It was one fo the Vietnam era's most famous protest songs, performed by Edwin Starr: 'War, huh, yeah! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" Well now, just wait a minute! Is that really true? In our text for today we read:
1 Chronicles 18:1 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its surrounding villages from the control of the Philistines.
2 David also defeated the Moabites, and they became subject to him and brought him tribute.
3 Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah, in the vicinity of Hamath, when he went to set up his monument at[a] the Euphrates River. 4 David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.
5 When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. 6 He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought him tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
It's that last line that ought to grab our attention! Obviously, God was more than complicit with David's war efforts, He directed them!
No doubt, war is always a horrible thing. The destruction of human life and property is nothing short of a powerful human tradgedy. But that is not the question at hand. In response to Edwin Starr's editorial comment on the subject, Scripture is very clear that there are indeed times when war is absolutely good for something! War demonstrates the consequence of man's sinful rebellion. War underscores the ugliness and reality of evil. War ends the march of wickedness and oppression. War ushers in peace. What is war good for? All the aforementioned things!
As a matter of fact, God has declared that the process leading to the conclusion of our current chapter of human history is one marked by war:
Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
There is coming a day when war (and its necessity) will be no more. Having witnessed its horror, we will be disinclined to engage in the sin that made it needful. Evil will be vanquished, righteousness will triumph, peace will be eternally restored and God and His people will be vindicated.
Next time, you feel the need to wag your head over the subject of war, just remember what it's good for, and reflect on the sinfulness of mankind that made it necessary in the first place.