June 8, 2018

When God Declares War

A declaration of war is never a small thing. Declaring war is a big deal in any circumstance. But it’s an especially big deal when God declares war. 


In Judges, chapter five, we find Israel being harshly oppressed by Jabin, the king of Canaan. Jabin had an army of 600 iron chariots, commanded by a man named Sisera. After twenty years of oppression and abuse, God’s people cried out for help against their enemies, and the Lord declared war against Jabin and Sisera.


Here is a glimpse of the magnitude of what happens when God declares war:


  • “The earth trembled…” (verse 4).  The earth—God’s creation—joined in the fight. It began to tremble and quake, and the ground underneath the enemy soldiers’ feet became unsteady and treacherous.


  • “…the heavens poured and the clouds also poured water” (verse 4). The heavens joined in the fight as well. Fog settled on the land and a heavy rainstorm began. The enemy could barely see in front of their faces, and their chariots were stuck in the mud, unable to fight.


  • “The mountains melted from before the Lord…” (verse 5). The mountains laid low. If the enemy tried to hide in the hills, they found no cover there, no place to escape from the battle.


  • “…the stars in their courses fought against Sisera” (verse 20). The stars provided direction for soldiers in those days. But not when God declared war. Even the stars joined in the battle and kept the enemy from finding their way.


  • “The river of Kishon swept them away…” (verse 21). The Kishon River knew to fight on God’s side. It ran wild and swept away the enemy soldiers.


Can you imagine trying to fight against God? I can’t! I never want to be on the wrong side of that fight.


Israel knew they wanted to be on the right side—the Lord’s side. They joined the battle: “…the people willingly offered themselves” (Judges 5:2). Nobody had to beg them or plead with them. They willingly offered themselves to march into the field and fight the battle with the Lord.


Friends, I tell you today that the Lord has declared war on carnality, sin, addiction, depression, and fear.He has declared war against the powers of Satan that destroy lives. And He’s calling each of us to join in the battle and willingly offer ourselves to the fight.


Not one of us should be standing idly by, watching the battle but doing nothing to win the war. God is at war. All of creation is fighting with Him. Every one of His people should be willingly joining the fight.


During the battle against Jabin and Sisera, an angel noticed that the tribe of Meroz was standing idle when God had declared war. They weren’t fighting; they were just watching the fight.


Listen to what happened to them: 


“Curse Meroz,” said theangel of the Lord. “Curse its inhabitants bitterly, because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”

- Judges 5:23


Why did God bitterly curse these people? They weren’t committing a horrible sin. They weren’t doing some awful thing. But they were cursed because they were just standing by, inactive. The Lord declared battle but Meroz did not join in the fight.


God has declared war, friends, and it is time for us to do our part to win the battle. No one can stand idle in a time like this. Wemust fight on the Lord’s side.


Jesus said it like this in Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Jesus is saying there is no neutrality in a time like this. If heaven is at war with evil, we must actively be part of the fight. 


There is no longer a middle ground. It has vanished. We must be committed to the Lord’s fight. Anyone who chooses to sit on the sidelines and do nothing risks a curse coming upon them.


Are you on the Lord’s side? Will you stand up and willingly offer yourself to the Lord? God will use you. You have talents and abilities. You can make a difference. 


It’s time to stop being a spectator and start being a warrior.