“From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfil my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” (Is. 46:11)
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you. (Is. 60:2)
President Putin has proved to be a remarkably poor military leader. He is served by incompetent commanders and advisors, and his opponents are shrewd and able on the ground, able to make the most of their limited weaponry.
As a leader waging an economic war against the West, though, Putin has fared much better. Europe has dealt naively with him, failing to understand his intentions, and Putin has calculated that she will lack the resolve to make the real sacrifices that are called for. No wonder that President Zelensky has been vociferous in reminding the West that high energy bills are the price of keeping Putin’s ambitions in check, and for avoiding a wider war. (See also how UK energy policies have left Britain exposed to winter gas price hikes.)
Seasons of war, as Sally reminded me recently, invariably release some very strong and very grim spirits – a covering of thick darkness across the Earth. One of them, she felt, is poverty. At the same time, she was reminded that the Lord will rise upon His people, and cause His glory to appear. This is very much in line with Chris Wickland’s prophecy.
I was prompted to look up Revelation 6, which speaks of the four Living Creatures calling forth the four ‘horses of the apocalypse.’ The second horse is ‘bright red, and its rider, carrying a sword, was granted permission to take away peace from the earth and to make men slay one another.’ (Rev. 6:4) It is followed by a black horse whose rider carries a pair of scales in his hands.
It is a sequence that begins with conquest and bloodshed and develops toward famine and exorbitant inflation. We can well imagine what suffering these horses and riders will cause, especially as we see war, famine and poverty devastating so many parts of the world.
All of these things are made far worse, of course, by the ever-increasing ravages of climate change, which has led to unparalleled devastation in Pakistan and elsewhere. Factor in the ways in which all this affectes trade (navigability of the mighty Danube and Rhine rivers amongst many critical examples of crucial rivers drying up around the world), and it becomes all too easy to foresee how the global economic crisis depicted in Revelation 18:11ff can come about, leaving the merchants of Earth mourning their inability to trade.
O Lord, we cry out for Your mercy. Darkness covers the Earth; thick darkness is over the peoples.
But You are our Light, Lord. Come. Come and cause us to rise and to shine. Reveal Your glory, Lord. Bring the nations to Your Light, and kings to the brightness of Your dawn. Amen, let it be so. (Adapted from Is. 60:1-3)