It seems that a day never passes without hearing some form of terrible news of war from a far country. We hear of bombings in Syria, Mali and many other war torn places. The grief never ends. The world is field with war and rumours of war. War affects all of us. It is a global reality. Last century over 150 million lives were lost to war and genocide. Some have said history is nothing more than the history of war. The bible chronicles war as a major recurring fact of human history. An outworking of the fallen nature of man! Since the days of Cain we have been at war.
But at the same time, it offers us an hopeful image of war – it often uses military imagery as a central metaphor to describe God’s character and his work in our world and in his people. Not is war part of the salvation story, but God is a Warrior! In Exodus 15:3 after being delivered from Egypt, Israel sung, “The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name”. Throughout the Bible God wages war for His people to free them from their oppressors. When evil forces threatened them or held them captive, God fought on their behalf. In one of my favourite songs in scripture, the Psamist declares, “ You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes” (Psalm 44:5-6).
Often when we feel overpowered by circumstances, we are prone to wonder – who will fight for us? Who will wage our battles? Who is the shining warrior who will ride to our rescue? Well the answer is that, "there is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty" (Deut 33:26). The wonderful good news is that the God of Jeshurun is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ for whom it is said in Revelation 19:11: “I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war”. I like that it puts it in the present tense (“judges”). It is a reminder that God in Christ is actively judging the world and he is working all things to his purpose! He is not asleep to the sinfulness and corruption of nations and peoples today. He is able to punish now! And he has also appointed a day when He is coming to conquer all who oppose him!
The good news is that in Jesus Christ, those who have repented are no longer counted as God’s enemies! As a result those who know Jesus can face this corrupt and evil culture with confidence! We know that God is at work and ultimately. as Obadiah reminds us, the Kingdom of this world, will be the Lord’s (Obadiah 21). It may not look it, but Jesus our Warrior King will ultimately conquer! Evil will be rolled back like a scroll! With this certain outcome, we must live faithful and confident in these evil times! Jesus our Warrior King is on throne! This is good news that the world needs to hear! We worship a God who conquers all before him – only in Jesus is true victory found! Not in man!
Images of God (Sovereign)
Images of God (Shepherd)
Images of God (Potter)
Images of God (Whirlwind)
Images of God (Stronghold)