So does my brother go just to collect his freebees? No. Though he does enjoy his food (Trust me . . . I know this), he isn’t that hungry. He goes (with whatever papers he needs in order to verify that he is a veteran of the US Air Force and the Viet Nam War) to show his appreciation of these businesses who go out of their way to show their appreciation to him and the other men and women of the armed services. They are wanting the veterans to come in. They are waiting to honor them.
I know we all wish war wasn’t a reality, but in a fallen world, soldiers are necessary. Today we, as a country, honor those individuals who have given up a portion of their life to serve their country.
God honors them as well. In fact, some of the greatest men and women in the Bible were soldiers or individuals who led troops into combat.
For instance . . .
The only man ever to be called “a man after God’s own heart” was the warrior king--David.
The man who would time and time again demonstrate his trust in God and lead Israel into the promised land-- the spy turned military leader--Joshua.
Then there was the great man of faith who obeyed God despite the culture or the odds-- the “mighty warrior”--Gideon.
The Judge Deborah was asked by Barak (the military commander) to go into battle with him against Sisera and his army. She did and the enemy was defeated.
Then in the New Testament, two centurions are given special recognition.
The first is the one who recognized Christ’s authority when he asked Jesus to heal his servant, for not only did he acknowledge his own unworthiness by telling Jesus not to come to his home, but he also recognized Jesus’s authority when he verbalized that Jesus’s word and not his physical presence was all that was needed to heal his servant (Matt. 8:5-13)
The second was the centurion at Christ’s crucifixion who recognized Jesus’s divinity when, after he had witnessed all that had happened, said, “Truly this was the son of God” (Matt. 27:54).
We often think of soldiers only in terms of courage, bravery, and sacrifice. However, as demonstrated in the Bible, soldiers also demonstrate faith, trust, humility, and a love for and devotion to God.
Finally, remember, as Christians, we are also soldiers . . . serving in God’s army . . . defending our faith and fighting against a very powerful enemy. And may we, like the soldiers of the Bible demonstrate not only courage, but also humility, faith, trust, a love and devotion to God, and a willingness to sacrifice our own will to our true Commander in Chief.