Summary: THere is the war which is fought physically. We can see the enemy, we can plan attacks and counter attacks. But there is an enemy unseen, he has been at war with God since the beginning. He has picked his fight with us. Are we prepared for war?
Preparing for War
Listening to the news these days can be very confusing. Listening to this newscaster or this editorial, or this broadcast it is hard to see who is right and who is wrong. One time Mother Teresa was asked to join an anti-war rally, being a peace-loving woman they were sure she would jump at that opportunity. She declined, she said she would not be a part of any anti-war rally, but if they held a pro-peace movement she would participate. The idea has to with negative or positive reinforcement. But listening today to the news and we see rallies all over the world protesting war. Seeing some of these reminded me of days of my youth, when my friends, neighbors, and family were in Vietnam. These protestors are out to show that what America is doing is wrong. However with every anti-war protest there is a counter effort in support of war. There is someone who can articulate why action is better than inaction. It is obvious, especially for those of us who serve in armed forces knows, there is more to this than meets the eye. The President, the leaders of the other nations know more than they are telling.
Martin Niemoeller was one of the most respected Protestant leaders in Germany in the early 1930’s. Niemoeller was a decorated U-Boat captain in the First World War and later became a Christian. In 1933, when he became the most high profile of Hitler’s Christian opponents, he was in charge of a prestigious suburban church in Berlin-Dahlem.
Niemoeller was a leader in the mobilization of the Pastors’ Emergency League, in the Synod that denounced the abuses of Adolf Hitler in the famous "Barmen Declaration," and in other visible actions and sermons that finally led to his arrest on July 1, 1937. There were still a few honest judges functioning in Germany, and when the court let him go with a slap on the wrist Hitler personally ordered his incarceration. Niemoeller was in concentration camps, including long periods of solitary confinement, until the end of the war. (Frank H. Littell, First They Came for the Jews)
Martin Niemoeller, reflecting on the atrocities of Adolf Hitler, wrote the following words.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Is it none of our business when Saddam Hussein “comes” for the weak in his own society? When he threatens and attacks surrounding nations? Is it none of our business that Saddam Hussein is underwriting terrorism’s attacks around the globe? The proponents of President Bush’s efforts say that inaction will reap consequences for America and others far worse than an all out effort.
So whom do we believe? Who do we trust? What shall we do? Well first of I would encourage you to stop listening to the proponents and the critics. I would encourage you not to be swayed by either side. Instead, listen to what God said.
PR 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.
We should first understand that God is in control, he knows the plans of President Bush, Saddam Hussein and every leader of the world. God is in control. The real question before us today is not whether we should protest or not, it is not whether we should go to war or not, it is not whether we should stop Saddam Hussein or not, but it is Will we as a nation Cry out to God? Now I know you are saying, we trust God, we believe he will guide us, but we got to do something. Lets look at His word. This story will not lead you to protest, it will not lead you to the recruitment center, hopefully it will lead you and I to our knees to cry out to God on behalf of our leaders, our military and our adversaries.
Jehoshaphat is King of Judah at this time. This is not a time of a united kingdom in Palestine but a divided kingdom of Israel and Judah, Israel to the north and Judah to the South. The story is in 2 Chronicles 20:1-19. The beginning of this story may say to you that America is the attacking force, the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites and their allies, while Iraq would be Judah. However if we understand Iraq as supporting terrorists and they threaten our way of life, then the allegory changes.