An Instrument In God’s Hands
Most people cannot find any good coming out of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, there is always good going on, even in the midst of chaos, death, destruction, mass migration, and utter confusion. Many have lost everything and have no home left.
I have personally spoken to friends there who have lost homes, and some, while they are safe, one asked, ‘when will this hell be over?’ Indeed, those suffering from the events around them may be asking, ‘where is God’s mercy?’ But, unfortunately, while He is in the middle of it all, working behind the scenes, it is hard for those suffering to see anything good right now.
Despite the horror and devastation of these events, it is more than likely that Vladamir Putin may still be an instrument in the hands of God, and here are five reasons why:
- Many Jews Are Returning Home
In a previous post, ‘The Hunters Are Coming,’ I discuss one of the possible reasons behind these events. The Lord promised to bring the Jews back to Israel in the last days. He promised that they would return, and He would build them back up.
Numerous scriptures relate to this topic, primarily found in Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. In the book of Deuteronomy, God promised the Israelites that if they chased after other gods and failed to obey Him alone, they would eventually be exiled from the land.
However, God promised the first time that they would be in exile for seventy years, which set Daniel to pray for their return. Then Nehemiah enters and rebuilds the broken-down wall. So they return to the land under the direction of Cyrus.
They were scattered again in seventy A.D., where they remained until the late 1800’s when many began to return to the land. In 1948 the modern nation of Israel was born.
Yet, many have refused to return home, or it was an impossible task for others. The holocaust saw many Jews die at the hands of a wicked and terrible ruler, a hunter, who sought to destroy them.
Organizations sprang up in the late 1900s that focused on their return. But many Jews have been stranded in the Former Soviet Union, awaiting proper paperwork or approval from the already overworked Israeli government.
God indeed did not ordain this war, but He is using it as many relief organizations and the Israeli government have helped many thousands of Jews return home to Israel, as is their right.
For more information on this topic, check out these resources: https://www.amazon.com/Intercession-Aliyah-Patricia-Frame/dp/1291085424
Both explain the Final Exodus and how to get involved.
Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “I RAISED YOU UP FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE, TO DISPLAY MY POWER IN [dealing with] YOU, AND SO THAT MY NAME WOULD BE PROCLAIMED IN ALL THE EARTH.”
Exodus 9:16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
God raised Pharoah and Nebedchanezzar to use them to deal with His people Israel. He hardened Pharoah’s heart to glorify His name among the nations. Still, the children of Israel were stubborn and rebellious, which forced God to discipline them adversely.
How is it possible for Pharoah and Nebedchanezzar to be tools in God’s hand, and later, He punishes them? Like us, each of the unrighteous rulers from the past is given a choice and is also provided plenty of opportunities to repent.
He uses wicked schemes for His purposes and plans to go forward in all the earth. God had promised Abraham in Genesis that his seed would be enslaved people in another land for 430 years.
The purpose was to be forged in the furnace of affliction so they would be a peculiar nation, a holy people, serving God alone. Later His plan was for Israel to be a light to the nations and bring them to serve YHWH alone.
A few nations came to worship YHWH, but mostly it was Israel turning toward the gods of other nations. After YHWH had enough of Israel’s rebellion, He sent Nebuchadnezzar as the instrument that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Many Israelites were carried off to Babylon to live.
Yet, God punished him as he did every other evil ruler. Nebuchadnezzar was forced to crawl around and eat grass like a cow. He went mad for seven years, but God restored him.
Throughout the ages, many wicked and unrighteous people have worked despicable acts on the nations, especially the Israelites. Yet, even amid the suffering and pain, God always raised a remnant to accomplish His will and let His work go forward.
Eventually, all of the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord. But, in the meantime, we must pray and watch to see what God is doing amid this horrible situation.
For more, check out my previous blog: https://josephlfloyd.com/2022/02/27/the-nations-rage/amp/
3. To increase Prayer and Faith
It goes without saying that war will cause people to pray more. Before the current conflict, there was talk about a ‘possible invasion.’ Many turn to seek the Lord. The praying people were not limited to just in Ukraine.
The situation has been intense ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. Ukraine and Russia also have a long and storied history that has included a lot of war and political maneuvering. The current crisis is worse than might have been expected.
After the president of Ukraine allowed ‘proselytizing’ by evangelicals, many took to the streets in prayer. The enemy hates revival or any move of God and will use any means to prevent it from spreading. Russia has been very closed to missions for some time. The Orthodox church is the ‘official church,’ and they are pretty much a puppet of the state, as they always have been.
However, there is a hunger and thirst for revival among many parts of Russia. God always uses such crises to cause people to turn to Him in prayer. Consider the Children of Israel in the book of Judges. Every time they strayed away from God, He would send the Philistines or Midianites to harass, fight and often subjugate the Israelites.
Then God would raise a deliverer who would judge the sins of Israel, and after a period of prayer and repentance, they would defeat the enemy. So, yes, YHWH won the battle, but it was through mighty people who had the confidence to believe in Him.
So, now as then, God causes people to arise and lead people spiritually, politically, and in every other sphere of society. He uses trying times such as wars and rumors of wars to arouse people’s hearts for Him and His purposes. The enemy brings disheartenment and discouragement, while God brings faith and victory.
4. Birth Pains- A Trial Run of Things To Come
I have also written some on this subject and will not belabor the point except that just like with the COVID-19 viral pandemic, the things we see happening are like a trial run of future events. They only point to worse things around the corner.
Wars and rumors of wars are merely more birth pains, but they mean we are closer than ever before to the return of our Lord Jesus. I am not downplaying the impact on the people in Ukraine and Russia. I have many friends in Ukraine who are blessed to have been spared and still be alive.
So, this has certainly hit home and almost to the point of being personal since I have many wonderful friends and love this nation. Yet, places like Ukraine are strategic for many reasons, and wars are nothing new.
Our posture is to continue to pray and help the people suffering there in Ukraine in any way we can. However, we also need to be aware that no nation, including the USA, is safe. Because of the downward moral decline in the US over the past few decades, we should be crying out like the Ukrainians for mercy.
5. For The Honor And Glory of God’s Name In All of The Earth
Ultimately, God will win out, and the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of His glory. Habakkuk writes in chapter 2 verse 14: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 1:11 ESV
Many other verses talk about God’s name being honored among the nations and his glory filling the earth. Unfortunately, men like Vladimir Putin have been around since the beginning. They attempt to control people and lead them away from God’s plans and obedience to His commands.
Early on, the despot, Nimrod, gathered all of the people to build a city to the sky in direct disobedience to the command to spread out and multiply all over the earth. Since then, the enemy has sought to keep people from worshipping God and will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal.
It is Satan’s plan to keep men divided and at war so that they will not find time for God, or they will blame God for all of the bad things. We live in a fallen world that will soon be cleansed of evil, and Jesus Christ will establish His throne in Jerusalem, and all of the nations will come and worship Him there. There will be no place for Putin’s and the like in the government as all of the kings of the earth will submit to Jesus’ rule!
In the meantime, continue to pray and believe for the best outcomes, including an end to the war with peace, hope, and joy to the people of Ukraine. Also, pray for justice in the matter of Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs.
See an earlier post: http://josephlfloyd.com/2022/02/18/wars-and-rumors-of-wars/