In this postmodern world, we see history agonizingly repeating itself over and over. People run from God as hard and far as possible in their quest to be self-directed and self-satisfying. In the end, they are rewarded(?) with the misery that always accompanies immersion in the ways of the world – ultimately punished by the consequences of their own actions.
You might think that God is heartless for allowing people to fall into the darkest depths of despair, but He is in fact letting them experience the stark reality of a devil-may-care existence of a life lived without Him. God is letting them realize the futility of their stubbornness and rebellion.
People rail against what they proclaim to be a merciless God. Yet what immeasurable mercy must our God put forth in that humanity still exists after it has indulged in so much self-destructive immorality, hate, greed and ultimately waging the wars that those behaviors spawn?
With regards to wars, they are a product of the mercilessness of man, not God:
What leads to [the unending quarrels and conflicts among you? Do they not come from your [hedonistic] desires that wage war in your [bodily members [fighting for control over you]? James 4:1 AMP
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. James 4:2 ESV
We as Christians, have to take great care in examining what we throw our support behind. In the Old Testament times, God sanctioned war because His people were an island of righteousness (to the best of their ability) desperately trying to survive in a world of satanic opposition. God was preserving His righteousness for perpetuity – to have a people throughout time to be called ‘His children.’ It was God’s mercy that brought them to victory.
Still, there was (and is) always a price to pay for war. War is not the way God would have us to fulfill His kingdom purposes. Even King David was admonished for his role in war, in that God would not allow him to build the temple he wanted to construct for his holy Father:
‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.’ 1 Chr. 22:8 NKJV
Unfortunately, (due to the ways of man) Jesus told us that even up until the end of time, there would be wars:
“But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” Lk. 21:9 NKJV
However, Jesus never sanctioned war.
U.S. Christians have a propensity to be patriotic and rally around our troops. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that. Our country was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles and until recently, has always stood for morally high ground. It was a symbol of hope, a beacon of God’s mercy. And our troops have always stood at the ready to preserve both that mercy and the freedoms we hold so dear. We can never fully repay what we owe them for their sacrifices.
Yet, we must not allow that patriotism to incite us into saber rattling. War should be only the last resort – an answer to a direct attack.
There is no goodness, no value, no godliness in war. The U.S. has been, for all intents and purposes, in continual war since its inception.
And most of these wars had nothing to do with patriotism. They have purely been a product of sustaining, enriching and empowering the banks and the military-industrial complex. It is a way that the military justifies its existence and its horrific unchecked expansion, with a budget that exceeds the military expenditures of all other countries combined. Imagine what this country would be like if the tax burden of that irresponsible spending was lifted off of its people. That includes all of the money we waste on the cronyism associated with political and military special interests that reward favored defense contractors to build outrageously priced war machines that do not work.
That holds true for the World wars, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, and through our bungling foreign policy, the middle eastern wars. While we need a military defense at this time of history, we certainly don’t need it as a pre-emptive means of conquest to make the world conform to our dictates. It is offensive to God. We are called to be bastions of peace:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rom. 12:18 ESV
That is reflecting our merciful God. But I digress…
War is just another manifestation of how man cannot solve the great complexities of life without God. Humanity cannot perfect itself or its environs. Only the merciful grace of God can accomplish that (through the souls of the willing):
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV
The world itself is troubled because it reflects the nature of the sinful souls of the majority who populate it. We cannot create a righteous world through unrighteous means. Yet each time an individual soul yields itself to the will of God, His mercy brings the world towards that righteousness by another degree.
Conversely, those souls that choose to deny His mercy, force His hand in allowing them to step into eternal demise. How do they demonstrate their denial? By violating His will by placing their own in preeminence.
That’s not saying that a child of God will not commit the same violation. Yet, when we have God in our heart (through Christ), we receive His merciful conviction so that we are reminded to confess and repent, thereby acknowledging the mercy of God and bringing Him glory.
In that moment, we bend to His will and yield up our soul for His continuing transformation through His merciful extraction of our old self and its ways.
How merciful is our God?
Goodnight and God bless.