We all remember this epithet attached to the world conflict that started In July/August 1914. A noble aspiration that assumed it would allow the world to live in peace and harmony once the minor matter of conflict had been completed. One might ask what were all those wars that were to end and how this would be accomplished by pouring oil on the flames of national and international grievances. Or, in the case of the Great War, additionally, on Royal family disputes and hatreds. Perhaps Satan and his minions were merely stealing the phrase from the Divine Writings of Almighty God, who had declared from the beginning that the real war to end all wars was called Armageddon and the central focus of this war will be, Jerusalem, the City of Peace!
However, we must not forget that military conflicts often have their origins in economic divisions and disparities. Such are called Trade wars, and just recently President Trump has announced that import tariffs are to be imposed on certain goods imported from the E.U., Mexico and Canada. Now, the one thing you can say about President Trump is that he is not a devious concealer as most of his predecessors were, he is not versed in casuistry and an overweening diplomacy, though he may be diverted by established power genres. Inevitably, his latest policy has been condemned by the new Napoleon, Emmanuel Macron of France, this same Macron who was recently feted on his visit to Washington, having impressed president Trump in his visit to Paris with a grand military display. If we are to have, as the Bible clearly states, a final conflict, will it not be brought about initially by trade sanctions and the like. As it says in Revelation Chapter 18, “What city is like unto this great City (Babylon). And they (the merchants) cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying. Alas, alas that great city wherein we were made rich, all that had ships in the sea, by reason of her costliness (fraud), for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven and ye holy apostles and prophets for God hath avenged you on her”. Perhaps what God is saying here was that no deal is better than a bad deal!
Trade itself is not the problem, it is the elevation to worship of those who have lived luxuriously at the expense of others, who they have effectively cheated. Whilst there is plenty in this world for everyone’s need, there is insufficient to satisfy everybody’s greed. Those that amass great wealth for themselves are those who live in fear of God’s judgement and correspondingly have no faith in His promised provision. Over and over the Lord proclaims His providence for the needs of those who believe and trust in Him. “Trust and obey” (for there is no other way) the hymn assures us.
The undeserving rich know subconsciously that they are under judgement, for so many of them have set up “good works’ or “foundations” or put themselves forward as United Nations “Goodwill Ambassadors”, whatever they are. Hoping that their charitable works will act as a cover and absolve them from their sins. But again, Jesus said (of the outwardly pious) “They have their reward” – the adulation they seek from those lacking in discernment. In the Victorian age, in Britain, these people were known as the “swagger set”. Nothing changes.
Now Jesus also said “for ye have the poor with you always”. This may have been meant as a general condemnation of human society. But He was countering the accusation put forward by those who remonstrated that such precious ointment (spikenard) should not be wasted on the head of our Lord. It was immediately after this that Judas went to the chief priests in order to betray Jesus. This humble person, as also the widow who only proffered two mites into the treasury, which was all she had, are looked down upon by the “Great and the Good!’ who seek only to enhance their vanity and reputation, and who are one hundred percent insincere in their affectations.
To return to President Trump, he is being accused of starting a trade war, which will harm, for instance, the E.U,’s steel industry. However, it must be pointed out that Britain’s steel industry has already been decimated by cheap, state subsidized steel from Italy. So, some hypocrisy here. The E.U. has kept whole continents in poverty (Africa for example) by attaching large import duties, to keep cheaper products from being available to Europeans. Then, we are asked to give our money to help the poor of Africa.
It can thus clearly be seen how a rebalancing, with all its attending pain is coming about.
The United States faces economic annihilation from China (which country it built up in the first place, in order to provide cheap products for U.S. citizens, whilst marginalizing its own necessary production. In the same way it faces danger from all those terrorists it encouraged when they were useful to defeat the Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. And the fanatical Islamists it supported in order to prevent political unity in the area, which would have challenged, or so they thought, their economic dominance with respect to oil etc. So, Mr Shah was consigned to the scrapheap despite decades of giving loyal support to the West.
Ingratitude, ingratitude! Wherever you look in our national and personal lives. How our Lord loves those who are grateful for what they have and are not continually complaining. Yes indeed, a greater war is coming and its roots are, initially, in international trade, which has been in the hands of corrupt men for decades.
For then we saw through a glass darkly (we could not identify the true source of our difficulties), but soon all will be revealed to those who have eyes to see. The endgame approaches, where Almighty God has all the cards, and every man’s heart will be in fear for what is coming upon the world. But we are comforted by the words of David in the opening passage of Psalm 37:- “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart. Commit thy way unto The Lord; trust also in him; and he sail bring it to pass”. Amen