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Jehovah Is A Man Of War — Exodus 15

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” (Exodus 15:3)

Jehovah is a Man of war, Jehovah is His name. Back in Exodus 6:2-3, God told Moses that He would reveal Himself in a far more personal and intimate way than He had to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The patriarchs of old had definitely come to know some of the aspects of God’s attributes, but what Moses and the Hebrews would learn of Him on the Exodus march was unprecedented. He is the God of my fathers, the line preceding Exodus 15:3 declares, but he is my LORD, my Jehovah.

One of the very first qualities of God revealed to the Hebrews is that the Lord is a “Man of war.” It is striking that the Israelites would ever choose the term Man to describe God at all (the terminology is, in fact, identical in the Hebrew: “Man of war” rather than “God of war” is the intent even in the original). To employ an anthropomorphism, to ascribe human attributes to the Living God is indeed  a peculiar thing to find right in the middle of a poetic hymn exalting the strength and majesty of the Lord. For the Christian to speak of God in human terms is not strange at all; we know the Humanity as well as the Deity of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. But it is an unexpected thing to find in this earliest of Jewish literature.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Revelation 19:11)

A lot of people like to think of Jesus Christ as a gentle, meek, pacifist with flowers in His hair Who went around trying to get everybody to be nice to one another. But He Himself plainly stated that he did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword (Matt. 10:34). If we receive the Salvation that He freely offers then, yes, we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). But God is not the bringer of peace to those who reject and defy Him. Ask the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea if Jehovah was a God of peace toward them. No, He was a God of judgment, a Man of War. Jesus Christ came to earth to offer Himself as Savior to any who would receive Him; to those who do, He is the Prince of Peace. For those who reject His offer and refuse Him, only judgment remains. The choice lies with each one of us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

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9 responses

  1. Loren,
    This is so important for everyone to realize. Our LORD is a “Man of war” because he is holy and righteous — and cannot abide evil. When we love Him for all that He is, we are at peace with Him. Thank you for sharing this.
    Margaret

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  2. It saddens me so much that the Lord Jesus has been portrayed so often by popular culture in a state of weakness that people do not take the fact that He will one day judge them very seriously. He is not the helpless babe in the manger anymore, He is no longer nailed to the Cross, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the God of the Universe and He is coming the next time in power and judgment of all who have rejected Him. It is too bad more people do not heed the Bible’s warnings and come to Him so that He can be their Savior.

    Thanks, Margaret, God bless you :)

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  3. Thank you for showing us this, Loren, and helping us understand. Many are against war in general, and I understand. It’s horrible and devastating. But I don’t think that Jesus is against all war. How could He be and still be called “a Man of war”?
    God bless you Loren, for your teaching and desire to be always in His service!

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  4. Hi Deb, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    In 1951, General Douglas MacArthur addressed the U.S. Congress at his retirement after a long and distinguished career with the Army. Due to his aggressive policies and his “victory at all costs” attitude, some had accused him of being a warmonger who preferred combat over peace. In this address, he responded to these accusations saying:

    “I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory.”

    It is those who have seen war up close who truly despise it, yet these are also the people who recognize its necessity. These heroic individuals realize that war itself is not immoral, the refusal to oppose those who would oppress and harm others is the true injustice. Edmund Burke famously quipped that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. How much more would evil triumph if the Lord did not respond to it?

    Verses such as Revelation 19:15 describe the Lord Jesus “smiting the nations” and “ruling them with a rod of iron.” I know that this kind of language makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But why will the Lord do so? Because most people will have it no other way. There will never really be peace on earth until God destroys everything that resists that peace. We know that this is not the way that God wants it, He wishes for everyone to turn to Him and receive the free gift of Salvation (2 Pet. 3:9). God’s judgment of sinful man is called His “strange work” (Isaiah 28:21), it is something contrary to what He desires. Nevertheless, God will carry out judgment and will be a “Man of War” against those who refuse to turn from their evil to Him.

    Thanks again, Deb, for pointing this out :)

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  5. wow Loren! Thank you for such a great reply to my comment. That says what I was thinking . . .only so much better than I could! :) “The refusal to oppose those who would oppress and harm others is the true injustice.” I’m going to remember that! God bless you!

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  6. this is fantastic! jesus has the mind of a warrior! i love that..more grace in jesus name..amen.

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  7. The Lord is a man of war: it is exactly this sentiment that impels ISIS.

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  8. Its a contradiction. Just like everything in the bible. Lord of war, prince of peace. The bright morning star. Yet the devil is the morning star too. Sounds like jesus is similar to the devil. Or maybe that is the great deception. Jesus is the devil.

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