November 26, 2015


Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

I was really taken off guard by the Japanese translation of this verse. The traditional English translation sounds all pious and worshipful, but the Japanese simply says, “Stop that!” Seeing that, for the first time I really looked at the context of the verse ahead of it, and it certainly seems to be talking about making war. International conflict is very much on everyone’s minds these days, and in the current context it is more clear than ever that war is fundamentally a spiritual matter. Jesus said that wars would exist until His return, (Matthew 24:6) but this verse strikes me as what He might say upon His return. As General Sherman so famously declared, war is hell, and that is the antithesis of the Kingdom of God which we are to seek. (Matthew 6:33) That said, war is too often thrust upon us, as is happening right now. Running from war, and particularly trying to avoid it by capitulation, is not a viable option. Those who pray the Lord’s Prayer in honesty and sincerity must stand for Biblical truth, even when that invites conflict with those who oppose it. It is sadly true that in the context of war, even those on the side of truth are all too easily pulled into things that are of the devil, and that must be guarded against as much as possible. However, passivity is not the answer. Recent history has shown that inaction can produce worse results down the line than appropriate action, even when that action is distasteful.

I received a draft notice during the Vietnam War, and during basic training I wrote, and performed in a talent show, a poem that almost got me a court martial, it was so anti-war. I still have no love of killing, naturally enough, and I realize that many of the complex motives in war are ungodly, but I have come to the position that there is such a thing as a just war. Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ might dispute that, and I try not to get into arguments. I certainly pray that Christ will return and all wars will cease, but Revelation seems to indicate that until that moment, the pace is actually going to pick up. As Jesus said, I’m not to let that disturb me, but pray and work that His will may be done on every level, from the macro to the micro, for His glory.

Father, the world is certainly far too complicated for me to figure it all out. Thank You that I don’t have to. Help me walk in faithful, humble obedience to You, bringing with me into Your kingdom as many as will accept Your grace and mercy, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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