The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
(Isaiah 42:13 ESV)
When you see pictures of Jesus, do they often depict Him as a warrior? Do they ever show Him defeating his enemies? Probably not.
Generally, he is longingly gazing heavenward, holding a child or a lamb. Isaiah, however, is very clear about our God: He is a warrior. In fact, Revelation 19:12-16 reveals what He will look like when He “shows Himself mighty against His foes”:
“His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God…From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
This may appear to contradict our call as Christians.
For example, Jesus instructed, we are to:
- turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39),
- go the extra mile (Matthew 5:41),
- give up our coat (Matthew 5:42),
- love our enemies (Matthew 5:44),
- and show mercy (Matthew 5:7).
How can we do this when our God is called “a man of war” whose robe is dipped in blood? We are freed to do this as Christians because it isn’t our job to judge God’s enemies or make them pay the wages of their sin!
We are to love them so that they may come to worship this warrior God.
While our God is holy and just, He is also merciful. Merciful, even to the point of sacrificing His only Son that we, His enemies, may be made into friends.
We can weather hardships, trials, and injustice done to us because we know that our God is coming back to “judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1), and He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Do you try to judge others instead of loving them and letting God be their judge?