Isaiah 42:13—The LORD advances like a warrior; He stirs up His zeal like a soldier. He shouts, He roars aloud, He prevails over His enemies.
For those who believe the military is an evil profession or who decry the wearing of a uniform and the responsibility that comes with it, please consider these thoughts.
1. The prophet Isaiah uses a warrior, a soldier to provide an analogy for God’s actions.
2. The man Jesus most admired for faith during His ministry on earth was not a Jew but rather a Roman centurion. (Matthew 8:5-10)
3. When Jesus died upon the cross, betrayed, beaten horribly and abandoned by His own followers, it was a centurion with fellow soldiers who truly recognized Him as God’s Son. (Mat. 27:53,54).
4. When God revealed to Peter that the gospel was to be preached not just to Jews but to the Gentiles, it was a centurion named Cornelius that he was sent. Cornelius and his family were mightily filled with the Holy Spirit to the astonishment of Peter. (Acts 10)
5. The Apostle Paul when mentoring Timothy, used the soldier as the model by which to teach Timothy about suffering and keeping free of worldly entanglements. (2 Timothy 2:3,4)
6. Before sending out His disciples a second time to minister, He instructed each without a sword to sell his robe in order to buy one. (Luke 22:35,36)
7. Nowhere in Scripture does God forbid serving in the military. Not once in the gospels do we find Jesus speaking against the Romans that occupied Israel, or forbidding believers from serving in the military. The reason for this is clear—so long as we live in a fallen world where evil is committed, we will need armies, police forces and civil defenders.
Perhaps the reason the Bible portrays soldiers favorably is because a soldier knows that he must be honorable and be willing to lay down his life for his nation if he is to be successful. Is it not true for followers of Christ, that we must be willing to live holy lives and to die if necessary to be true to our faith and allegiance to God? So on this Veterans Day, perhaps it would be good to remember about warriors:
They are not dead—they are alive. Men and women still serving—an ongoing expression of duty and devotion to the United States and the constitutional principles written in its foundation. Some are recently retired and look back with mixed emotions on a career that demanded sacrifice, created a “band of brothers” and wrought pain, joy, wisdom, and a cascading range of feelings born beneath a uniform. Some are aged and think back to their time when much was different and sacrifice was measured often by an entire nation gripped with war. They don’t understand so many of the values and thoughts espoused today but they stand ever tall to those hallowed words, duty, honor, country.
They are not dead—they are wounded. Some carry the hidden demons of horror and know the sweat-stained sheets of nights rolled in restless nightmare. Theirs is the burden of explosions, ambushes, the searing pain of bullets tearing flesh and the ever-present fear, “I might not make it.” Some have fought these memories of yesterday for decades, scarred as well by the shameful treatment they received by thoughtless citizens upon returning to the very people for whom they fought. Some are more recent returnees, mostly from deserts of searing heat and an enemy whose concept of life is as twisted as the metal fragments blown outward by their ideological hatred. These veterans left spouses and children, jobs and friends countless times to serve an overstretched military. They are the new faces of PTSD, the amazing heroes who sacrificed limbs and measured loss and yet still press forward to serve and to matter.
They are dead. They lie in ground known and unknown—silent testaments to sacrifice; souls in the hands of God. Some will rise to reward, all will rise for judgment. Male and female, they paid the ultimate price—laying down their lives for their comrades, their families, their friends, their countrymen and strangers in the very land they fought or worked. They no longer march but their ranks still pass us by. Their lineage is that of patriots.
These are your veterans—Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Marines. They deserve your moment of silent recognition. They appreciate deeply your thanks. Gratitude matters.
To all of you who serve, may God bless you and keep you safe and may God bless America.
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.—Martin Luther
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)