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123 What are Christians Fighting For?
And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name
of the Lord my god; but the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood
and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed
much blood on the earth in My sight. (I Chronicles 22:7)
Why did the Lord disqualify David from building the temple on the basis that he’d shed much
I mean, isn’t this the same God who told Saul, through the prophet Samuel, to attack Amalek,
and utterly destroy them.
…The same God who slew the firstborn of Egypt when he delivered the nation from slavery.
At the start of Psalm 144 David even says:
Blessed be the Lord my rock, who trains my hands for WAR, and my fingers for battle…
How can we make sense of God telling David that he was not to build the temple because of
war, when God’s hand was clearly behind David’s wars?
It seems kind of paradoxical.
I’m going to suggest that we need to start by understanding that, with Israel, God separated out
to himself a nation, …AS OPPOSED TO INDIVIDUALS from ALL nations (as is the case with the
So God had to build them as a NATION, protecting and establishing them in the midst of a fallen
and violent world. And this involved warfare!
But, while God has been behind war (either offensively or defensively) many times in the Old
Testament, I believe that his words to David convey something very important.
They convey that war is not his perfect way. That the heart of God is for peace.
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