"The War To End All Wars "
June 18, 2009
"...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 2:4b
Jack Ross managed to live to a ripe, old age.
When he died at the age of 110, Jack was Australia's oldest living man. That's something, isn't it? But Jack was also famous for being the last living Australian to have served in World War I.
Those who keep record of the Australian vets say there were 417,000 men and women who served in "the war to end all wars," a phrase often attributed to World War I. 417,000. (In case you're interested, there are two British and two American veterans of that war still alive.) Most of them were young men and young women. Now they are all gone.
I guess that dark paragraph shows us some things don't change. What kind of things? Well, how about
- the war to end all wars didn't end conflict between countries;
- in spite of humanity's best intentions and our most sincere resolutions to change, to be
better, and to create a world that is safe -- sin and Satan still assure there are wars and
rumors of wars. Not all swords are being beaten into plowshares. Not yet;
- what kind of things don't change? Things like the arrival of death. It still comes for us all. It may come quickly in the trenches or the battlefield hospitals of a World War or it may come quietly, slowly, stalk us. It comes in a million ways, but it still comes.
All of this would be incredibly depressing and discouraging if it were not for the Savior, who hasn't changed. Throughout His 33 years, Jesus dedicated Himself to making sure sin and death would not have the final say. Because the Savior was successful, because He has risen from the dead, we can trust His words: "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19b).
Because the Savior has won the final battle for us, we can be sure there will indeed come a time when swords will be beaten into plowshares and nation will not lift up sword against nation.
Because of Jesus the time will come when our young men and young women will no longer go off to war, and all those who never came back, will. I think I'd like to see that day when Jesus returns and brings those 417,000 and so many others, with Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, because You live we shall also live. For Your sacrifice that will end war, bring reunions to families, and give us eternal heaven, we thank You. No one else could have won such a victory. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries