This past weekend we set aside a special day (November 11) to honor and remember our veterans of present and previous wars. The men and women who have served our country in the armed forces are to be honored – especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of their lives on the battle field. Regardless if one enlisted or was drafted, the object of service was always the same – “to defend our country and our freedom”. But let us be reminded that our country has always required our service men and women to serve with honor and dignity – as representatives of this great nation whether at home or abroad.
A while back I read in our local paper an interview with one of our service women. She stated, “On a day-to-day basis, we in the military are often held to a higher standard (from a legal and ethical standpoint) than the average American citizen.” My immediate response to this statement was, “Why aren’t we [American citizens here at home] held to the same high standards?” If we are to truly honor our veterans, we must hold ourselves [citizens at home] accountable to the same high standards that our service men and women represent and defend on foreign fields and at home. Anything less is in fact “dishonoring” them.
In Hebrews 11 we read of many men and women who faithfully served our Lord in a “foreign strange land” (that is, physically living here on the earth). And they did so with honor – many paying the ultimate sacrifice for their stand in liberty to serve an Almighty God – serving through faith in God’s promise of the Saviour of the World [Jesus Christ]. Notice the following verses from Hebrews 11.
Hebrews 11:6 states,
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:8-16 states,
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
Galatians 3:6-7 also states,
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
In Hebrews 12:1 we find how we can likewise honor our Lord, as well as honor those of faith who have gone on before us. For it states,
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Let us give thanks and honor to our “veterans” [those of our country’s armed forces and especially those of our Lord’s “army”]. Let us pray for all of our service men and women [and their families] who are actively engaged in military service unto our country throughout the world – including our “commander in chief” [our president]. And let us pray that our service unto our Lord will bring honor to Him and to our nation – for to do anything less would be dishonorable.