Note: this blog was first a lesson in 2004. However, its lessons continue to instruct us. (Genesis 15:12-14; Isaiah 37:1-13, 21-28; Habakkuk 1:6, 2:13-14)
No doubt exists God wanted Saddam Hussein removed from power because his wickedness had grown beyond God’s patience. Remember his word to Abraham about the Amorites. What America and her allies did was God’s will in Iraq. It’s even possible to say God wanted Hussein removed in the Gulf War when it would have been relatively painless to do so. Given that fact, why does the recovery in Iraq continue to be painful and uncertain? From four mistakes made, the first three avoidable, the other inevitable.
First, our planners underestimated the time needed to recover from a 30 year dictatorship. Remember, Hitler and his goons survived only 12 years, and fanatical, underground Nazis bound themselves with oaths to indiscriminately kill Germans who co-operated with the Allies and Allied soldier in isolated areas. In addition, the German people quickly grew hostile to the Allied occupation of Germany after the war. All of this was repeated in Iraq. Some things never change.
Second, the military alliance made Iraq’s compliance with the armistice a U.N. responsibility. Since the United Nations excels all government organizations in incompetence and corruption, the resulting failure was foreordained.
Third, and by far the more important mistake: our planners misunderstood the nature of Islam. Indeed, they judged Iraqi Islam by Iraqi Muslims in America. A very bad idea, because no relationships exists between the two. Islam is a 7th century religion at home in a desert environment among tribal peoples, where control of daily life is complete. It’s much like the dawn to dusk control the Catholic Church exercised over its people in the 14th century. Every aspect of life was and is determined by both religions, including diet, dress, home life, marriage, death, etc. This made the religion, not the person, responsible for decision-making.
We cannot accurately judge any religion outside of its natural environment. The same principle is true of Buddhism or any imported religion. Don’t judge historic Buddhism by emancipated American Buddhists. The very religion they embrace restricted their freedoms in their homeland and led to their exodus—yet they pretend equality to Christianity which frees us here and now in our own land and inspires us to never live anywhere else—except at God’s behest!
This is a perspective secular historians and even Christian politicians can’t be expected to understand. This perspective comes only to the spiritually-discerned. See I Corinthians 2:14-15. Christians can judge all events, while secularists can’t even properly judge secular events.
Whatever the future of Iraq proves to be, and in 2014 it’s still unsure, it will not be an American-style democracy, because that concept is alien to Islam. It doesn’t think in those terms or have such concepts in its religious thesaurus. We are paying a dreadful price for our spiritual ignorance; the price will increase.
Fourth, and most importantly, our planners couldn’t understand the spiritual nature of the conflict. Satan had his man in Baghdad and hated to see him removed. Satan isn’t anything if he isn’t ingenious in attacking those who harm him. Thus, Satan had been actively at work in Iraq through Hussein; as he’s actively at work through the terrorists anywhere in the world.
But not to worry. God’s sovereignty exists where God’s word isn’t Satan’s effective jailer. Luther talked about God ruling ordinary events with his right hand, but employing his left in times of crisis.
As Tennessee Ernie Ford said in his song 16 Tons, one fist of iron, the other of steel: if the right one don’t get you, the left one will. Satan can’t win because God can’t lose. In a sense, God’s word and sovereignty are one—his sovereignty is expressed by his word, as his creation of the world and limits to Satan in Job prove. But their practical expressions are distinctly seen.
Remember that there are four reasons God condemns societies—and America is flagrantly guilty of 3 of the 4—immorality, materialism, and spiritual blindness. It’s innocent only of militarism.
God’s sovereignty in our history and his judgment of nations is bedrock Bible teaching, taught from Genesis to Revelation, and illustrated in the ruins of a 1000 societies that considered themselves superior to God’s presence and immune to his punishments! – FINI –