Summary: People call on God for world peace, Jesus came to give a diferent peace, inner peace.
Normally my week days start by listening to the morning news, mostly on TV. In the past couple of weeks I have heard about the deployments. Military personnel having their records checked, shots updated and dental work documented. Then load up on aircraft for the other side of the world.
I have never been a real warmonger. But I do believe that we have the right to protect ourselves. But as all these mostly young people gather together to hear words of encouragement and support from Governors, Generals and president. I look at all those young faces. I see the pictures of the wives and girlfriends, children and I have a little heartache. I feel a little fear because no one really knows where this next round of conflict is headed.
We have sort of been in a war of sorts for a long time, terrorism strikes and leaves people all around the world shaken and scared. I can’t think of a time when we really had peace. It is sort of like there always has to be some type of conflict/War someplace just to keep the world turning. The only difference is how close it is to home.
Some say it is the end times, the signs are there. Perhaps they are right. But we had the world wars that a lot of people thought the same then.
I was really young when Vietnam ended, middle school 8th grade. My memories of all that time come from TV. I remember images of war, men loading and unloading from helicopters. Some with bandages needing help, others being carried. I seem to remember what seems like hours of machine guns firing, shells flowing out the side. Some on the ground and others are pointed out the door of a helicopter.
I remember seeing radical different pictures, young people with long big hair protesting. Yelling Peace, Peace and sometimes-violent outbreaks. The peace symbol. The Chicken foot shape in a circle, and the holding of the hand with 2 fingers. Hippies and activist having sit-in’s and being arrested. I do remember older kids, high school age wearing tie die stuff, saying Peace man, as they came to the bus stop. Some of them, had a real chance of being drafted.
And it ended, the pictures in mind were the crowds around the Embassy in Saigon, helicopters evacuating people, desperate terrified people. We were running, and leaving the people to fin for themselves. The pushing of the helicopters off the side of the carrier because they were not going back.
I remember watching the arrival of the POWs returning to the United States. Live coverage that pretty much stopped the US for a few minutes. The witnessing of the damaged, thin men that were held in captivity, some for years. The sign that it was really over.
Having all these images some of them only a few days old really were more disturbing Knowing what is going on is actually very disturbing.
War time is a time when we wonder where God is? Why is He letting this happen? War time is a time when people pray desperate prayers, sometimes begging God to step in and stop the insanity. They beg for peace!
The Israelite people had war. In fact God directed some of it and promised to be with them in the event of a just war. Deuteronomy defines a lot of details on the rules of war. God helps his people fight just wars.
1 When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. 2 Before you engage in battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the troops, 3 and shall say to them: "Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near to do battle against your enemies. Do not lose heart, or be afraid, or panic, or be in dread of them; 4 for it is the Lord your God who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you victory."
All the images in my head of Vietnam seem to over power the newer images from the Gulf war. I guess the lessons are learned from then you loose.
Can we expect God to be with us in War? I believe it depends on our relationship with him, with God. As a nation, if we have a proper relationship, we as a people and our leaders will know when a conflict is just or unjust. But where are we as a nation? Can we expect God to give us peace?
The nation of Israel is documented as winning and loosing repeatedly and all of it depended on their relationship with God. If they drifted and would not repent, they were in for bad times. They had years of warning and calls to repent from prophets. If they failed to respond, the result was death, captivity and slavery.