The Current Scene
The fear of an atomic holocaust is prevalent in many parts of the world. Now in New Zealand, American warships are refused entrance into her harbours for fear they may have nuclear weapons. Belgium still holds out to the deployment of cruise missiles on her territory. All want the United States to police the free world providing they do not become a target for Soviet missiles. This is understandable but not realistic when facing the avowed ambition of Communism to rule the world. Only then can Communism bring about its paradise. Such can never be, for that role has been left to the return of Jesus who will yet claim His kingly rights as the Son of David. In this connection a comment from experience comes from the great German theologian Helmut Thielicke who lived through Hitler’s rise and fall. “So Adam must leave paradise. For everyone of us. that is in the past. And only fools think that it can be reestablished on this earth. As a rule, those who have promised men a heaven on earth have made of life a hell. No, the cherub stands behind us, and there is no road back. We were never promised that the burden of morality would be removed from us.”
Up until now the super powers have relied on massive retaliation as a deterrent. Now a new strategy is on the drawing boards. This is to destroy on-coming missiles in midair. The fear that this may succeed has put the Soviets in a dither which would, if successful, make their tremendous buildup of offensive intercontinental missiles obsolete. Even if this grandiose plan of the President is unattainable, it gives him a bargaining chip at upcoming Geneva arms talks. Obviously the President is convinced that the only way to negotiate with the Russians is from a position of power. The Soviets have won for themselves a reputation for dishonesty in keeping their pledges. With this the United States has little choice but to pursue a course of research into further defensive weaponry. In turn cheaters have a phobia that they themselves may be cheated. Russia is paranoid about being the victim of a strike. The fear of deception is the common lot of those who have abandoned the fear of the Lord. As Proverbs 1:29-31 says, “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They have none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”
The American forte at any Geneva talks is equally godless. Humanly speaking, we are probably superior to the Soviets in wisdom (advance technology). Armed might, if we can include our allies and our riches, are beyond dispute. In the stately language of Jeremiah 9:23-24 we find prohibition and encouragement,” Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which execute loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” We fear that the conditional blessings of the text can hardly be invoked by present America. Our crime rate, divorce, and immorality are only provocative of divine displeasure. The nations of antiquity have fallen more from internal rot than invading armies. Although little appreciated, some of us value those who are calling our nation back to moral purity; and those who are attending collective prayer with the lifting up of holy hands “on behalf of kings, and for all that are in authority” (1 Tim. 2:1-8). Such “salt” is the best preservative of nations. How lamentable that iniquity abounds everywhere we look. Current events seem to reflect this fact.
Time Marches On
It is now 40 years since that historic landmark took place at the Yalta Conference. The late Secretary of State Dulles wrote that the world has averaged a major war every 25 years. The mutual atomic terror has kept the trigger-happy tamed so far and content with so-called bush wars. Yalta did much for Russia. Since its revolution in 1917 Russians had a sort of pariah status amid the advanced nations. Now its quest for legitimacy had been attained. The Soviet Union has since climbed to an eminence that fits into the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel 38 — namely, the menacing “king of the North.” In the bargaining that transpired at Yalta, Roosevelt yielded to Stalin most of the territory East of the Elbe River. In turn Russia would join the war against Japan. The success of the atomic bomb was problematic and the thought of American casualties if Japan had to be invaded must have been uppermost in Roosevelt’s mind. It was a deal suited for the moment with no imagination that it would lead up to the “Iron Curtain” and the resulting development of most of Europe into NATO; another grouping according to prophecy that could easily eventuate into the resurrection of the Old Roman Empire. The recent anti-Americanism occasioned by the placing of new nuclear missiles in Europe is feathering the thought of an American pullout. The lowering of the American profile in Europe would in turn force them to take a bigger interest in their own defense.
In the current years that we are now considering, the most significant event in the eyes of Bible lovers is the establishment of the Jewish nation and its phenomenal military victories over Egypt and Syria. The present retreat from Lebanon looks like their first setback. However, the original intent was well carried out — the destruction of the P.L.O. With the swirl and hate of Arab fanaticism for both Jews and Americans, Israel is the one reliable ally in the area where the oil supply could be in jeopardy. The prophet Zechariah says that just prior to the second advent of Jesus all nations are going to be embroiled in Jerusalem, which in turn leads up to Armageddon.
The amazing developments in the Far East have not been overlooked in Biblical prophecy. A teeming China, Japan and lesser countries led the late German Kaiser to appraise the spectacle as “the Yellow Peril.” China was a sleeping giant until “The Boxer Rebellion” 90 years ago. Now she is in possession of the atomic bomb. The prophetic book, the Revelation, speaks of the Euphrates River drying up (the removal of the natural barrier), so that “the way of the king of the East might be prepared.” They, too, are headed toward God’s trap — Jerusalem. In fact, we read that all nations under the spell of unclean, demonic spirits gather to the battle of “that great day of God Almighty.” If the world stage is not being set for its last and greatest drama by current events, we cannot be blamed for so thinking.