The Horrors of War
A Thought for Today by Pastor Johnny Almond
You will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.
Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.
Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Matthew 24:6-7a NLT
Hamas’ attack on Israel October 7th killed over a thousand people. Israel’s response of a daily barrage of missiles into Gaza has reduced buildings to rubble and killed over four thousand people. Iran is using proxies to fire drones and missiles toward Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu says if Hezbollah launches a war against Israel and invades, “it will make the mistake of its life.” Terrorists are targeting American forces stationed in the Middle East. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States is ready to get involved in the Israel-Hamas war if “a line is crossed.”
Images of the effects of war are heartbreaking—widespread carnage; innocents, many children, killed; apartments, homes and hospitals razed; mourners grieving loss of family and friends. Martin Luther wrote “Cannons and fire-arms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the Devil. If Adam had seen in a vision the horrible instruments his children were to invent, he would have died of grief.”
In Ukraine and on other battlefields today death is rampant. Human history is tarnished by the blight of combat. Benjamin Franklin said “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Deep in our heart we know that our world cannot be patched up, that shuttle diplomacy only brokers a temporary truce. Leaders try their best to end chaos of unsettled nations, but calm is perpetually elusive. Romano Guardini, Catholic priest, wrote: “After we have done our utmost to defeat war, the realization breaks through that only God can truly do something about it. And the longing swells for the coming of that which not only can turn all things to the good, but also leads into the new: the end of time, which is the breakthrough of the eternal.”
“After that the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after abolishing every ruler and all government and power. He must be King until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be subdued is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26 MLB) The King of kings alone can obliterate war (Revelation 19:11). Finally swords will be hammered into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, and “nation no longer fight against nation nor train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) The Prince of peace promises to come very soon (Revelation 22:20). God speed the day!