( the city of man versus the City of God )
Where do wars and fights [ come†] from among you? Do [ they ] not [ come ] from your [ desires for ] pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
( James 4:1 & 2 )
The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, [ saying ], Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.
( Psalm 2:1-3 )
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
( Psalm 127:1 )
'Death and destruction around the world': so said a good friend of mine in referring to the havoc that has been created and foisted upon the world, through wars unconstitutionally perpetrated in the name of freedom and democracy! I believe that most of us, if we're honestly seeking the truth, would have to admit that, at the basis of these 'wars', is not, as we've been led to believe in our willful ignorance, a concern for freedom and democracy, but rather, a self-seeking and self-serving lust for power, and an undeniable greed for 'all the oil under the sand'!
From the American Heritage dictionary; we get this definition of the word 'empire', 'A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority'. From a very basic study of history, both ancient, and recent; we can note the rise and fall of many empires that have been established, and maintained, for awhile, the the strength, power and authority ( ? ) and most often, cruelty, of man. As we see in the quote from the book of James, above, wars occur because men 'lust and do not have', they 'murder and covet and cannot obtain', yet, James says 'you do not have because you do not ask'. There have been wars for centuries, particularly in the Middle East, needless wars, simply because certain men lust for what they do not have, but other men do. Peace is sought, a truce, at least, from the fighting, but it cannot be obtained, because the only way it can be gained, they seem to think, is by more war, or threat of war.
Jesus said, in Matthew 6:33, 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you', but men, it seems, would rather seek their own kingdom, or empire, empires which have been proven to fail, than the unfailing, everlasting Kingdom which has been established by God, and whose rule and dominion will never cease! Why is this, do you think? Was David right when he wrote that 'the nations rage', and 'the people plot a vain thing', because they want to 'break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us'? I believe that a more careful study of the above-mentioned history will show that this is the case, and even though many of these 'wars' ( the Crusades, for instance ) have been waged, and atrocities committed, in the name of God; you will find much the same reason has been the instigation, and the true impetus behind these wars was that men 'lust and do not have'.
Whoever sheds manís blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man: these words are famously recorded in Genesis 9:6, and are clearly a command for the punishment of murderers, As we have seen ( noted ) throughout history, with its many wars; 'bloodshed begets bloodshed'. Lawful bloodshed, or execution, as punishment for the crime of murder, then, is warranted, but although the bloodshed that we have only read of may seem to be warranted, it is simply the lawless murder of other lawless murderers!
The unlawful, and unconstitutional resolution of war, as, for instance, the resolution that embroiled us in an endless 'War on Terror', has, at its very core, a selfish and rebellious spirit that wishes to 'break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us'. The natural man cannot abide the rule of law, much less God's Law, because it requires him to act unselfishly, in the interest of others, rather than himself. As we realize this annoying fact; let us also remember, that, as the people of God, and rulers with Him of this Kingdom He has bequeathed to us, it is our divine right, nay, responsibility, to call these 'empire-builders' to task for their many crimes, and to remind them, and ourselves of what Jesus tells us;
'Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you'.
In His Kingdom and love,
Charles Haddon Shank