Does God approve of war to destroy evil?

Or, to phrase it another way, “Does a political leader have the ‘divine right’ to declare war on another nation that he believes is evil?” God gave his divine right and approval to the leaders of Israel in the Old Testament to wipe out entire tribes and nations that were evil – so why not today as well?

Two clear differences exist, however, between leaders today and the leaders of ancient Israel declaring war on other nations. The first difference is that with Israel God was the one defining evil, not the leaders. So the evil truly was evil. There was no confusion like today, where the leaders decide who is good and who is evil. And they’re never going to think their own country is evil, are they, so we end up with the tragic and ridiculous situation of two countries going to war, both of whom believe the other country and its leaders are evil, and therefore they both have the divine right to wipe the other country out.

A second difference is that in Israel it was God who ordered the killing of people, not the leaders. And he certainly had the ‘divine right’ to make such an order since he has the power to restore life to the dead. So even if God uses what we might call ‘evil means’ to kill people, like war and genocide, that’s not the end of those people’s lives forever. He can bring them back to life again. But no human leader has that power. And yet human leaders feel they have the right to snuff out other people’s lives, even if it means the death of innocent people too.

To ask the question above, then, “Does God approve of war to destroy evil?” the answer is, yes, but only if he approves it, because only he can truly determine who is evil, and only he can restore life to the dead, including those he orders to be killed. When a human leader takes such ‘divine rights’ and powers to himself, therefore, he’s assuming he’s on the same level as God – which is a really stupid thing to do, because in God’s eyes that IS evil.

It would meet far more with God’s approval if leaders concentrated on the welfare of their own people and left the threats coming from other countries up to him. God got that point across to Israel many times, and when they got the point God did amazing things in their defence without them lifting a finger or losing a life. But when they took things into their own hands, that’s when their troubles began.


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