Nations have fought wars against each other almost since the very beginning. However, one of the most significant differences in warfare at the present time, on one hand, and ancient and medieval times on the other, is that now, able-bodied heads of state who declare wars almost never actually lead their troops into battle, whereas in times before, able-bodied heads of state who declared wars almost always actually led their troops into battle. The modern-day soldier's saying, "our blood, his guts," referring to the "courage" of a "leader" who remains safely at home, was largely unknown. Wars used to be started, and fought, by true wartime leaders; now, they're started, but not fought, by politicians who don't have to personally witness, or risk being among, the carnage that they have ordered to happen. One can't help but wonder how much less war there might be if the politicians of today were required to actually enter harm's way along with the truly courageous men and women who are sent to do their fighting for them.
Wartime Leaders In Bible History
During Bible History, wars were started, and fought, by men who fully had the right to call themselves wartime leaders, such as:
"When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus." (Genesis 14:14-15 RSV)
"Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, "Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and The Lord said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.'"
"So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before The Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel."
"David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years."
"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off" - thinking, "David cannot come in here." Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?], that is, the city of David." (2 Samuel 5:1-7 RSV)
Fact Finder: When Jesus Christ returns, will He personally lead the "armies of heaven" into battle?
See also The Return Of Jesus Christ