PHOTO: Dead German soldiers in "The War to End All Wars."
When we see pictures of injured or killed soldiers or bump into a disabled vet, we are tempted to pitch the whole dang thing into the Lake of Fire and say, “War is hell.” But what conclusion does that bring?
I am a conflict-avoider by nature, but I’m reading it in a different light.
There remains something that I never hear about with regard to the tragic loss of 100 million - many of whom were young 'boys' - killed in World War I & II: Repentance.
Although Germany was required to pay $33 U.S. billion after World War I for their aggressions, tear gas and other atrocities, they defaulted several times, tried to renegotiate and misled the world on their ability to pay that debt back and only restituted 5%. In essence, there was no true national repentance. This attitude surely set themselves up to instead pay back the devil: Hitler.
The Jewish King David allowed his very guilty and extraordinarily rebellious son to come back to his kingdom without repentance. Absalom even dared his father to find guilt in him. His lack of repentance and his father’s unwillingness to have him confess his sin and humble himself led to the lowest point in the David's reign: exile.
War is hell and you wouldn’t want me on your front lines because seeing others suffer is excruciating to me. But when I think that repentance could have saved 100 million lives, it makes me wonder why it so hard for a country or an individual to simply admit to sin.
To this day, many would still rather pay the devil the entrance fee into hell than to accept the free admittance into heaven by the one who paid for the repentants.
In essence, there is a war over repentance within each of us.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Wars, whether on foreign soil or within our home, are usually triggered by sin - not misunderstanding or bad communication. If we could see the damage our sin has cost us and others, the “casualties” would be innumerable and the reparations beyond repayment. The dark skies over the cross were a literal portal to heaven in that it represented what Jesus was paying for.
[Absalom said] ‘Now then, I want to see the king's face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death’….At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon…’Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.’
2 Samuel 14:32 NIV, Acts 3:19 KJV, Mark 15:33 NIV