The Rights and Wrongs of War

It’s all very well to say the choice between war or peace is obvious. But what do we do when we want peace but we are surrounded by those who want war? The Psalmist of the Bible was in exactly that position; he said: “I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!” You’ll have to check out Ps.120:1 to see the correct response.

If we read Ps.22 or Ps.69 we can immediately see they describe the violent opposition that Jesus faced. And the prophet Isaiah gives His response (Isa.53):

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Jesus taught we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt.5:43,44). It is in times of war that this teaching is really tested. When we see the brutal treatment of innocent sufferers, who would not wish to stop it? The big issue of taking up arms is addressed in our comments HERE. Those written statements are now put to the test.

What should we do? What would make a real difference? If the people who are acting so cruelly became true Christians, obedient to Christ, that would be the real solution. Have we prayed for the rulers and generals who are making war, that they would be saved from an eternal punishment for their actions and completely changed, so that they instead seek peace and pursue it (Ps.34:14)?