My Thoughts on War in the Ukraine
by Noah Hefley
March 12, 2022
As you are painfully aware, Russia began an invasion of Ukraine in recent weeks in what has been called the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II. So far 13 thousand people have been killed, 2.3 million people of the Ukraine have been displaced and 100 billion in property damage has been reported. This is beyond upsetting to see what the people of the Ukraine are going through and mind-boggling to figure out why this attack occurred in the first place.
How are we to respond to such a display of violence? I think about the psalmist who asked, “Who are those evil people who have put arrows in their bows and are standing in the shadows aiming at good people?” (Psalm 11:2)
The psalmist is saying: who could do something like this? It’s difficult to answer what kind of person could do this. But I know this—such an act of violence is rooted in a heart of evil and hatred, and it warrants the greatest judgment of God. That is what the psalmist says here—and he calls for God’s people to seek the face of God in prayer, “Upright men will see His face” and to promote justice in the world, “(The LORD) loves justice” (Psalm 11:7). He loves justice just as we should. We ought to be angry at those who kill and destroy—just as God is “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence His soul hates (Psalm 11:5). This is to say: We, too, ought to be angry at those who kill and destroy (v.5b). We should be moved by that anger to do something about it. The anger should find expression not in personal vengeance but in societal justice. We have a right and responsibility to promote and expect justice.
Pray for the people of the Ukraine—they have already suffered too much! There is no small number of Christians in the crosshairs of this unjust invasion. There is Christian relief work presently helping people evacuate to the west and then out of the country as well as providing humanitarian aid to those who are still left defending the country. Pray for the Pastors who are providing ministry within the zone of conflict at great personal risk and for all the families pulled apart by this war. Pray for our own leaders in business and government to make prudent decisions that might pressure resolution of the conflict and incentivize withdrawal of the invading army. Edmund Burke said, “Evil prospers when good men do nothing!” He is right! And this is right: We can do better! Pray that our leaders will have the courage to make the tough decisions that would apply pressure and facilitate an end to this evil nightmare.
Seek the Lord in prayer and promote justice in this world! This is God’s heart in the matter!
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