Why Do Men Fight Wars?

Some claim the events in the past week in Ukraine with Russian tanks bombing the people of Ukraine has completely changed our world. That’s true in more ways than one. The sad reality is that evil seems to be gaining ground in our world. Most of this evil is under the cloud of darkness, hidden from prying eyes, hearts darkened with hatred, bitterness and murder. What war does, is bring into sharp focus the sinfulness and brokenness of human nature.

What we are now seeing in Europe is sadly the daily lived experience in many parts of the world. It used to be statistics and stories far from the shores of our continent, in places like Africa and Asia, but events of the past week has brought it closer to home. We are now feeling its effect at our doorsteps.

Why do men kill other men? Why do powerful nations flex their muscles, bent on bullying and terrorising less powerful nations? When will this evil end, when will we learn to get along with each other?

The answer the Bible provides is worth considering. As Dick Lucas, a minister, and founder of The Proclamation Trust, puts it: “In a world that has rebelled against its maker and rejected the saviour that God has sent into the world, as a mark of the dislocation of a Christ rejecting world, war with evil and sickness and death will remain. It will remain as a sign of the terrible dislocation in human relationships, which was the first result of the fall."
Lucas noted rightly that only after the glorious return of Christ, will the ancient promise of scripture be truly and fully fulfilled “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4, NIV).

Some blame God for man’s inhumanity to man, others blame governments and organisations, yet others blame different ideologies and opposing worldviews, but the truth is that human beings have a single problem and it’s the age-old problem, the three-letter word problem – SIN! Since the time of Noah when “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5, NIV). God sent the flood to cleanse and renew, but soon we went back to our old ways.

It is clear to me, that even if God never stepped in again to judge the world, which He will do, we are quite capable on our own of blowing each other into oblivion with nuclear weapons. The prospect NATO countries are acutely aware of, which is why they are refusing to do more than supply Ukraine with arms.

The good news is that all wars will end one day, when the “old order of things has passed away”, when God will judge the world and remove tyrants and all those who will not bow to the Lordship of Jesus. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. God himself will reign supreme over His people (Rev. 21:3-4). But until that time, how do we respond to the war in Ukraine and conflicts all around the world. We can’t be indifferent, we must pray! We can’t live in fear of how the war might escalate and trouble our own peace here in the UK. We must put ourselves in the shoes of the Ukrainians. We must help with goods and finance, above all, we must cry out to God for His divine intervention for judgement and salvation.  

Let’s call on God to change and soften Putin’s heart and those of his lieutenants. Let’s pray for peace to reign in Ukraine. Let’s pray for a ceasefire. Let’s pray that Russia will withdraw their troops, go back to their country and stop killing innocent people. Above all, let’s pray that we all will repent of our evil ways and turn fully to God for mercy, forgiveness and salvation.

We echo the prayers of the Psalmist “May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.” (Psalms 67:3-7)