A Possible Glimpse of Holy War
Allow me to back up a few years into modern history to what we have experienced and are still experiencing yet today. Throughout most of the known world, “Covid 19” has made its appearance and untold numbers were affected with some part of this virus.
Most generally, when the Bible addresses situations like this, they are called pestilences. For instance, 2 Chronicles 7:13, which reads, “When I shut the heavens so that there is no rain or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people; If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
To be honest with you, my first reaction was a soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. If not now, when? If nothing else, a wake-up call to believers as well as unbelievers. God has inspired many passages in His word to encourage us in times like these.
Jesus gives one of many warnings found in the New Testament in Luke 21:8-11: “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am He!’ and, the time is at hand! Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, meaning confused conditions, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place; but the end will not be at once. Then nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and various places famines and pestilence.” As I write these words today history may be unfolding before our eyes.
We hear every day about wars against humanity, including Christians. It is difficult to speculate where this current war is going. We are witnesses of a war that has already been fought and won. When the first Joshua defeated the Canaanite kings, he placed them under a curse, hung their bodies on trees and entombed them in caves (Joshua 10:26-27). But when the second Joshua came, he became a curse for us, submitting himself to death on a cross and rising again from the grave (Gal. 3:13). The holy war that divine justice would have had to wage against the whole of humanity, divine love, suffered on our behalf at Calvary; thus there is a sense in which there has only been one holy war: the one Joshua began and that Jesus ended.
As Christians, we live in the light of that reality. We are not among those who deny that there is such a thing as holy war, but neither do we join with those who would indiscriminately slay the just with the unjust in a misguided zeal for God. Rather, we are witnesses of a war that has already been fought and won by the power of an indestructible life. Though nation will continue to take up the sword against nation, the Church’s proclamation will remain the same, PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TO MEN.
Pastor Jake StirnemannMay 1, 2022