Biblically Supporting Our Armed Forces
The Bible says, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:16-18) The great preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The strongest [fighters] melt like snowflakes when God is against them.” America is blessed with great and powerful military forces, yet Americans must understand that the Lord is not on the side of those who have the biggest war heads and largest armies. His eyes watch out for those who look to Him as Lord and who fully understand that victory only comes from Him.
Armed Forces Day is time set aside to recognize members of the Armed Forces that are currently serving. In 1947, the Armed Forces of the US were united under one department which was renamed the Department of Defense in 1949. President Harry S. Truman supported the creation of the day for the nation to unite in support and recognition of our military members and their families.
I would propose to you that we can and should show appreciation for those who are presently serving in the Armed Forces.
In 1 Chronicles chapter 11: 10-47 we read of King David’s mighty men. There were the three and the thirty, warriors who protected David and fought in battles for the people of God. The Bible has “the list of David’s mighty warriors.” (1 Chronicles 11:11-47) In the battle against the Philistines, the Bible says, “[they] struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.” (1 Chronicles 11:14)
In Genesis 14, we read of Abram taking 318 soldiers to fight the four kings who took Lot captive. After the defeat of the Kings, and the rescue of Lot and his possessions, we read of Melchizedek, a high priest saying, “Blessed be Abram, by God Most High, Creator of the heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” (Genesis 14:19-20) In the Book of Joshua we read, “So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them, I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.'” (Joshua 10:7-8)
America’s Founding father, John Jay, (1745-1829) was a strong Christian, serving as vice-president of the American Bible Society (1816-1821) and its president (1821-1827). In a series of letters, he expounds on the Biblical view of war. He writes: “Whether war of every description is prohibited by the gospel, is one of those questions on which the excitement of any of the passions can produce no light. An answer to it can result only from careful investigation and fair reasoning. I believe they are as lawful to the offending party in our days, as they were in the days of Abraham… If wars of every kind and description are prohibited by the moral law, I see no way of reconciling such a [restriction] with those parts of Scripture which record institutions, declarations, and interposition’s of the Almighty which manifestly [prove] the contrary. If every war is sinful, how did it happen that the sin of waging any war is not specified among the numerous sins and offenses which are mentioned and reproved in both the Testaments?” (Wall Builders, David Barton; Presenting America’s Forgotten History)
It appears in Scripture, in the rising up and protection of the United States of America, war seems to have its necessity.
Just how can we give intercession, encouragement and comfort to our armed forces and their families?
Armed Forces Day is set aside for us to give recognition and appreciation to those who are presently serving in all the different branches of service. Catch these facts and quotes:
“The creation of Armed Forces Day was announced on August 31, 1949 by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. It was meant to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.” General George Washington said, “One of the best ways to keep peace is to be prepared for war.”
In 1999 Senator John McCain introduced legislation to designate the month of May, National Military Appreciation Month. Both the Senate and House of Representatives adopted resolutions calling America to recognize and honor U.S. Service Members. These proclamations also urge the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe.
The six national observances are:
“Loyalty Day: May 1rst. kicks off the Nation’s month-long celebration of military appreciation. It is a day set aside for the affirmation of loyalty to the United States and to reflect on the proud heritage of our American freedom.”
Public Service Recognition Week: Known as PSRW. Celebrated the first week in May. A time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and ensure that our government is the best in the world.”
Victory in Europe Day: May 08, 1945 is the day the Germans throughout Europe unconditionally surrendered to WWII Allies.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day: Traditionally set on the Friday before Mother’s Day – A day to honor military spouses. Communities are to have ceremonies and activities. Recognizing the important role our military families play in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe.
Armed Forces Day: The theme for 2015, ‘Honor Those Who Have Answered the Call to Serve.’ On the third Saturday of the month of May. A single day for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. Honoring everyone in the U.S. Military Branches.
Memorial Day: A Federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May. A remembrance of our veterans, commemorating the men and women who died while in military service.
A lot of people put their lives on the line for our freedoms, just how can we show appreciation? Armed Forces Day offers events and things to do:
“Attend a parade, send a care package to military personal stationed overseas. Fly and American Flag. Visit a Veteran’s Hospital or Nursing Home to show your gratitude. Attend a military air show. Send an e-mail, write on a face-book page, tweet or pay for a meal for a service person and their family. Maybe invite them over, mow their lawn, pay for gasoline, offer a polite appreciative word.”
We need to get creative in showing our service men and women appreciation. Biblically we can intercede for them. The Word of God lays out a format which can be followed in battling enemies of a nation with a motto, “The People of God” or “In God We Trust.”
There are those who are trained to go and fight, there are those who are commissioned to pray. This is clearly seen in Exodus 17:10-13. Exodus records the events of a battle commissioned by Moses and anointed by God to fight against the Amalekites who threatened the people of God. The warrior leading the Lord’s army was Joshua, whose name means “Yahweh is salvation.” The Bible says, “So Joshua fought the Amalekites… Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelite’s were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired… Aaron and Hur held up his hands… so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
How should we pray for our service men and woman?
- Pray that the families, relatives and friends of our military members may be strengthened in this time of concern and anxiety.
- Pray that the Lord may help families with men and women in the armed forces to cope with daily challenges in the absence of their loved ones.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters as they go forth with courage and determination to face the forces of violence, weapons of destruction and hearts filled with hate.
- Pray that in the midst of destruction, the Lord will guide our service men and women, that they may be reunited with families.
- Pray for faith, hope, and comfort for all who are waiting for their soldiers to come home.
- Pray that departing soldiers will come to Christ and that they may be faithful, daily as they trust Him in the land of danger.
- Pray that those who are married will seek the Lord for strength to be faithful to each other in this time of separation.
- Pray that the Lord will reveal His companionship, strength and wisdom to all serving our country.
Jesus said, there will be war until the end of time. (Matthew 24:16; Mark 13:7) The Lord, through our government (Romans 13:1) has set days and times throughout the year to recognize and appreciate our service men and women. God, in His Word has given us a powerful ministry, praying for our Armed Forces!.
In this country, it is hard for most of us to understand the horrors of war. This is why Mark Lee Greenblatt wrote a book, Valor. The book shares nine true stories of war heroes who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lives who lived out:
“I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
“One American hero featured in Valor is Buck Doyle. A gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marines Corps. He stood in a sniper’s direct line of fire in order to help a close friend, Sgt. Nick Walsh, who had just been hit by the snipers bullet. As Buck tried to drag Sgt. Walsh to safety behind a nearby Humvee, Buck endured multiple gunshot wounds from the sniper shooting. Buck was hit in his arm and leg. Despite the injuries and blood loss, Buck remained in control and directed his fellow marines as they evacuated him and Sgt. Walsh to the combat hospital. Buck said, ‘The guys do repetitive deployment because of a brother-hood. I do not think a lot of people understand the bond that the war-fighters have after combat tours.'”
The present conflict is long from over. We are called to raise up praise and intercessions for our Armed forces. Let us pray!