Is the Lord a God of peace or of war?

Romans 15:33; Isaiah 2:4 and Exodus 15:3; Joel 3:9-10

  1. God of Peace
    1. (Isaiah 2:4) - "And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war."
    2. (Romans 15:33) - "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."
  2. God of War
    1. (Exodus 15:3) - "The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name."
    2. (Joel 3:9-10) - "Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords, 10And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.”

Anyone can take verses out of context and compare them to other verses out of context and get a "contradiction." But, context is sacrificed in this manner and along with it, truth is lost. In Isaiah 2:4, God is giving a prophet announcement of a future time when He will be the one who settles disputes and there will be no more war. In Romans 15:33, it is simply said that God is a God of peace. He is.

Yet we have the verses that show God's judgmental side. In Exodus 15:3 we see God as a warrior. But the context is the destruction of the Egyptian Army. As we all know, Egypt had enslaved the Israelite nation and God simply became their warrior and delivered them. In Joel 3:9-10 we see a prophetic statement as the book of Joel clearly is prophetic in nature. In other words, there will come a time when it is required to fight.

There is no contradiction for God to be both the Lord who battles unrighteousness and also loves peace. This is just as true with people, who are really peaceful by nature, but will fight when the time requires it.


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.