War and Peace
ussia gave us Tolstoy and his “War and Peace.” God gave us the Book that tells us how to survive one and find the other. God gave us the Prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah. They are different. The Gospel glows in the face of Isaiah like the face of Moses coming down from the mount. Tears run down Jeremiah’s cheeks. In Isaiah, we find a wellspring of hope and a witness of Christ from the cradle to the cross. He allowed us to see the One who was “wounded for our transgressions” and by whom (through faith) we may be “healed.” Israel also loved Isaiah, who brought the letter of Assyrian threats and laid it out before God as he prayed. Then Sennacherib’s army miraculously departed. Then years later, Israel (having learned nothing from God’s mercy and God’s grace) insisted that Jeremiah do the same when the Babylonians were at the gates. He was no Prosperity Preacher. He was the Prophet of Warning and Mourning, of Weeping and Woe. Declared by the authorities to be unpatriotic, and by false prophets of being too pessimistic, he was thrown into a pit.
Taking a text out of context is like forcing a big foot into Cinderella’s small glass slipper. Some situations call for the fatted calf and the best robe, others for sackcloth and ashes. It seems America has learned little from God’s Grace. Some Seventy years of prosperity have passed since America returned victorious from WWII. God is not obligated to march with our Rainbow flags and un-repentant hearts to victory in WWIII. God speaks through Jeremiah, “Ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Saving Ukraine or saving Crimea (the Charge of the Light Brigade) or saving America is too big of a battle for any of us. America may have to scramble to find more Oil and more Opioids. Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” One more Good Friday is about to cast its shadow like a Sun-Dial on the face of the Earth, as a Christ-less humanity continues its war against God and fights to the death at the foot of the cross, for his shoes and garments, oblivious to the only cure for war. -id