Honoring Those Who Have Served
Hebrews 11 is God's "honor roll of faith." God could have chosen from millions of people, but in that honor roll of faith he selected only sixteen to identify by name--and four of them were from the military. Several were military in a broad sense, but four were professional military men. "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to fight the armies of the aliens."
It is surely not coincidental that of the heroes of faith identified by name in this chapter, four of them are from the military. The fact that our Lord would give military people such prominence in his select roll call of faith surely says something about the importance of those who serve in his sight.
A strong military has been important in all generations, in fact, no society can get along without them. If there were no military personnel willing to fight for freedom and justice, nations could not be free.
During the Vietnam war, a young helicopter pilot from New Hampshire went down and was killed. His parents had these words by John Stuart Mills engraved on his tombstone: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than his own personal safety is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless he is made free and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
So, we salute all of those who have served in America's armed forces, placing themselves in harm's way and in many cases giving their lives for the protection and welfare of their countrymen. We salute those who have served in the past, and those who serve today. This Memorial Day Weekend pause to thank God for all who have served our nation and for those who are serving now. At the same time, thank God for Jesus who gave His all on the cross to buy our eternal freedom.
Remembering those who serve,