God and the Military
God established the government as a provision and protection for the earth.
Until the time of Noah, God had been the One who issued judgment against evil on the earth. When Cain killed Abel, God judged Cain and would not allow man to harm him. Genesis 4:15 says, “Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.”
When Noah stepped off the ark, God ordained a new method of administering justice… the government. In Genesis 9:6, God says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” Man was to take the jobs of protection and punishment into his own hands. This is an awesome responsibility that requires those in leadership to do the right things.
What is the Purpose of the Military?
The purpose of the military is to administer God’s justice. Romans 13:1-4 states:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
God designed the government to administer His justice. The military is a government-designed institution that protects us from evil from outside our borders. The police protect us from evil from within our borders. They are a blessing to those who do good because they protect them. To those who do evil, however, they are to administer God’s justice and to cause them great fear.
If God has entrusted to man the right to bring evil to justice, how important is it for those who have that authority to walk with God?
What is the Responsibility of the Military?
When God gave mankind the right to govern themselves, He gave them a great responsibility. They were not to take this responsibility lightly, but they were to walk in the ways of God. When the kings of Israel took the throne, they were to learn and obey the laws of God and fear the Lord. Deuteronomy 17:18-19 states,
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them.”
If those in power use that power for selfish gain, then great peril comes on us all. Military men and women need to be selfless servants who understand that they ultimately answer to God for how they administer justice. If they are to be God’s ministers of justice, they need to know God and His ways.
The reason we need the military is because of evil men. Psalm 82:5 states:
“They do not know nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
If evil men are permitted to go unchecked and unpunished, they will destroy the earth in which we live. The need for the military is as follows:
• Government stands between man and man’s complete destruction.
• People can never be un-governed.
• People need accountability.
The responsibilities of persons in the military are:
• Know God’s Word.
• Administer justice and grace in accordance with God’s Word.
• Proper view of self and God-given authority.
The soldier is to be a minister of God who administers God’s justice. Therefore it is very important for our military men and women to walk with God. God established the government to provide us with good things and to protect us from evil people. The government (including military) can be a tremendous blessing to a nation or the greatest curse.
The Most Important Thing for Military Men and Women is to Walk with God.
Military men and women need to consider their calling from God to administer His justice. They are a blessing to all those who do good and a terror to the evildoers. That responsibility is rooted in a relationship with God in which they know Him and His ways.
How does one begin a relationship with God? Just as the military sets men and women free from evil, God has set us free from evil. We find in Ephesians 2:1-10 that God took what was evil in us and dealt with it on the cross.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. … But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him… For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Jesus took our sin on himself and rescued us from spiritual death. If we put our faith in Christ and His death on the cross to take care of our sins, then He will save us and give us an eternal relationship with Him.
The very nature of the purpose of the military is rooted in the nature of God. He desires to rescue us from evil, sin, and death. If we walk with Him and allow Him to teach us, He will show us how to do the same for others.
by David Preston