By CRAIG HARRIS
Psalm 144: 1-6 (NIV): 1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. 2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. 3 O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? 4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. 5 Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. 6 Send forth lightning and scatter [the enemies]; shoot your arrows and rout them.
On Veteran's Day, we honor all of the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. We might would think that God hates war because of the suffering it causes, and yes, God hates suffering, but this passage, written by David, reminds us that what God hates most is unholiness. Unholy, ungodly leadership has caused much of the suffering of mankind throughout History. Those who stand against God can expect his wrath. We must understand this.
To me, the best way we can honor our veterans is by keeping America holy. Remember, holy means set apart, different. In other words, keep America a country that honors God and that honors moral behavior. America was built on hard work and the fear of God. America was built on strong families who, in turn, built strong businesses and communities. The secret to America's success has always been its government which was established in such a way that it rewarded hard work. Beyond this, though, America has enjoyed God's blessings because American's have traditionally honored God.
David is praising God in this passage for training him to win in battle. To kill the enemy! Today's media cannot stand this idea, but the Bible does not teach that everyone is equal. What the Bible teaches is that God is for those who serve and honor him, and he is against those who hate him and his people.
Yes, it's sad when people suffer because their government stands against God. But suffering from being God's enemy is much worse. God ordains war to show the world that he demands holiness. The best way we can honor our veterans is by keeping America holy.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.