“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6)

There are those who say that it is wrong for a person to serve in the Armed Forces, and that to take a life in combat is murder.

We might dismiss that as being simply silly, but the Christian needs to know for certain if it is true. After all, murder is something that God is serious about.

God’s attitude toward human lives is very clear: they are to be protected. Unlike plants or animals, humans were created in God’s image. This does not mean that they looked like God, but that they were like God in a critical way—they were created holy, and with the knowledge of God’s holy will. They were special creatures made to rule over everything God had created.

Humans lost this likeness by rebelling against him. But we remained special. In fact, we regain his image, when the Holy Spirit creates faith in our hearts and restores us to friendship with God. The holiness of Christ is applied to us, and we live to serve him.

With sin forgiven, we look to God to learn what he wants us to do. We find out, that among other things, he wants us to protect human lives. We are also to be his agents of justice.

“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed.” He could use lightning strikes to protect potential victims and to punish those who murder. Instead, he assigns that responsibility to us.

The application of this truth is clear for those in law enforcement or the court system. But it also directly applies to those who are charged with protecting a nation.

God has no time for those who use power to satisfy their desire to gain wealth or the control of others. Warriors who use their weapons to hurt or kill those who are no threat to them or their nation, will meet the fierce face of God.

But those who act to carry out their God-given duty to defend, do so by his authority and with his blessing. They are God’s gifts to a nation.

We regularly pray in our worship services, “Where there are wars, let there be peace.”

But when and where there is no peace, then we need people to provide protection.

Our war with God is over. The Prince of Peace has established peace between us and heaven.

But until we get to heaven, we will pray for people who will step forward to protect a nation from those who would shed the blood of the innocent—and we thank God for them.

We pray:
Holy God, we regret that we have lost the reflection of your holiness by being among those who rebelled against you. We praise you for restoring this through Jesus. We thank you for regarding human life as precious. We know that it is only during a person’s lifetime that one can come to faith and become a member of your family. Preserve our lives as we serve you, and use us to defend the lives of others. Amen.