The Difference Between the War and the Troops

Support the troops

soldier-708711_1280Based on only my personal experience, I believe that most Americans support our nation’s troops.  I also realize that my experience isn’t everything.  It is sad but true that there are some people who don’t support our troops.  Although, it seems that the majority of Americans do support our troops.  I certainly hope that is true.  After all, every soldier deserves our respect and our support.

It is well understood by Americans that our service men and women put their lives at risk to serve our nation.  The truth is that our troops experience more horror than most civilians could ever imagine.  And they do so because they believe in something greater than themselves.  They sacrifice their time, resources and family life to serve.  Many of those who serve overseas are severely wounded or even killed in battle.  They are willing to lay down their lives for others and that serves as an example of what Christ has done for us.  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Support the war?

God’s word declares that there is “… a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:8).  The challenge is knowing when it is the right time to go to war.  The good news is that God gave us clear instructions as to when, why and how we should go to war.  God’s word demonstrates that there are specific ways a nation should conduct war.  Here are six ways that a nation should conduct war according to God’s word…

  1. Do not fight against a nation without just cause (Psalm 7:4, Psalm 35:7-8)
  2. Offer peace to the enemy before attacking their nation (Deuteronomy 20:10)
  3. Ask for God’s help before going to war (Numbers 21:1-3, 1 Kings 8:44-45)
  4. Ask for God’s consent before going to war (Judges 6:33-40, 1 Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 5:19)
  5. Abstain from all evil while at war against your enemies (Deuteronomy 23:9)
  6. The spoils of war are to be divided between those who served in battle, and between all the inhabitants of the nation (Numbers 31:27, Joshua 22:8)

As individuals and as a nation, it would be ill advised for us to dismiss God’s word before entering into conflict.  Supporting war should be dependent on whether or not the war is aligned with God’s word as it relates to conduct of war.  There could be many reasons to support or not support a war, depending on our nation’s conduct.  One reason to not support a war is when governing authorities are using it for their own personal gain.

Support God’s word first

The great challenge with just about any political discussion these days is that we often believe that we only have two sides to choose from.  In regards to war, many of us believe the only options we have are to either support the troops or to not support the troops.  However, there is another option that should be considered.  We can support the troops without necessarily supporting the war.  Supporting the troops and supporting a war are two different things.

Supporting troops can be viewed as supporting a large group of men and women who are willing to risk their lives for others.  Supporting a war can be viewed as supporting a nation’s conduct in war or their intentions behind going to war.  It can be easily argued that in recent conflicts, our government has not conducted war according to God’s word.  Therefore, we should be willing to petition our government when it is wrongfully directing our nation’s military personnel or putting them in harms way unnecessarily.  We should remember what God’s word tells us about the conduct of war.  And we should remember the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) when considering war against other nations.

We should remember to pray for our nation’s leaders.  Pray that they would seek God’s guidance as they consider military operations.  Pray that they will put our troops in situations in which they can prosper and be out of harms way if at all possible.  We should pray for protection over those who serve and have served our nation.

To all of the service men and women who are currently serving or who have served – I personally thank you for your bravery and honor.  I’m so grateful for the freedoms that we still have due to your sacrifice.  May God bless you in all you do.

This Memorial Day, we should remember those who have fallen and greatly appreciate that they made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be free.

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