We are just four days from the celebration of the most important moment of our nation, when the resolve of our founders to fight for freedom was set in stone, through the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That battle continues to be waged on domestic and foreign soils.
Every young man or woman who enlists in the United States military and is deployed oversees to high risk areas has the potential to end up in a situation similar to that which Bowe Bergdahl has been in for the past year. I pray that God gives Bowe strength, resolve, courage and peace in the face of turmoil and that the Lord would be pleased to bring him home. I also pray for Bowe's family and friends who love and miss him and wonder how he is.
POW's have been a part of war since men started fighting with one another and the desire to fight is a direct result of the fall of man, recorded in Genesis 3, when man disobeyed God and all men's hearts became corrupt.
The first two murders recorded were when Cain killed his brother Abel and when Lamech confessed to killing a man. Both of these can be found in Genesis 4.
In Genesis 6, though there are not specific incidents recorded, it is clear that violence was a way of life for nearly every person alive. Moses described the people who lived at that time in this way, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart....Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth'" (Genesis 6:5-6, 11-13).
He did that, preserving only Noah and his family, and after the flood they repopulated the earth. There were those who continued to follow the Lord, but many did not and when mankind decided to build a tower to heaven, God intervened. At Babel, God changed the people from being one race to many. It was here that people were divided; it was at this moment that the nations were established, each with it's own language and it's own culture. The people could no longer understand one another and could no longer communicate; because of this, they went their separate ways. Before this, there was no racism because everyone was the same. Racism's roots spring from the tendency of people to cling to the familiar and disdain and mistrust the unfamiliar. It is magnified from man's sinful nature and his desire for power; the desire to lord it over others.*
Every person who has ever risen up against injustice, every warrior who has ever fought, suffered, been captured, or died for their nation, has had to do so because of the fallen state of mankind. War is the one of the ugliest and most visible manifestations of that fallen condition; it is a nightmare come to life. It is no wonder that people hate it so much. It is no wonder that the chants of young people over the years have been for peace, but the truth is that peace between nations will not come to this world until the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) returns to claim the throne and take dominion over all nations (Revelation 12:5, 19:15).
Until then the only real peace a person can experience comes from that same Prince of Peace, who fought the definitive battle against death - died on a cross, was buried, and three days later proclaimed victory over it by rising up from the dead. Jesus Christ went to that cross for the purpose of paying the debt all men owe to God for their sins and because of that work, we need only repent of our sins, ask forgiveness of God, and embrace Him as our Lord. From that point on, He begins the process of our sanctification and having Him superintending our lives brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. We have abiding joy and the ability to rest in Him at times when there should be nothing but worry, unrest, fear, trembling.
I pray not only for Bowe and his family, but for my friend Cheryl, Loyd, Jason, Earl and Jeremy, who are serving in the military in various capacities. I thank God for their willingness to serve this country and protect the innocent. I pray that each of them is able to stand firm in their convictions in the face of pressure to do otherwise. I pray that the Lord will bless and keep each of them, no matter the circumstances.
*Racism is a reality in this land, but it need not be embraced. We need to look past color to character. In America, we need to stop identifying ourselves by our ethnic backgrounds and instead unite as citizens of this nation and call ourselves Americans.