Good Cop, World Cop
Election year is over!
(Everyone applauds, relieved to be finished with Presidential campaigns for the next two days. Ha!)
Even though the campaigning is “done,” one issue politically-minded people wrestle with at all times is how much the United States should get involved in other nation’s wars.
Isolationists argue that the United States doesn’t need to play the world’s policemen. They look at the money spent on military and defense spending, the number of our soldier’s killed in wars in other lands and insist the USA should not fight certain wars.
Politics aside, Christians also have to understand whose battles are whose…
When I read recently on a tweet/article that the battle belongs to the Lord, I had a certified light bulb moment. Bing! Comprehension. I know, I know, faithful and long-suffering readers, this should be Theology 101.
I used to hear “the battle belongs to the Lord” and in my head would think this: “I’m going to war with the forces of evil and will use Jesus as my trump card to win the fight!”
Jesus isn’t the Lord of Hosts because He wins our battles for us. Jesus is the Lord of Hosts because the battle is His.
Related subpoint: This is why I/we have no reason to get angry at sin or the loss of favor for Jesus and Christianity in our culture. Anger is the recourse of the defeated. If we feel the battle is ours to win or lose, we wield rage as a weapon instead of graciousness and love. If every single person on earth turned against God, His power and authority are in no way diminished. Wrath should be the last emotion we exhibit when dealing with false teachers, blasphemy, or temptations. What we call righteous anger is often just impotent rage because we forgot whose battle we’re fighting and the enemy we’re facing.
However, despite my responsibility in this war (Eph. 6:10-17, Jas. 4:7, I Pet. 5:8-9), I’m just a foot-soldier, bumbling along in the infantry going to a war that has been raging thousands of years before I was born and will continue to rage long after I am dead.
I’m in good company, because the ancient Israelite leader Joshua had to learn this same lesson.
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” — Joshua 5:13 – 14 (italics mine)
It almost sounds like a joke. (“Do you want coffee or tea?” “Yes.”)
Oh, silly Joshua. And oh, silly, silly me.
Lord of Hosts
Jesus isn’t the Lord of Hosts
because He wins our battles for us.
Jesus is the Lord of Hosts because the battle is His.
And, because there are few things that I like better than taking popular verses and putting them in context, I will end with the popular verse “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) It’s a great verse, natch, because it’s in the Bible. In its full context, it’s not an encouragement for more personal devotion time and less busy-ness in life.
“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.” — Psalm 46:8-9
This is not the speech of the tender Messiah, but of the Warrior King. This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts to whom belongs the battle … and the victory.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.