The Lord is a Warrior

I just don’t know that you’re going to find it in a list of the names of Jehovah. Can’t ever recall seeing it among His attributes or included as part of a role of descriptors Scripture uses of His nature. Too be sure, if it were included it would be in under the “lesser used” category–only once, as a I can see. But it jumped off the page this morning as I was reading in Jeremiah. A picture of God that I rarely consider. But a two-word descriptor of the LORD which so characterizes Him as Jeremiah declares God’s “enough is enough” response to the sin of His people. My God is a dread warrior!

But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me.

(Jeremiah 20:11a ESV)

For Jeremiah, the proclamation had turned personal. He was no longer “just the messenger,” he had become the message. When the leaders denounced the warning of impending Babylonian captivity, they denounced Jeremiah. When the people laughed at and mocked God’s warning of judgment because of their stiff-necked disobedience, they laughed at and mocked Jeremiah. When they were angered by God’s no-holds-barred condemnation of their adulteress idolatry, they turned their anger on Jeremiah.

And in the midst of a prayer of desperation born out of the persecution he was enduring, Jeremiah, moved by the Spirit, encourages himself with these words, “But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior.”

Jeremiah had prophesied of the outstretched hand which God would raise against His people for their persistent rebellion. He had declared God’s intent to Himself fight against His chosen people with a strong arm, “in anger and in fury and in great wrath” (21:5). And, in a time of great personal need, Jeremiah was reminded that this warrior God would fight on his behalf as well.

How often do I reflect on my God as a God ready to engage in warfare? When’s the last time I mediated on the meek and lowly Jesus and remembered that He too is a warrior?

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. . . 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.

(Revelation 19:11, 15-16 ESV)

Our God took on the record of debt that stood against us because of our sin, setting it aside by nailing it to the cross, thus disarming “the rulers and authorities” that stood against us (Col. 2:13-15). And He put them to shame by triumphing over them in Christ.

The Lord is a warrior.

Not only is sin defeated, but He has freed us from the slavery of the fear of death. Through His death, and by His resurrection, the Christ has gone toe-to-toe with “the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14) And He is destroying him! The fear of death wiped out for everyone who comes to faith in the Lord of life.

The Lord is a warrior.

And while we yet wrestle not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12), the promise is ours that one day the fight will be over. That “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20).

The Lord is a warrior.

Mighty in the cosmic battles of eternity, awesome in power for the earthly skirmishes of time and space. Ready to fight the beast, ready to draw alongside His beloved.

The Lord is a warrior. Might we, as did Jeremiah, rest and rejoice in Him.

Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD!
For He has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.

(Jeremiah 20:13 ESV)

By His grace. For His glory.

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