What Does The Bible Say About War? | A Lesson For The World Today
When we strive for peace, love and unity, the evil ones also try to disrupt them —because of their greed for power, money and material wealth. Let’s figure out what the Bible says about war
War isn’t a new thing to humans. As the world increases in knowledge, and population —the growth of evil also increases, the tendency of battling against each other increases as well. It is about ‘good‘ versus ‘evil‘ or ‘Light‘ versus ‘darkness‘ just like how the yin and yang symbol depicts. Have we even thought about what the Bible says about war? Let me share some biblical facts with supported verses about war with you.
War is a bad thing but in critical situations, it becomes a necessity to stop evil from spreading further. Imagine how this world would be without soldiers. Who will then fight terrorism and those bad assailants? I bet you, you wouldn’t ever feel safe in your own house.
The book of Genesis accounts for how God created the universe and made everything beautiful and perfect until iniquity was found in the heart of Lucifer. The book of revelation gives us a quick insight into the first record of war that happened in heaven.
“Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But the dragon was not strong enough to prevail, so there was no longer any place left in heaven for him and his angels. So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him.” (Revelation 12:7 -9)
This is how the war started in heaven and keeps on happening in our world today. That old dragon is still inciting people to wage war against good and the children of God. The insatiable taste for power, wealth and fame breeds hate, fight, war, corruption etc
Satan, in no doubt, is the author of confusion. He is the bad guy behind bloodshed, war, death, suffering, evil thoughts, poverty, diseases and sicknesses, etc.
I will try my best to throw more light on what the Bible says about war and how we can equip ourselves well in Christ Jesus in await for his second coming.
I recently found myself reading an article from the official website of “nature” and there is something frightening we must all be concerned about. The article made some critical calculations of the long-term effects of wars on mother nature especially humans in particular.
According to the statistics, more than 5 billion people could face death in a war between the United States and Russia. We must therefore pray hard to avert the occurrence of nuclear war. As tensions keep on arising from Putin’s war, faithful Christians must keep on praying and trusting God.
The Scriptures say in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy and this is the very character of the devil.
Let me remind you that God hates the shed of innocent blood (Deuteronomy 19:10, 2Kings 21:16, 2Kings 24:4, Proverbs 6:16 – 17) but in wars, we see that happen. Putin indeed is causing the death of 1,000s of innocent souls which could not be justified by any true follower of Jesus Christ.
Today, the U.S. Defense Department believes that about 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Surely the Ukrainian army has also recorded a significant number of death.
Again, data from Statista also indicates that civilians killed are 5996 of which 362 are children. This very data is confirmed by OHCHR (Office of The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) as of September 25th.
If this ever escalates to nuclear war, massive soot injection will cause severe disruptions to our earth’s climate —hence limiting terrestrial and aquatic production… The world is gradually coming to an end.
These are indeed signs of the end times as the Bible has prophesied about. Whatever happens, Christians are thought to prepare for events such as these. The Lord knows his sheep and so will never abandon them.
War In The Bible
There are several events in the Bible that talk about war. Anytime there is war, it involves two major parties with different agendas. And it is the same in our modern days; One party would be fighting for good and the other for evil.
Looking at the journey of the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh to the promised land (Canaan), they fought a lot of wars. In most cases, they win, and sometimes too they lose because of their disobedience and unfaithfulness to God.
The victor may go away with a huge plunder and thousands of captives who were often treated as slaves.
Why God Supports War
There is this nagging question that I want to address first; “why God sends people to war?” In Ecclesiastes 3, it says there is a time for everything: a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up…
Why would a loving God even instruct His children (the Israelites to go to war, kill, destroy, take plunder, etc)? As confusing as this might sound, every God-fearing person must understand that God hates evil, especially idolatry.
The law as seen in the 10 commandments says “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
God has stated emphatically that He is jealous and so no human should worship any other god besides Him. This provokes Him to strike the defaulters with his rod of justice.
The pagan worshippers such as the Egyptians, Ammonites, Philistines, Amorites, Jebusites, Amalakites, etc, tested the wrath of God by rising against His special possession (the Israelites). These pagans love to war against good. They did detestable things such as practicing all sorts of sexual perversions, sacrificing their own children to their gods, etc,
The Bible also recorded how the Israelites fell into the hands of the enemies by provoking God through idolatry and other sins. He left them to be punished and taken into captivity for several years.
God warned them:
“And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.” (Jeremiah 25:6)
God is said to be the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He strengthens his children to go to war and win, He strengthens them to excel with glorious victory —whether they take a defensive or offensive approach.
If evil is not stopped, it will spread rapidly like wildfire and cause more havoc on innocent lives. The fight between good and evil started when Satan conspired to overthrow God but failed woefully.
This ancient serpent is still using his crafty schemes to wage war against humans in the form of both physical and spiritual battles.
Some Records Of Wars In The Bible
God used some distinguished men and women to wage war against His enemies. We may think about people such as David, Samson, Deborah, Saul, Jehu, Joshua, etc,
In the days of Queen Esther, the enemy of God’s people, Haman conspired to wage war against the Israelites to kill, destroy and annihilate them. But God turned it on him, his people and his family. This war or story is recorded in the book of Esther.
The Biblical descriptions of brutalities that happened on the battlefields might sound repulsive to many people. But that is one best way to eliminate notorious and evil men in those days. We can’t question how God chooses to destroy people in such a brutal way or how He chooses to pardon others.
In 1 Samuel 15:13, the Bible recorded some of the brutalities that happen during war:
“Now go and strike Amalek and completely destroy everything that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
The Lord never wants these sinful people to raise rebellion generations that will multiply in numbers with their stony hearts. This is how he stopped evil from spreading like wildfire.
• A Look At God’s Judgment Against Ahab And Jezebel
King Ahab and his wife Jezebel provoked God with their idolatry and stubbornness. God’s judgment fell on them in a battle with Syria.
According to the scriptures, most of the court prophets were corrupt. They turned their backs on God and gave wrongful advice to please king Ahab.
The prophet Micaiah, by contrast, had consistently said the truth to Ahab. When he told Ahab that the coming war would bring defeat, he threw him into prison as recorded in 1Kings 22:1-28.
Ahab ignored the warnings from God, and as a result, met the dreadful death that prophet Elijah had earlier announced in 1 Kings 22:29-38.
I once wrote about how this evil couple rulers faced their tragic death by provoking God. You can find it here: Ahab and Jezebel to know more about their abdominal acts against God.
• Israel Defeats The Amorite King
During their migration from Egypt to Canaan —the Amorite king called Sihon went to war against the Israelites.
According to the Bible, the Israelites conquered his army and seized his territory (Numbers 21:21-25)
In another battle, they seized the adjoining northern territory of Bashan, ruled by another Amorite king.
By this God helped His people to win wars over their enemies. Their territory later became the homeland of the Israelite tribes of Reuben, Gad and the eastern half of Manasseh (Numbers, 32:33).
God’s power helped the Israelites to expand their territories through conquest of wars.
• King Darius Killed By His Own Generals
King Darius lost his kingdom when his own generals killed him after a short ruling of six years. The Bible’s prophecy of the engagement of the Persian monarchy came to pass as recorded in Daniel 8:1 – 27. All these moments —there were battles for power and expansions.
The conqueror or ruler involved here was Alexander the Great described as
goat having a very large horn between his eyes, coming from the west, and overrunning the world without touching the earth.
Christians At War
The Bible has likened Christians to soldiers who put on the full armor of God to fight against the evil forces of Satan.
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ today, then you must know how to fight the battle at hand.
Our mission as Christians is to fight against the enemy’s attempt to hide the truth or overcome righteousness with evil. We are fighting this battle through faith and confidence in the Word of God that gives salvation (Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 6:10-18; and 1Thessalonians 5:8).
“For the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4 – 5)
The Dreadful Day Of The Lord Against The World
Jesus Christ came to die for the world so that humankind can have salvation void of the penalty of sin being death (eternal).
In Christ Jesus, God intervened in the affairs of the world to conquer Satan and his sinful crafty schemes.
The second coming is going to be a day of purging the world of sin and all forms of unrighteousness.
Remember that the ‘last days’ had begun (Act 2:17; 1Corintians 10:11 and 2 Timothy 3:1) Are you ready for the Lord?
Events of war, diseases and sickness, etc, are reminding us of the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is truly coming to bring his kingdom to its victorious completion as the scriptures have recorded in Isaiah 2:2-4; Matthew 24:29-31 and 2 Peter 3:3-4.
Bible Verses About War
1. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12)
2. “For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
3. “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him.” (2 Timothy 2:3 – 4)
4. “The LORD is a warrior, the LORD is his name.” (Exodus 15:3)
6. “For he said, “For a hand was lifted up to the throne of the LORD – that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:6)
7. “I will grant peace in the land so that you will lie down to sleep without anyone terrifying you. I will remove harmful animals from the land, and no sword of war will pass through your land.” (Leviticus 26:6)
8. “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6)
9. “Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)
10. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I would not be delivered to the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)
11. “Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:14)
12. “Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we depend on the LORD our God.” (Psalms 20:7)
I am hopeful this piece of content about wars in the Bible has been helpful to you. Whether you want to win your battles in life or in the spiritual realm, your weapons are what the scriptures have stated; they include the Word of God, prayers, faith, righteousness, truth, etc.
Use them every day and night and the Lord will always fight your battles for you and give you victory. Stay blessed!