alawites, (backed by Iran). Yet "People Power" is not new - it goes back to Biblical times! [2 Chronicles 33: 25.] The reality is, war of any kind means sorrow and loss and suffering to all people 'involved', even children and often Christians.
6. 'Civil war' within one Country. In some cases it may not be so much against a specific Leader, (like what we have seen in 2011 - 12) but part of a nation, (maybe tribal or religious based divisions), against another part, which can become in some situations, a Civil war, such as Lebanon suffered for many years. There is an example of this in the Bible, so you can read about it later in this study.
This seems an especially tragic kind of warfare, where even families can be split. Isaiah 19 is a very old prophecy about EGYPT but coming true now!
God says in verse 2, "I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian - brother will fight against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city, 'kingdom', [powerful groups like the M. Brotherhood'] against kingdom". "The Egyptians will lose heart." No wonder ~ it is heart-rending sorrow!
7. Leader-led war on one group within his Nation. Since the 20th C. there have been some very terrible examples of this, (maybe not exactly 'Civil war') but one group of people separated out for elimination, killed and traumatised as 6 million Jews were in the Shoah/ Holocaust in Germany. Cambodia and Rwanda were leader-led genocide - killing millions. Stalin also killed millions of Jews and Christians in Russia. In Spain, Jews suffered the same lethal discrimination! Even Pres Mogabi did this in Zimbabwe.
DOES 'WAR' COME FROM?
THE TRUTH IS THAT 'SATAN' - A POWERFUL, EVIL, SUPER-NATURAL BEING IS THE LEADER OF ALL LIES, CRUELTY, DECEPTION, AND GREED
We learn about Satan's existence in the Tanakh, where we can read about his origins, names and motives and devices he likes to use.
14: 3 - 20 uses 'Babylon' as a symbolic representative of Satan.
Names like: Lucifer, Dragon, Beast, Monster, the Evil one, the
Accuser', the Serpent, even "the god of this world" -
depict him too.
> He has always tried to defy the Holy Almighty Creator, by ‘stealing’ from God, knowing that the only way He could ‘attack’ ADONAI God, and hurt Him is to attack people. He is never tired of hurting human beings, and ensure they can never know the true God by killing them, (in wars, etc,) before they can respond to God!
> Satan hoped to manipulate people, from Creation. ~ (People are the most precious ones in the whole of creation), therefore Satan wanted to use the precious gift of freewill ~ that God had given to us ~ to turn us against God!
Satan successfully did this, by lying to Eve and Adam. - Satan loves lies!
> In this way, because of Satan's attack on the first people, this provoked God’s anger against Satan and it was very determined and deliberate.
Genesis 3: 1 – 8, explains what happened:
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the other animals ADONAI God [Elohim] had made... He said to the woman: "Did God really say 'you must not eat from any tree * in the garden?' [The woman corrected him - showing that she knew exactly what God had said, "only a special one in the center - or you will die."] Sadly Satan convinced her of his lie, instead of the TRUTH of God's loving words. You need to read the whole piece for yourself.] "So she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband ... and he ate it." God declared war on Satan, though it involved the Death first, then the victorious resurrection of His Son.
> Believing Satan's greatest lie will bring the Beast's terrible Tribulation on the world in the last 7 years of Evil Earthly power! See Revelation ch 13.
[Note: * It does not matter what 'fruit' it was, it was the act of unbelief and rebellion that mattered! See 2 Thessalonians ch 2, in the 'New Testament'.]
The Gospels explain
that Jesus - was that 'Son of Man' who died
to save us! That Spiritual war
is described in the Tanakh, in Isaiah 53: 5.
"My Servant... was pierced for our breaking of God's Laws,"
[i.e. 'transgressions'], "He was crushed for our iniquities," [any thought or act that was wrong and not right] "the punishment that gives us peace was on Him".
Yet the resurrection of Yeshua/ Jesus proved His VICTORY in the war against Satan, Sin and Death and Hell!
> However ~ we should note, that it is often innocent soldiers or good people who take the physical 'punishment' of suffering in a War, on behalf of families, friends and Country. We honour them for this, although that does not make them "sons of God" or save them from being judged by God, as this 'son-ship' ~ is a spiritual experience for each individual by ~ repentance and faith in the greatest sacrifice of a perfect God-filled human Man, Jesus our Savior.
> The glorious part ~ is the comfort and assurance this gives so that we know for sure that each Believer in Jesus, even if he dies ~ they will be immediately taken to be with the HOLY God in Paradise.
Do YOU KNOW Him? It is Jesus Death as a perfect sacrifice that makes us holy by taking all sin away from any person who repents = (says 'sorry') for all their sins and asks GOD to forgive us. "If we confess our sins, God will be faithful and just to forgive us, and purify us of all unrighteousness," ~ [means 'unholiness'.]
Only Jesus can make us 'holy' - "as no one can see God", (and be with God), if they have not been made holy, by Jesus death. [Hebrews 12: 14, Matt.5: 8.]
IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES FROM THE BIBLE ~ IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES ~ FOR ALL OF TIME AND BEYOND!
The Sovereign God of the
Universe only desires what is GOOD ~ for
all people! Yes all people - ADONAI
is the 'God of true Human Rights' Principles.
ADONAI ELOHIM wanted this Earth that He specifically created and gave to mankind to have dominion over, to be under His loving direction, as a holy partnership. Genesis 1 & 2 records this.
Psalm 84: 11 says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Even more, He gives blessings to the ‘righteous and unrighteous’ always hoping for them to acknowledge Him, which is the only path to fullness of life, and love and truth and beautiful, successful fruitfulness.
2. The Sovereign LORD God sometimes initiates, but always permits all events of people’s lives. This is beyond human understanding but absolutely true. See Psalm 139! "[Where-ever I go in the whole Universe] Your hand will guide me, Your right Hand will hold me fast." True for you and me!
3. There is nothing ADONAI does not know or see, including secret thoughts, motives, plans and actions of every individual, living person!
In different words, YHWH ~ the LORD God ~ 'The Almighty LORD of Hosts' ~ always allows what happens, although He usually doesn't actually send or cause it.
4. All wars are the result of mankind's deliberate choices to do evil: - killing and terrible cruelty to innocents: sodomy, rape, kidnapping, greed, power seeking and dishonesty, even, dissatisfaction with cruel and oppressive Leadership.
So, God Himself used 'war' to punish Israel
at times, for breaking His Laws of kindness and
true justice - by all the
people as a whole Nation, becoming despicably unjust and
War will also result for any nation, if: there has been an unacceptable level of abject cruelty for a long time, by any nation or Community.
Then God does act to punish the unspeakable evil that has been going on, the result of all forms of rebellion including war against Almighty God, Himself and His Jewish people! Zech. 14: 12 describes a future END TIME war, (probably at Armageddon): "This is the plague with which ADONAI will strike all the nations that fight against Jerusalem. Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet... On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic, each man will seize the hand of another and they will attack each other..."
So launching into any war is serious, especially against Israel when the threats are totally anti-God and anti-Zionist!
6. God abhors cruelty to innocent or weak people! Sacrificing babies and children by fire, was a common ancient practice by nations, like the Canaanites, (and other idol worshipping nations), and was the reason for severe punishment allowed by God against such peoples. Yet abortion is just as evil in our modern societies; or killing babies at birth (as in China) - just as the fourth largest financial Business in the world - of 'sex trading' of girls, women, even boys, angers God!
Physical abuse of children, or neglect or over-working them, is abhorrent to God, but so is any form of slavery to anyone! Pornography and drug trading are as bad, in the love and worship of MONEY, or stealing from others as gambling does.
TANAKH/ Old Testament ~ IS CLEAR:
"EVIL - AND ITS FAIR REWARD ARE CHAINED IRREVOCABLY TOGETHER."
" The wicked man will see and be vexed, for he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing." Psalm 112: 10. Ultimately all evil will be punished forever, Rev. 20: 10!
we respect your beliefs or 'Faith' ~ we suggest that it is impossible
to really study the subject of 'war' - unless you accept there is
such a thing as:
'Right' and ' Wrong'.
No book in the world is as reliable on this subject as the Bible.
So please read our explanations ~ at least to think about? It may bless you!
We only want to comfort and encourage people who are, or could be affected by a real war in this 21st century, when weapons are worse that any time in History and greater high-tech means of delivering them.
FINALLY: WHAT DOES THE TANAKH TEACH US ABOUT 'WAR'?
Any Nation has the right to defend itself, even when this means a
war, sometimes decided, according to the weapons being used to
It is clear from all the Tanakh examples, that national wars would still be part of the world's experience, even into this 21st century. It may be good to look at the reasons for wars at the beginning of this article. Greed, lust for power, territorial disputes and strong religious ideologies are the main factors.
2. Immanent threats, or actual attacks, do justify a thoughtful military response. So that: when a nation is attacked as a nation, there is every right to fight and resist the evil, as humanely as possible within the bounds of possibility.
This means sometimes a 'limited war' is engaged in.
This applies to Israel, who has been forced in their short existence as a tiny, modern nation of 7 million, in a small area of land, barely 120 miles by 90 - to fight neighbouring nations of 350 million - for their very survival!
There is a time and circumstances for one nation to assist another.
The examples in the 20th Century will be well known to readers, and there are numerous examples, so we will not comment further.
4. Post war there will always be critics. In today's world, every writer feels justified in criticising events 'post war'. We have noted elsewhere, that it often shows a biased attitude of ignorance - based on an unjust assessment of the facts, to criticise a nation in this regard – especially the nation of Israel. "The Goldstone report" on the 'Gaza War' was a glaring example of this!
5. Often (sadly) other atrocious wars or killings have little attention paid to them. It should be noted that 1000’s of innocent people are being killed in murders in Western nations, in religious terrorist attacks of Muslims against Muslims, Muslims against Hindus, Muslims and Hindus against Christians and all the horrific wars in Asia, (Viet Nam, Cambodia, etc), African and South American nations. Also in indiscriminate terrorist attacks in major cities! E.G. Mumbai, in India in 2009, USA, '9/11', London, etc.
OTHER SPECIAL FACTS ~ SHOULD WE LEARN ABOUT WAR?
Now do yourself a favour ~ see our next important paper here, about 'WAR'. We need to understand this constant subject of our world problems, especially from a spiritual, Biblical View.
Often some understanding of the background causes of great pain, can help a little to cope with the facts as they affect us, for nobility and right, or sorrow and suffering.
So, you may want to see the second part about War in our next article:
'God's Own involvement in WAR' ~
Or ~ a separate study: 'Future Wars for Israel'.
If you want to contact
us, please name the Article you are referring to. Thanks!
Our only desire is to comfort and encourage all those involved in a war, in any way, anywhere, in the world. Psalm 86 is worth reading and praying to God.