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SermonWar Mongering and Peacemaking
An all-creatures Bible Message

War Mongering and Peacemaking
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
15 March 2015
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Numbers 21:1-9
Proverbs 25:21-22
Isaiah 2:4
Matthew 5:43-48
John 3:14-21
Ephesians 2:1-10
Hebrews 13:8

War mongering and peacemaking are diametrically opposed to one another.
 
We find war mongering in probably every nation on earth; we find it in our governments, we find it in corporations, and we find it in the hearts and souls of individuals.
 
We also find true peacemaking children of God scattered among these war mongering people throughout the world.
 
God wants us to be His peacemaking children; the devil wants us to be his war mongering servants who bring pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death to both humans and animals in God’s beautiful creation.
 
We can also see war mongering in our Bible, such as in Numbers 21:1-9…

1. When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.
 
2. So Israel made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If Thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities."

We hope we all see that both sides are war mongering, for revenge is also a form of war mongering, as are the horrible things we do to animals.

3. And the LORD heard the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah.

We strongly wonder if these are the actual words of the Lord, or if they are the embellished words of the people, for it goes against the peacemaking teachings of Jesus and the heavenly will of God.
 
Note what we are told in Matthew 5:43-48.

43. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' 
 
44. "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
 
45. in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

We pray that we all see the difference between Numbers 21:3 and this passage.
 
We are to love our enemy and not take revenge on them.
 
Then Jesus goes on and explains about the heavenly love and peace of God.

46. "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
 
47. "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
 
48. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
NASB

War mongering and seeking revenge can never be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.
 
And neither can eating, wearing, and testing on animals, for all of these actions cause people to lose their empathy for the animals, which hardens our hearts and souls against the heavenly will of God.
 
We strongly believe that if we gain back our empathy for animals and stop harming them, we will also find that we will stop our war mongering and become the true peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will.
 
And just in case some people mistakenly think that we can’t apply a New Testament passage to address our Numbers passage, note what we are told in Proverbs 25:21-22…

21. If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
 
22. For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.
NASB

We believe that these burning coals are not actual fiery coals, but the burning convictions of our evil ways that we would all repent and return to the heavenly will of God.
 
And just in case some people mistakenly think that Jesus is only for the New Testament, note what we are told in Hebrews 13:8…

8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.
NASB

If Jesus is encouraging people to be peacemaking children of God in one part of the Bible, then His message is also meant for us from the very beginning of creation.
 
Some of the prophets of old also spoke out against war mongering, as we are told in Isaiah 2:4…

4. And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.
NASB

This is the way God has always wanted us to be.
 
In Micah 4:3, we are told the same things…

3. And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war.
NASB

With these peacemaking messages in our hearts and souls, let’s return to our Numbers 21 passage.

4. Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey.
 
5. And the people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."

This seems to be in conflict with verse 3, for if God had really delivered them from the Canaanites, why would they be angry with God so quickly?
 
They are also complaining about the bread from heaven “manna” that God had provided for them, and God does seem to get angry with their irreverence.

6. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.
 
7. So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people.
 
8. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live."
 
9. And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.
NASB

If we all would just learn to look upon the Lord directly, and not some talisman, we wouldn’t find ourselves in these kinds of predicaments, for we would find peace.
 
John 3:14-21 is a New Testament continuation of the Numbers passage we just looked at.

14. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
 
15. that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.

This is part of what we were talking about, for it is not just about seeing the Lord crucified at the hands of war mongering people; it is seeing the Lord in heaven and in our hearts and souls.

16. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

We need to note very carefully that God so loved the whole world and not just some of the people in the world; He loves every single human being, and every single animal, and the environment in which we all live.
 
God wants us to be above the corrupt world that is full of war mongering people.

17. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

Here again we see that God refers to the whole world, that each and every one of us are to be saved and in turn help save all the rest of creation, and if this is the desire of our heart and soul, we can do it.

18. "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
 
19. "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
 
20. "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
 
21. "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." 
NASB

The light that has come into the world is Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit, but all who are born of the Spirit, and become true children of God also shed light on the evil in the world.
 
And the more of us who expose the evil in this world with our heavenly light, the more other people will join our effort, and the evil and war mongering people of this world will fade away, and we will have helped free creation from its present corruption.
 
In Ephesians 2:1-10, we have a confirmation that the Lord wants all of us to repent of our evil ways and become the peacemaking children of God.

1. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
 
2. in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

This prince referred to in this verse is the devil, and we have the free will choice to reject his and his minions’ war mongering ways.

3. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
 
4. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
 
5. even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
 
6. and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
 
7. in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

If we were willing to allow the Lord to change us into children of God, then we know that God’s grace and mercy is being extended to every person on the earth, that is, if they are willing.
 
This is the only way we are truly able to overcome the evil and war mongering ways of the devil and those who follow him.

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

A vital part of our faith is our willingness to let go of our worldly ways and repent from the depths of soul and spirit, and trust in God’s promises.

9. not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

This is all true, but once we are saved and changed into this new being in Christ Jesus our Lord, we should have this deep inner urge to do all that God desires us to do without hesitation.

10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
NASB

This is when we truly desire to bring God’s heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven, and help free creation from its present corruption.
 
We can overcome all the evil, corrupt, cruel, and war mongering ways that are so prevalent in the world today, and live as witnesses against them as peacemaking children of God.
 
We can do it, if we want to.
 
We can!
 
Amen.

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