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God's Military Training

Psalms 18:25-36 :

With the merciful you will show yourself merciful.
With the perfect man, you will show yourself perfect.
With the pure, you will show yourself pure.
With the crooked you will show yourself shrewd.
For you will save the afflicted people,
but the arrogant eyes you will bring down.
For you will light my lamp, Yahweh.
My God will light up my darkness.
For by you, I advance through a troop.
By my God, I leap over a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect.
Yahweh’s word is tried.
He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, except Yahweh?
Who is a rock, besides our God,
the God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect?
He makes my feet like deer’s feet,
and sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to war,
so that my arms bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of your salvation.
Your right hand sustains me.
Your gentleness has made me great.
You have enlarged my steps under me,
My feet have not slipped.

Sometimes I wonder if David would have made it through United States' boot camp. This psalm causes me to doubt the approach our military is currently taking. Make no mistake about it, God teaches war. There appears to be a new pacifist movement alive among Christians today. This psalm is a good reason to believe that God is not behind that movement.

The first part of this section of David's song that he made after he was freed from the oppression of King Saul, tells us that David gave full credit to God for his strength. He reminds us that we must come to God on His terms first, but when we do, God becomes the power of our lives. Then we learn that the power that He give us isn't just the power to smile brightly. David says that God gave him the ability to perform in battle. Then he goes on to say that God was the one who taught his hands to war. The thing that makes me wonder about our military is what David said about God when he sang: "Your gentleness has made me great." I had to look that up in another translation just to make sure that I read that right. The last time I checked, drill sergeants are not known to be gentle. The way they teach war must be quite different than how God does. That makes me think that there is a better way for us to do it. I do know that General George Washington disallowed cursing in his army. Perhaps we used to be different than we are today. Thankfully, God can use us even if we do some things wrong and God has certainly blessed the United States military. Even so, we must continue to do what the Bible actually says, especially as leaders. Thankfully, God is gentle with us while we learn.

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