You undoubtedly remember that only a few years ago, while we were supposed to be suffering a depression, people were always saying “prosperity was around the corner.” And then some wit would usually remark, “Yes, but where’s the corner?” Well, there’s no doubt now but what we have found the corner. Just when and where that corner was, I will not venture to explain; we can safely leave that to some great mind in the field of Economics, and undoubtedly also there one will find differences of opinion among those who are supposed to be in the know. So, although we may not know just when or where we turned the corner, we do know what we found around that corner. Prosperity? Yes, but also something else… WAR!
I wonder sometimes how many people would not rather have a depression, as we had a few years ago, than what we have now. We got, as a nation, our prosperity for which we clamoured (didn’t the church have special prayer meetings for prosperity?) but look what else we got. No, we didn’t want war—nobody wants war—but we did want prosperity at any cost, at least we thought we did when we were in the midst of the depression. And God gave this nation what it sought but He gave it with His judgments. Beneath the beautiful rose which we desired hid a very sharp thorn.
And where is this prosperity leading us?
The answer is evident; it is leading us into a tremendous national debt which will take years to pay. Yes even so, the cost in finances is insignificant when compared with the awful cost in human lives, not only with a view to those who die but also with a view to all the untold misery and affliction of those who are maimed for life. And besides all this there is the grief of those who must miss their loved ones or receive them back as invalids and human wrecks. That is the price that God is making us pay for the prosperity we cried for.
And still there are those who would explain our present prosperity as “common grace.” That might work with a view to the “rose” but how about the “thorn?” Let us as God’s children learn to confess that our true prosperity consists in the blessing of our God upon us and not in the abundance of earthly wealth. May God make us wise that we may be able to discern these things and valuate them in their correct light.
In baseball you get three strikes and you’re out.
In labor you get as many strikes as you want and nobody puts you out. At least that’s the way it seems. If you don’t get what you want, you strike; and when you get it and aren’t satisfied you strike again, and you can keep that up as long as you please.
It surely is no wonder that some will question the patriotism of many today who, in spite of the face that their industry is vital to the war effort, will lay down their tools and refuse to work. And why? Because they can’t make a living on their present wage? We doubt that very much. Well, if it isn’t that then it must be the lust for wealth.
But what about their patriotism?
It surely is silly to even speak about sacrificing for the nation if one is guilty of such things. Far from producing sacrifice, the patriotism of such a person is based upon selfishness and greed. And that is not simply true of the laborer who strikes for higher pay but equally true of the owner, employer or operator who wants to line his pockets with the spoils of war at the expense of the laborer.
To us “little people” who are constantly urged to buy war bonds, (to sacrifice in order to buy them,) such patriotism stinks!
And it stinks a lot worse to the boys who are giving their lives!
Something like this shows us that man is always concerned first about himself. At heart he is selfish and cruel; in spite of his vain show of loving his neighbor, he loves only himself. And that cannot be otherwise because the love of God is not in him. Only the love of God in our hearts will yield the peaceable fruit of love to one another. That is why in this world no one ever wins a war except the Christian. We gain an everlasting peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Thou shalt beneath His wings abide,
And safe within His care confide;
His faithfulness shall ever be
A sure protection unto thee.