War! It’s about all we hear about these days. Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and mostly in the news today, Syria. It’s nothing new, of course, it seems Israel of old was always preparing for war. For example, we know from Numbers 1 that our Lord God commanded Moses to number the people in order to establish an army for the defence of the people and for the conquest of the land that the Lord had promised to give them. We know through other Biblical accounts in the Old Testament that there were other leaders of ancient Israel who were directed to do the same; Joshua, Gideon, kings Saul and David. Yet, always, the key purpose was for defence of the people of Israel and the lands which were promised by the Lord God. It was important to God to ensure Israel’s very existence and survival as a people. For these people called of God were ordained to be special and separate, a holy people called out for one purpose only, to ultimately teach the nations of the world the ways and statutes of the only True and Living God, in order to prepare the world for God’s kingdom here on earth at Christ’s return.
Israel had its struggles in its formative years, and its high points during the empires under David and Solomon. What happened after that is not necessary to go into in detail except to say that they literally fell apart, lost the concept of God, were banished from the land and migrated until they finally reached their appointed place (2Sam. 7:10), namely the isles of the sea and the coast lands, England and North West Europe. It is there that the Israelites became known under the genetic term or name as Caucasian, a name that encompasses all the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and kindred peoples. Then, the great expansion to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
There have been wars, the two most devastating being the 20th century world wars one and two. Now without knowing they were Israel of old, the western Christian nations fought in defence of their lands and freedoms. Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, D-Day and other battles just some examples of God coming to the aid of His People. He did so because Israel was not the aggressor. This is the great difference between the wars of today. We have become the aggressor and the dead, the wounded, the devastating burden of debt, loss of freedoms, loss of prestige, and natural disasters in our lands have become our cross to bear. As we have become more militaristic our leaders seem to feel they have every right to interfere in other nations’ squabbles. But, maybe the greatest battles we should be fighting are right here at home, beginning with the attack on what made us great in the first place, our reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’ve named this article “Stand and Be Counted.” You know, political correctness has become so much the emphasis over the past twenty years that even the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers,” was deleted from most Hymn Books. Mainline churches looked at this particular hymn, thought it to be too militaristic and made the cut, even though the focus of the hymn is on the spiritual battle and the foe is Satan. The key to understanding the hymn is “marching as to war,” not “marching to war”, as in the two world wars, but nevertheless, marching with the same intensity to this spiritual battle against Satan and his followers that we did against the aggressors then. Perhaps those who deleted this hymn should also decline from repeating the Apostle Paul’s command to Timothy to “share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3), and that he instructs the church to “put on the whole armor of God” because we wrestle against the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6).
So, with this said, here we are in the twenty-first century and one has to wonder whether in this apostate world we could still muster an army of Christian soldiers to fight the spiritual battle. Yet, muster we must, in order to fight for the honour of our God, to fight for the integrity of our faith and to fight for the survival of our Israelite roots, for all three are intrinsically connected. In today’s world the name of our God and Saviour is being maligned, ridiculed and blasphemed and all we as Christians seem to do is wring our hands and say, “Oh, how terrible”, yet, for the most part, we do nothing. This is so unlike the Muslim world, for example, if anyone makes a derogatory remark about Mohammed.
Yet, “What are we afraid of?” We Christians serve the only True and Living God. He has promised to care for us and protect us. But, here is something that should be firmly kept in mind. Jesus, the only mediator between us and the Heavenly Father, said in Matt. 10:33, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father, who is in Heaven.” Then, in Matt. 11:16,17, He said, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the market places, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, we have piped unto you, and ye have not danced …” In other words, you have been called upon, but you did nothing. Good advice for the Christian Soldier.
And so, in the spiritual war in which we find ourselves, we can only encourage one another and our brother and sister Israelites to stand fast and be counted in the fight for Biblical absolutes, in the fight for peace of mind, knowing you have done the Father’s will. We must constantly strive for pride and honour, and be proud of who and what we are. It will not be easy, because we will often stand alone, but take heart in what St. Paul says in Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthened me.”