Psalm 120:6-7 says, “My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” King David recognized that peace was not wholly up to him. Though we all may desire peace, and as Christians we should desire peace, that decision is not always ours to make. The Apostle Paul encourages us to be at peace, as much as possible, with all men. Unfortunately, there are many men who do not wish to live in peace with others.
St. Augustine said the purpose for war is ultimately peace. There are those who would argue that war is never justifiable, but they would be in opposition to God Himself, who not only allowed wars, but at times commanded them to be fought. Jesus is called the Captain of the Hosts in Joshua, and in Revelation, He is described as the mighty Warrior-King, who rides upon a white horse with a sword coming forth from His mouth, and treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
In Numbers, the verse “be sure your sins will find you out” is in reference to certain tribes of Israel being warned that if they did not go and fight, that sin would be revealed. Yes, it was a sin to not go to war at that time. King David said that God taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight. Nehemiah encouraged his people to fight for their wives and children and homes. Even in the New Testament, we are told to put on the armor of God, war a good warfare, and fight the good fight of faith. If God was dead set against war in every circumstance, why all these military references in the New Testament?
True, there are greedy profiteers in every war; and there will always be those who use war for selfish gain - but this does not mean that there are not noble and just causes for going to war. To fight for what is right is good and Godly, and it is those heroes who have died defending this nation, and upholding noble values, that we honor on Memorial Day.
G.K Chesterton said, “Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.” A Tender Warrior. King David would be taking care of little lambs, and singing songs to The Lord; and the next minute be slaying a bear, a lion, and a giant. Jesus would hug and bless the little children, and then make a whip and drive out the greedy merchants in the Temple. Soft and tender - tough as steel.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened” -Billy Graham. “Valor grows by daring, fear by holding back.” - Publilius Syrus. We see this displayed in 1Sam 17:51-52, where the armies of Israel are encouraged by David’s slaying of Goliath. Brave men take stands; and encourage others by doing it.
“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” -Arthur Ashe. This is demonstrated in Mar 9:35 & 1Cor 9:19, when we are told that greatness in the Kingdom of God is to be servant of all. “Perfect valor is to behave, without witnesses, as one would act were all the world watching.” - François de la Rochefoucauld. David gave us his example to follow (1Sam 17:36). Be faithful when no one is looking, and be rewarded when everyone is.
Here are some other quotes, and Scriptures that relate: The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly (Rom 10:17) - Corra Harris.
Courage is resistance to fear, the mastery of fear - not absence of fear (Jos 1:9) - Mark Twain. Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death (Isa 41:10). - Gen. Omar Bradley. It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes (Prv 24:10) - Louis Pasteur. It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle (1Cor 11:1). - Norman Schwarzkopf. Heroism ... is endurance for one moment more (Eph 6:13-14). - George F. Kennan. Let us never forget the sacrifices of our fighting men.
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: He teaches my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. And I.. said unto.. the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong. Through God we shall do valiantly: for it is He that shall tread down our enemies. (Psalm 18:2, 144:1, 18:34, Neh 4:14, 1Co 16:13, Psalm 60:12).