Dear Wake Up Family:
Society is rapidly reaching a tipping point. Gas prices are skyrocketing, inflation is out of control, society is becoming more divided, families and friends are splitting apart, tempers are flaring, and hate is prevalent everywhere. News outlets exaggerate depressing stories, but the negative impact of events affecting each of us is growing. The war between Russia and Ukraine is filling the news, but that is just one of 59 wars being waged between and within countries. So far in 2022, the deaths in Ukraine are a little over half of the worldwide war death toll of about 43,000.
August 9, 1945 was a date few people remember. However, this event which occurred over 76 years ago is important when we consider today’s news. This date was the last time an atomic bomb was used during war. Since then, nations have chosen not to use such a horrible device because of the massive destruction and potential nuclear reprisals from other nations. However, any time a nation that holds the keys to nuclear devices is at war, it is cause for concern especially when irresponsible people hold the keys to annihilation. In the past, conflicts have often begun for trivial, even comical reasons.
In the early 1800’s, Mexico and France fought over cake looters; in 1859, Britain and the U.S. nearly entered battle over a pig shot while it was stealing some potatoes; in 1896, a war broke out between the Ashanti Kingdom (in modern-day Ghana) and Britain over a stool that no one was allowed to sit on; and in 1925, Greece and Bulgaria went to war over a stray dog. Each of these conflicts stemmed from one human condition – pride. Seemingly minor events can cascade into major conflicts.
Throughout history, Satan has used the corrupted egos of leaders to destroy the lives of their citizens. The current clash between Russia and Ukraine reminds me of a Bible text describing negotiations between Augustus Caesar and Antony nearly 2,000 years ago. The Bible says, “The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.” (Daniel 11:27) This is a perfect illustration of what is happening today. Corrupt world leaders “negotiate” and battle with one another, trying to declare victory, but the only winners are sin, death, and destruction.
Any time a nation at war holds the key to weapons that can annihilate cities and nations, all it takes is for one prideful leader who believes he must win at any cost to “press the button” to try to win the war. News about the war between Ukraine and Russia tempt us to worry about the future. However, because Jesus Christ is in control, we can rejoice because the Holy Spirit provides peace which will last long after the events of this world. Despite the wars and rumors of war, Jesus holds the key to the future. The Bible tells us that people who are in the midst of human destruction will be crying out, “ ‘Peace and safety,’ [but] destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they [mankind] will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4, insertions by Larry)
Larry wrote, “People will be crying for ‘peace and safety,’ and suddenly, God will release His wrath with overwhelming destruction. The book of Revelation explains it this way: A day will come when God’s patience with mankind will end and Jesus will say six profoundly important words, ‘There will be no more delay.’” (Revelation 10:6) Pray that Jesus will give us His peace to sustain us through these perilous times.