Scriptures contain several battles between several nations. Sometimes God wants a nation to fight against its enemy and destroy it while other sometimes He wants to surrender. In this post, we will explore the situations when God wants a nation to fight and when to surrender and look into the present crisis we have in Russia and Ukraine with Biblical perspective.
When to Surrender
Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘If you surely surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.’ ”Jer 38:17-18
God is advising Zedekiah through prophet Jeremiah to surrender. Zedekiah did not listen to God and everything He spoke came to pass. But, why did God ask Zedekiah to surrender?
Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.Jer 36:2-3
An invasion upon Judah during the time of Jeremiah was due to the refusal of the people to turn away from their evil ways.
The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy [it,] if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant [it,] if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.Jer 18:7-10
When a nation does evil and did not turn from its ways, God will bring disaster upon it. It was during this time, God is advising Zedekiah to surrender.
When to Defend
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what [was] good and right and true before the LORD his God.2Chr 31:20
Hezekiah is a good king who did what was good, right and true before the LORD our God.
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, this [is] the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him: “The virgin, the daughter of Zion, Has despised you, laughed you to scorn; The daughter of Jerusalem Has shaken [her] head behind your back! … Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,’ Says the LORD. For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’Isa 37:21-22, 33-35
When Rabshakeh spoke the words of the king of Assyria (the superpower during that time) for Jerusalem to surrender (Isa 36:16), Hezekiah prayed to God who delievered Him. When the leader of a nation is godly like Hezekiah, who trusts God, and doesn’t do evil in His sight, God will surely answer his prayer and deliver him.
The Current Crisis – Russia vs Ukraine and the West
The religious views of leaders are not openly discussed in western media.
Vladimir Putin’s Christianity
Putin’s aide told us that the 1853-56 war was personal for Putin and Russians remembered it as if it was just yesterday. Christian Russia had been shocked that the Christian west had sided with Muslim Turks and defeated them. … In our meeting with Putin, he said that he was insistent that young Russians start going back to church. He wore a cross around his neck and I later learned he had been secretly baptised by his mother as his father was an atheist. He seemed fascinated that I was a reverend and questioned me about faith. … Just as he probed me about Christianity in the west, he reportedly said in a speech in 2013: “We see many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of western civilisation. They are denying the moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual.” … Kyiv must be taken, in his mind, to preserve the Christian battle. And there may be many Christians in the west who agree with some of his sentiments.Opinion Article from The Guardian (which is against Christianity)1
Contrary to Putin’s Christianity, the West has become like Sodom and Gomorrah. Even conservative Christians in the West wrongly identify Russia as Gog which will invade Israel and expect destruction from God as mentioned in Ezekiel 38 while willingly ignore Turkey as being Gog due to the West’s geo-political bias.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Judiasm
When I learnt that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a Jew, my first thought was this – What is he doing in Ukraine without returning to Israel? In an interview with RBC-Ukraine in April 2019, Zelenskyy said he supports the free distribution of medical cannabis, free abortion in Ukraine, and the legalisation of prostitution and gambling.2 He is not a religious Jew3 and supports everything God hates.
West is the New Sodom and Gomorrah
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given several explanations for his country’s war on Ukraine, and some are more plausible than others. They include stopping NATO’s advance towards Russia’s borders, protecting fellow Russians from “genocide” or the baseless claim of “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. The top-ranking priest in the Russian Orthodox Church, meanwhile, has offered a very different reason for the invasion: gay pride parades.6
The “test” of which side you are on, is whether your country is willing to hold gay pride parades. In order to enter the club of those countries, it is necessary to hold a gay pride parade. Not to make a political statement, ‘we are with you,’ not to sign any agreements, but to hold a gay parade. If we see violations of [God’s] law, we will never put up with those who destroy this law, blurring the line between holiness and sin, and even more so with those who promote sin as an example or as one of the models of human behavior, Around this topic today there is a real war.Patriarch Kirill, top-ranking priest in the Russian Orthodox Church6
The Treaty on European Union, in its last version as updated by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 and in force as of 2009, makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union legally binding for the member state of the European Union and the European Union itself.10
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
- Article 21 includes an anti-discrimination provision that states that “any discrimination based on any ground such as sexual orientation shall be prohibited. 7
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
- Articles 10 – European Union has a positive duty to combat discrimination (among other things) on the grounds of sexual orientation
- Article 19 – Ways for the Council and the European Parliament to actively propose and pass legislation to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. These provisions were enacted by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999.8
Hence, the Orthodox priest is absolutely correct in saying that any nation part of EU cannot stop gay prides or any laws against such abominations.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It [is] an abomination. … You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit [any] of these abominations, [either] any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who [were] before you, and thus the land is defiled) lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that [were] before you.Lev 18:22,26-28
It is no wonder that God is rising Russia and China against the West. The land in the West is about to vomit its inhabitants which suggests that the Third World War is around the corner.
A Broken Covenant
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Say now to the rebellious house: ‘Do you not know what these [things mean?]’ Tell [them,] ‘Indeed the king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and took its king and princes, and led them with him to Babylon. And he took the king’s offspring, made a covenant with him, and put him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, that the kingdom might be brought low and not lift itself up, [but] that by keeping his covenant it might stand. But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who does such [things] escape? Can he break a covenant and still be delivered?Ezek 17:11-15
The above looks looks very much like the present crisis. According to Russia, Ukraine looks set to unilaterally abandon Minsk agreements and urged Merkel to ‘put pressure’ on Kiev authorities.4 Finally at the beginning of this year, Russia said, Ukraine has sabotaged peace plan.5 Instead of keeping the covenant, Ukraine rebelled and went to NATO and sided with US for help, trusting on their protection. If we read the above passage very carefully, Scripture is very clear that it is the humbled nation which must abide by the covenant and by keeping it, it might stand. I can recall God declaring Egypt as a broken reed for Israel trusting it rather than Him as in Isa 36:6. Scriptures finally asks the following questions: Will he prosper? Will he who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still be delivered? The answer obviously is ‘no’.
If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done [it?]Amos 3:6
War is ugly and it destroys people’s lives and livelihood. A calamity in a city does not happen unless the Lord allowed it. We can clearly see Russia destorying Ukraine. The only conclusion we can infer is, God is not only using Russia to attack Ukraine but also allowing the West to escalate the situation for Him to visit the iniquity and abominations of the West. West is the new Sodom and Gomorrah and it is no wonder that God is rising Russia and China against the West. The land in the West is about to vomit its inhabitants for its abominations which suggests that the Third World War is around the corner.
1 Tim Costello. (2022) Vladimir Putin: a miracle defender of Christianity or the most evil man? | Tim Costello | The Guardian. Retrieved March 06, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/06/vladimir-putin-a-miracle-defender-of-christianity-or-the-most-evil-man
2 Владислав Красінський; Сергій Щербина. (2019) Зеленський може розпустити Верховну раду, якщо дозволить закон | РБК-Україна. Retrieved March 06, 2022, from https://www.rbc.ua/ukr/news/vladimir-zelenskiy-nam-vygodno-raspustit-1555546435.html
3 Yonat Shimron. (2022) For many Jews, Ukraine brings up memories of pogroms, antisemitism and Nazi collaboration. But Jewish life in Ukraine is no longer what it was. – The Washington Post. Retrieved March 06, 2022, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2022/03/04/ukraine-jews-babyn-bar/
4 RT. (2022) Ukraine looks set to unilaterally abandon Minsk agreements, Putin says, urging Merkel to ‘put pressure’ on Kiev authorities — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union. Retrieved March 06, 2022, from https://www.rt.com/russia/532673-ukraine-minsk-agreement-putin/
5 Jonny Tickle. (2022) Ukraine has sabotaged peace plan – Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union. Retrieved March 06, 2022, from https://www.rt.com/russia/547922-kiev-blame-crisis-donbass/
6 Delia Gallagher, CNN. (2022) In Putin’s vision for the world, a medieval narrative resurfaces – CNN. Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://edition.cnn.com/2022/03/14/europe/patriarch-kirill-putin-spiritual-battle-intl-cmd/index.html
7 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. (2022) Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf
8 Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. (2022) Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:2bf140bf-a3f8-4ab2-b506-fd71826e6da6.0023.02/DOC_2&format=PDF
9 Newsroom. (2022) The Patriarch of Moscow wished the Russian President for his birthday | Orthodox Times (en). Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://orthodoxtimes.com/the-patriarch-of-moscow-wished-the-russian-president-for-his-birthday/
10 The European Convention. (2022) The Treaty of Lisbon | Fact Sheets on the European Union | European Parliament. Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://www.europarl.europa.eu/factsheets/en/sheet/5/the-treaty-of-lisbon